Last week Jesus taught against praying hypocritically (as the Pharisees)
This week Jesus teaches against praying mechanically (as the “Pagans”)
This is when the mouth is engaged but the heart and mind are not. Prayer wheels, flags and beads — even our bedtime prayers easily slip into error.
In opposition to the shellac of hypocrisy, God desires authenticity.
In opposition to the emptiness of mechanical prayer, God desires that your heart and mind be engaged when you call on Him.
The Model Prayer
God’s Glory comes First
“Hallowed be Your name”
“Your Kingdom come”
“Your will be done”
God’s Provision for our needs comes second
“Give us bread” (Physical needs)
“Forgive our debts” (Social needs)
“Deliver us from evil” (Spiritual needs)
A Little Trouble
What about verses 14 & 15? Are we not saved by grace alone?
Yes, we are ransomed entirely by grace — it is a gift of God; not earned in any way (Romans 6:23). Yet, day by day, we are also sustained by that same grace.
While that grace comes with no precondition other than repentance, it does come with the expectation that we will continue in that repentance.
The very cross that bought our souls is the same cross we must bear daily if we are to persevere as children of God. Strive to be holy, as He is holy!
Our Great Hope
The other gospels, and some later manuscripts of Matthew, record these powerful words at the close of this model prayer. They are a fitting reminder of our highest hope — that very soon, all our needs will be met at once and forever:
“For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours, now and forever.”
New King James Version (NKJV)
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “
‘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 today 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 the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”