COMPASS: PRAYER AND FASTING
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Matthew 6:5-18 (NKJV)
1. Attitude of prayer
vs 5 And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
- As in verse 2, there is an expectation of prayer for the believer. Jesus, here, makes it clear prayer is not to be a ritualistic, attention-grabbing event.
- Prayer is to be personal and genuine in its recognition of our dependence on God
1 John 5:14-15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
2. Posture of prayer
Vss 6-8 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
- Jesus is not forbidding public prayer, He is encouraging personal prayer
- He is also commanding authentic, transparent communication between a person and their Creator
1 Thess. 5:16b …pray without ceasing…
3. Content of prayer
Vss 9-13 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10Your 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 forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
- This prayer does not teach us how Jesus prayed, He never needed to pray for forgiveness. Jesus wanted to teach us what our prayers should look like since we all need forgiveness.
LORD'S PRAYER PATH
- Recognize who God is
- Celebrate what God does
- Realize what God desires
- Receive what God gives
- Ask for forgiveness
- Seek His protection
- Long for what God longs for
John 14:13-14 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
4. Motivation of prayer
Vss 14-15 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
- Jesus is not saying that we will lose our salvation if we do not forgive others, He is simply accentuating the fruit of our salvation should include forgiving as we have been forgiven
- In other words, our unwillingness to forgive is either an indicator of our lostness or an indicator of our failure to receive the benefits of what God has done for us
5. Companion of prayer
Vss 16-18 Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
- Jesus is teaching that fasting is something that is also not to be done for attention but rather for focus. This focus is to be centered on our total dependence on God.
1. Pray regularly
2. Pray rightly
3. Pray intently
4. Fast when necessary