Righteousness & Prayer

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven…And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And, when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites…Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Matthew 6:1-13

Jesus continues His sermon on the Mount as we move into chapter 6. Jesus, in our verses today, tells the gathered crowd about giving to the needy and how to pray to God the Father. When giving to the needy, Jesus teaches that our giving is none of anybody’s busy. Our giving, whether to the needy, to our church, or, to any organization, be it church related or secular related, is to be first from the heart and, is never a cause for a public display of our piety and/or generosity. Paul, also, teaches that giving is to be done with thanksgiving and praise in a cheerful manner. Giving is never a duty to be part of the Christian’s life. It is to be the Christian’s nature to care for and love those whom our Savior and Lord has commanded us to aid. In giving in this manner, God will reward you for your works of charity (love). Jesus, then, teaches the people about prayer to the Heavenly Father. Jesus gives a model of a prayer that can be repeated verbatim or used as an outline for a time of prayer to the Father. A more complete wording is given, by Jesus, when His Disciples came to Him to ask how to pray. Jesus prefaced His teaching by telling the people not to be like hypocrites, referring mainly to the religious leaders, who publicly pray “to be seen by others.” Even today, we see pious Jews who are dressed in a certain way and who are making certain rhythmic motions as they pray to their god. Jesus states such people, then and today, are not sincere in their praying. Jesus, also, states twice, in these verses, “when you pray.” In using these words, Jesus is telling people, Christians in particular, that prayer is an expectation that marks the Christian life. Someone has said that prayer is the Christian reporting to God for duty each time he prays. Though Scripture does not command prayer, it is a vital part of the Christian’s life. Jesus demonstrated prayer throughout His earthly ministry both publicly and, in private time with His Father.
Source: S C Ball January 15, 2023






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *