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The attitude that will make us pray - Matthew 6:5-8

This is a sermon by Peter Birnie from the evening service on 7th January 2024.

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Matthew 6 v 5-8 “The Attitude that will make us Pray”

 

Intro: The incredible blessing sitting on our mantlepiece

 

          1) When not If (v5-8)

“When you pray… When you pray… When you pray”

 

The Basic purpose of Prayer: for people to have a dependent relationship with God:

  • Motivation
  • Attraction

 

If “when you pray” doesn’t describe the pattern of your life then you are missing out in a crucial way

 

            2) Humility not Hypocrisy (5-6)

“Do not be like the hypocrites…”

 

Phariseeism (Hypocrisy) misunderstands the purpose of prayer because it misunderstands the character of people.

  • Hypocrites want to be seen by people (so they pray proudly and publicly)

 

  • Jesus’ followers want to be seen by God (so they pray humbly and privately)

 

  • Hypocrisy is both proud and foolish (you can’t fool God!)

 

What about the Christ Church Network? Are we full of prayer to the unseen God who sees us in humble prayer and rewards us as a result?

             3) Mercy not Manipulation (v7-8)

“Do not keep on babbling like pagans…”

 

Paganism misunderstands the purpose of prayer by misunderstanding the character of God

  • Pagans can’t trust the gods from day to day

 

  • Christians pray to a faithful and merciful Father

 

  • We come as loved children, adopted by the precious blood of Jesus, knowing that our loving Father will do what is best, but still wanting to ask

 

Conclusion

“Your Father … Your Father … Your Father”

 

  • Let us be churches full of “When not If” people who learn to love prayer

 

  • Let us be churches who learn to humbly depend upon God in prayer  

 

  • Let us be churches who learn to love our Father more and more

 

Questions:

  • Discuss any different motivations to prayer that you can think of – which are good motivations and which are poor ones? Why should real prayer be so attractive to us?
  • Are you comforted or unsettled knowing that God sees you? Why should this be a wonderful spur to prayer? In what ways do a church family need to be careful not to be hypocrites concerning prayer?
  • Why do we go to God to ask for things in prayer if he already knows what we need? What does a pagan attitude to prayer look like in a Christian’s life or in the life of a church?
  • What steps are you going to take so that prayer isn’t left on your mantlepiece gathering dust in 2024?

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