5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Pray Dallas Willard’s paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer. What new aspects of prayer are revealed to you?
Dear Father always near us, may your name be treasured and loved, may your rule be completed in us — may your will be done here on earth in just the way it is done in heaven. Give us today the things we need today, and forgive us our sins and impositions on you as we are forgiving all who in any way offended us. Please don’t put us through trials, but deliver us from everything bad. Because you are the one in charge, and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours — forever — which is just the way we want it!
1. Why does Jesus emphasize the secrecy of prayer? How can being sheltered in place give you the opportunity to “pray in secret.”
2. Why do you think Jesus stressed that we not use “empty phrases in prayer” or think we will be heard for our many words?
3. What might it mean to begin prayer by acknowledging that God is your Father and you are His child and you are praying with the entire global church? Cry out “Abba Father” as you pray today.
4. When Jesus says our Father in heaven, He is not saying that God is afar off, but rather that your Father is always near you. What does His abiding presence mean to you today?
5. How can God’s rule be completed in you? Where might you proclaim God’s kingdom to come?
6. Pray for today’s sustenance and not tomorrow's. Manna was given to the Israelites each day.
7. Confess your sins to the Lord, asking for His forgiveness. Think about those you need to forgive and ask for the grace to do it.
8. What bad things would you like to ask your Father to protect you from today?
9. Finish your prayer time with worship.