Prayer is a vital spiritual discipline. How did Christ teach his disciples to pray to the Father?
[Darris McNeely] How should we pray? Prayer is a very important spiritual discipline. Sometimes in today's public life we see prayer all over the public display in stages and sports and entertainment.
[Steve Myers] Not in schools though.
[Darris McNeely] Not in schools, that's true.
[Steve Myers] Not in schools.
[Darris McNeely] But we sometimes get into arguments about public prayer. We get into large discussions about the value of prayer.
[Steve Myers] Christ talked a lot about the value of prayer and in fact, He answered your question on the Sermon on the Mount. He gave some specific instructions on how we should pray and why it's so important.
[Darris McNeely] We thought we'd get into a series on the subject of prayer. And the best place to begin really is in Matthew chapter 6 and in verse 5 where Christ began to talk about prayer—it's sometimes called the Lord's Prayer or the model prayer. It's not just a prayer; it's really a pattern for prayer. And in verse 5 He says, "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 so that they may be seen by men. Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward" (Matthew 6:5 Matthew 6:5And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward.
American King James Version×). So, first Christ says when you pray, prayer for Him and for His followers, He meant for His disciples to be a praying people.
[Steve Myers] He didn't say if.
[Darris McNeely] No, he said when.
[Steve Myers] He said we're supposed to be doing that. And He said it's not a public thing that we want a pat on the back because we look like we're religious. There's something much deeper than that about it.
[Darris McNeely] And really what His emphasis was on here was the hypocrisy of those who do pray in public to be seen of men as if that was a measure and standard for their righteousness. He knew that it wasn't.
[Steve Myers] And it wasn't at all and not by God's standard anyway, by people's standards but they can get confused. But it's God's standards and having a relationship with Him and talking with Him.
[Darris McNeely] And of course He said they have their reward. You want to be careful that prayer is not something that we do for anyone else. Our prayers are to God and they are for the relationship that we want to build with God. There's a lot to say about this particular subject and verse 5 just really begins it. We'll pick it up at another point, but prayer is something that all of us should be focusing on if you want to build what we call a relationship with God.
[Steve Myers] We'll talk more about that in our next BT Daily. We'll see you next time.