Sermon On The Mount Discussion Guide
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 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.
Jesus turns his attention to the topic of prayer. We know prayer is supposed to be the lifeblood of the discipleship life, but so often it feels like our prayer lives are lacking consistency, power and intimacy. Jesus wants us to prioritise our hearts in prayer, and so admonishes us not to make a show on the outside, but to seek God in the hidden places – and there our true selves can really come out to meet with the Father. Jesus also tells us that there’s nothing we can do or say to get God’s attention or demand his favour – instead we are to come to God as a child comes to a good father who already knows all our needs and longs to be with us in intimacy. With these things in mind, Jesus teaches us how to pray with the words of the Lord’s Prayer which is a model and an example that can fuel our prayer lives in this discipleship journey.
1. Which words or phrases stand out to you?
2. How does understanding the context of these passages help us understand its meaning?
- How would you describe your experiences of prayer until now?
- What strategies have you used in prayer to get God’s attention or to get things from him?
- How might our image of who God is as we come in prayer affect how we pray? How might we get an accurate understanding of God’s character?
Scripture Reading: Here is a 90 day reading plan through all four Gospels. Download the YouVersion app and select to do this plan “with friends.” Once you invite members from your community to join you, you can all track together with the plan and save notes, questions, and comments on passages – why not take turns in adding a short commentary each day?
If you’re not there already, break into small groups and pray for what the Holy Spirit is putting on your heart. Don’t rush, but enjoy being in His presence together. Pray encouragement and blessing on one another, as you ponder what God is saying.