Memory Verse: Matthew 6:6 – But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
In this chapter, Jesus taught the disciples three specific behaviors that are very practical for the spiritual growth of believers.
- How to give alms or charitable deeds
- How to pray
- How to fast
Charitable deeds. Believers in the will of Christ, must not get caught up in the world’s pride of living, self-recognitions and pleasers of men. Give freely and without a public scene or notice. “That thine alms may be in secret and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” God loves a cheerful give. (Matthew 6:1-4, II Corinthians 9:7)
Prayer. The bible is a collection of prayers given by God’s people. There are prayers of deliverances, prayer of healings and prayer for God’s mercies. In comparison to the Pharisees, Jesus teaches us that prayer must be done in secret, not done for public awareness. You can choose your secret place to pray to God. Go into your room and shut your door. If our real motive is to get reach the throne of God, he will hear and answer. The Pharisees prayed in vain repetitions or empty phrases to impress. But God was not impressed. God only accepts our sincere expressions from the heart. (Matthew 6:6-8; I Kings 18:26; II Kings 4:33)
Jesus taught the disciples a model way of how to pray.
- Our Father which art in heaven is the acknowledgement of God’s place in heaven sitting on the throne over all.
- Hallowed be thy name gives reverence to his name and person
- Thy kingdom come is that we receive the full reign effect of God through the mediator office of Jesus Christ
- Thy will be done brings us into the conformity of our will to the will of God
- Give us this day and our daily bread is the concept of daily provision of food to sustain the body and the word of life to sustain the soul
- Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, if we will ask for God’s forgiveness, we must forgive others
- For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen tells us that God is over heaven and earth. He reigns in power and glory. (Matthew 6:5-15).
Fasting. Fasting was not to be a public display. The people of God fast secretly while their outer appearance is maintained with joy and triumph. “But thou, when thou fastest anoint thine head and wash thy face…and thy father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” To fast is to abstain from satisfying our physical appetite. Fasting is needed many times with prayer because we give total dedication of the mind and body to prayer. It will help take away the dullness and drowsiness of one’s prayer life. Through fasting, we develop a closer life in the Lord because we deny the flesh and allow the Holy Spirit to work more effectively. We better discern the will of God. Fasting teaches us self-discipline. When we fast, it should be our desire to please God. (Matthew 6:16-18; Acts 27:33; II Corinthians 11:27; Luke 2:37)
In conclusion, Jesus gave his perfect example of how to keep a close relationship with him and the Father. Through prayer and the connection with God, our everyday life can be a loving and cheerful experience. When can experience the joy and spiritual growth in giving, in prayer and in fasting only in Christ Jesus. Prayer holds the key connection to God, for whatever we may need. (Matthew 6:18)
Pastor Tylvia E. Koromah
The Path of Righteousness Church in Christ