The context of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:5-15) reveals that when Jesus taught His disciples to pray He was infinitely more concerned about the true state of their heart than He was in giving them a formula prayer. Verse 7 alone clearly indicates He was not recommending “meaningless repetition.” What kind of heart did Jesus say God is interested in? I see at least 9 characteristics of the proper “heart posture” for prayer.
Here’s a bare outline from our study at tonight’s prayer meeting. Use it as a skeleton—adding your own muscle as you study out the passage in your personal time in the Word or your small group.
- A Humble Heart (vv. 5-6) – “not like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray”
- A Genuine Heart (vv. 7-8) – “do not use meaningless repetition”
- A Childlike Heart (v. 9a) – “Father…”
- A Reverent Heart (v. 9b) – “Hallowed be Your name”
- A Broken Heart (v. 10) – “Thy will be done”
- A Dependent Heart (v. 11) – “Give us our daily bread”
- A Confessing Heart (v. 12a) – “Forgive us our debts”
- A Forgiving Heart (vv. 12b, 14-15) – “as we also have forgiven our debtors”
- A Vigilant Heart (v. 13) – “lead us not into temptation”
Spend some time in this glorious passage of Scripture and ask God to change your heart.