Today’s readings come from the New Testament. We first hear Jesus teachings on prayer from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:5-15 and 7:7-12. A third reading is from James 1:1-18
What do we learn about prayer in Matthew 6?
We are not to pray for show. Prayer is not about impressing others. Prayer is about our relationship with God. The reward with prayer is to know God and to be known by him.
We also learn the Lord’s Prayer. This is not a prayer Jesus teaches us to pray word for word. It is a template for our prayer so that we know how to pray.
What does it mean to ask for God’s kingdom to come and for his will to be done (6:10)?
It means for heaven to come to earth. It means that God’s authority and dominion would be ushered in. That his will would be done is that what God desires for his creature and creation would become a reality.
What does it mean to ask for daily bread (6:11)? What does Jesus teach us to ask for ourselves 6:12-13)?
To ask for daily bread is to ask for daily provision. That God would give us everything we need to live. He does not teach us to ask for more. “God, just give me enough!”
Jesus teaches us to ask for these things which we need. We need forgiveness. We need God’s guidance in our lives as to how to live. We need his divine protection.
Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given you.” Why then does God sometimes say, “no!” (7:7-8)? What does Matthew 7 say that God will give us?
We don’t have because we don’t ask. God will give us every good gift we need and more. We sometimes do not have because what we ask from God is not good even though we may think it is good.
According to the book of James, how are we to ask God when we are lacking (1:1-7)?
We must ask with faith, believing God will answer. We must ask and not doubt. We ask in humility recognizing God is not obligated to answer our prayer. His only obligation is the obligation he puts on himself because of his grace.
What happens to earthly treasure which we often ask God for (1:9-12)?
It does not last. We leave this earth and our possessions are given to someone else. God wants us to have treasure that we can hold in eternity and not what will be thrown away.
Are there times in your life where you received something good that was not good? Opposite that have you ever received something that you did not think was good, but was good? Who knows better than you what you need?
There have been more than a few times when what I thought I was receiving was a blessing, but it was actually a curse. What we think is good is not always good for us. There are other times I have received that which I did not want to receive, but it turned out to be a great blessing. God know what we really want and need better than we do. The hard thing is to believe that and live in trust.