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How to Pray (Matthew 6:5-15)


Have you experienced the sweet hour of prayer in your daily time with the Lord, or does it seem your words just bounce off the walls and ceiling and go nowhere?

 In the next portion of our study of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:5-15), Pastor Ron Comoglio preaches on the Lord’s instruction for prayer. Jesus gives elements to avoid, and aspects to embrace to ensure our prayers are effective before the throne of grace.

We invite you to listen to Ron’s sermon on Matthew 6:5-15 on our podcast, and engage the text with the discussion questions below.


Matthew 6:5-15

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. 

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.

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. 

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.
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.


Discussion Questions

  1. What should be our heart motivation for prayer? (vv. 5-6)
  2. How does Jesus’ parable in Luke 18:9-14 help you to understand his examples in verses 5-6?
  3. How does the Gentiles’ manner of prayer betray a misunderstanding of God? (vv. 7-8)
  4. In what ways might we be guilty of heaping up “empty phrases” in our prayers?
  5. How does the “Lord’s Prayer” (or the “Disciple’s Prayer”) challenge your prayer life?
  6. What goes wrong when this passage become a script?
  7. What does it look like to begin your prayer with upward praise? (v. 9)
  8. How does Jesus teach his disciples to submit their prayers to God? (v. 10)
  9. When you pray, do you pray for outward (v. 11) and spiritual needs (vv. 12-13)?
  10. What should we understand from Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness? (vv. 12, 14-15)?