HRIST’S SERMON ON THE MOUNT (Study 16): WHEN THOU PRAYEST …
Bible Text: Matt. 6:5-8 | WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY (24/10/19, 31/10/19)
Watchman Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement
Topical Study: CHRIST’S SERMON ON THE MOUNT (Study 16):
WHEN THOU PRAYEST …
Text: Matt. 6:5-8
INTRODUCTION: Our treatment of Christ’s Sermon On The Mount is today bringing us to another important subject – prayer. It is common knowledge that every believer is in a fierce spiritual battle. Prayer is very central in a believer’s life not only because it is the means of communing with God and receiving from Him, but also the medium by which all other weapons of our warfare are activated and put into use. Indeed, no Christian pilgrim who hopes to overcome in this life and to reach home at the end, can afford to toy with the matter of prayer, especially at this critical time.
We shall be considering: (1) The Place Of Prayer In The Life Of A Pilgrim (2) Secret/Sincere Prayer (3) Forms Of Prayer (4) Effect /Reward Of Prayer.
The Place Of Prayer In The Life Of A Pilgrim. Let’s recall that prayer is the divinely ordained channel for granting, releasing or bringing to pass God’s will/purpose (cons. Gen. 20:6,7,17,18; Job 42:7-8; Ezk. 36:33-37). Our God is a God that answers prayers that are made according to His will, as long as such prayers also fulfill other conditions for answer to prayers (cp. Ps. 65:2; 1Jn. 5:14).
As strangers and pilgrims, we cannot do without prayer, and acceptable prayer for that matter, if we want to succeed in this life and be able to reach home at the end (1Pt. 2:11,12). This is because there are many adversaries on the way to hinder (1Pt. 5:8,9). In the circumstance, an overcoming pilgrim must be a praying pilgrim (Eph. 6:18; 1Thess. 5:17). This is moreso as we draw the closer to the last day (Rev. 12:12). Prayer is known to be the normal way of life of the believer (Matt. 6:5-7) and if we are commanded to pray always, then much more so at such a perilous time (cp. Matt. 24:12; 2Tim. 3:1).
Secret/Sincere Prayer (Matt. 6:5-8). Here, Jesus teaches that it is secret/sincere prayers that reach God’s ear and that it is such that He responds to. He warns against praying like the hypocrites who do so to win the admiration of men; who make a show of prayer, heaping volumes of vain repetitions, thinking that by so doing God will hear them (cons. Matt. 6:5,7). Jesus instructs that when we pray, we should get into our closets and shut the door and pray to our Father Who is secret and sees in secret (Matt. 6:6, 8). Here, He is not necessarily referring to physical shutting of door. He is rather correcting the pride, and ulterior motives which the hypocrites exhibit at prayer. He instructs that we should make our prayers with a pure and sincere motive, and with a mind focussed only on God.
Forms Of Prayer. Prayer means talking to and hearing from, or interaction with God. It includes worship, praises and thanksgiving, which can be expressed in songs and in plain speech (cons. Ex. 15:11; 1Chr. 16:23-36; Ps. 93:1-4; 100:1-5; Rev. 4:8-11). It also includes petition and supplication (Ps. 18:3-6; 34:6; 40:1,2). There is the prayer of intercession which is a high form of prayer (Ex. 17:10-13; Ezk. 22:30,31). Besides, binding devils and loosing our blessings and possessions which they stole or tied away, as well as those of others, is also a form of prayer (Matt. 18:18).
Effect / Reward Of Prayer (Matt. 6:6). When prayers are made according to God’s will, in righteousness and faith, they yield result of desirable change (Matt. 6:6; 1Tim. 2:8; Jas. 5:16). Firstly, prayer changes the petitioner (cp. Lk. 22:39-44). Secondly, prayer changes situations (cons. Ex. 17:10-13; Ps. 18:3-6; Heb. 5:7).
Conclusion: We need much grace to overcome at such perilous times. And to receive such grace we also need much time to be available at the throne of grace (cp. Heb. 4:14-16). This cannot be short-circuited. It cannot be circumvented. So let’s rather rise to receive the grace for such prayer and supplication as is required at such a time.
Fellowship Songs :
The Royal Telephone (HSCF 231);
What A Friend We Have In Jesus (HSCF 233)