MATTHEW 6:7_as the heathen do…
Jesus goes from reproaching hypocrites to reproaching heathens. The word heathen in this verse can be translated as Gentile. Remember, Gentiles are not Jews. They were not under the covenant God made with Abraham. Nor were they under the laws God gave to Moses.
The Jews considered the prayers of Gentiles to be great babblings. Since Gentiles did not serve or have a relationship with the One True God, their prayers were not directed to Him. Therefore, to whatever god or idol they prayed, all they could offer was empty babbles.
After Jesus conquered death and was about to ascend back into heaven, He gave His disciples a commission. Mark 16:15 (KJV), “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Jesus gave Peter and Paul a specific commission – to share the gospel of the resurrected Jesus with the Gentiles. Praise God Peter and Paul obeyed the call!
We are no longer heathen just because we are Gentiles. Those of us who answer the call to become salty-lit-up disciples can enter our closet, shut the door, and commune with the Holy God of Heaven! Hallelujah!
Lord Jesus, Praise You for being the God of all mankind. Praise You for making a way for Gentiles to enter Your presence . In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ loves Gentiles—He made a way for me!
MATTHEW 6:7_use not vain repetitions…
Vain repetitions means to automatically repeat phrases with no heart felt meaning. This does not mean you shouldn’t pray a certain prayer more than one time, or join in unity to pray something like the Lord’s Prayer. There is power in unified prayer. The key is, as always, whether the group is unified in heart before Holy God. Matthew 18:20 (KJV), “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” I believe God loves to hear unified prayer.
Neither does this mean that if you have been fervent in prayer but have not received an answer you should stop praying. Luke 18:3-7 (KJV), “And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him [the judge], saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming [emphasis mine] she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”‘
This judge didn’t even believe in God. But he did what was right for the widow, because he grew weary of her continual asking. Jesus says God will do much better than people – keep praying!
Holy Jesus, Praise You that You never grow weary of me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ never grows weary of my prayers—He hears me!
MATTHEW 6:7_But when ye pray…
Jesus really does not make prayer an option. He says when you pray, not if you pray. Jesus expects prayer to be a basic part of your life.
Everything Jesus taught is a part of who He is. If you have a goal to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge from Jesus’ teaching, you need a relationship. A relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost requires a prayer life. A prayer life requires time.
Set a time of day that works best for you and commit yourself to prayer. Also, set a place that is best for your closet and talk out loud. This does not have to be a literal closet – but there’s nothing wrong with that.
When you are serious about discipleship, you will be serious about prayer. Every time you pray, God is pleased. Along with regular committed prayer time, pray throughout the day. Lift up prayers for your family, friends, church, government leaders, and country – don’t forget to pray for those who hate you.
Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV), “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
God of Peace, Please teach me when to pray. Give me a heart full of thanksgiving as I make my requests to You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is true peace—He will give it to me!
MATTHEW 6:6_and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward them openly.
More rewards. Open rewards. Have you noticed how often God has plans to reward you? It is a definite part of His program.
The world is cruel, hard, and evil. Praise God that while you live in it He blesses with rewards. Praise God that He works supernaturally on your behalf. What a mighty God!
Along with awaking with God’s likeness, I also desire to receive wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Proverbs 24:3-4 (KJV),”Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
I want to build my life on wisdom. I want to establish my life in understanding. I want to furnish my life with knowledge. Want to know how to live in the world, but not of it? The Big Three! That means during my lifetime I can grow into a salty-lit-up disciple and not be bound by the world’s sins. By now you know what that means – I can live free. It does not mean I will never sin again. It means I will no longer be controlled by sin. No bondages.
Freedom means I’m not captive to anything but the love of Jesus!
God of Wisdom, Please teach me to build my life on wisdom; establish it with understanding and furnish it with knowledge. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is freedom—I want to live free!
MATTHEW 6:6_and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret…
Jesus says the Father is in the closet with you. When He says the Father seeth in secret He means more than vision. God reads your soul. He sees everything in your mind and thoughts. God sees deeply – into the very depths of your heart. He knows if there is room for Him in that depth, or if it is consumed with you. God also knows if your desire is to replace self with the Savior. He can help you with that.
God’s desire is for you to bring all your emotions of pain, heartbreak, fear, anger, and unforgiveness to Him in prayer. If you can trust God is with you in the closet, you will begin to trust He is with you anywhere. The more you trust in God’s presence, the more confident you will grow in your relationship with Him.
Listening is every bit as important to prayer time as talking. Remember that falling in love sequence? If you do all the talking, and never any listening, then you will not know your loved one at all. It’s difficult to truly love someone you don’t know.
The more you hear God, the more you become salt and light.
God Who Speaks, Please speak to my heart, and help me trust You are always with me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is with me—I want to be with Him!