December 12th – Matthew 6:1-13

Spend some time meditating on giving, prayer, and forgiveness. Then, come back and read the commentary, my verse, and my response to God.

  • Request God’s help.
  • Read Matthew 6:1-13
  • Record a verse that stands out to you.
  • Respond to God.

Are you finished? Great! Now, read the commentary.

Hypocrisy. We all hate it…unless we’re the ones performing. Remember, this passage is a continuation of Jesus’s sermon. He’s telling us that our righteousness (works-based living) is like filthy rags. In other words, don’t do anything publicly that will make people say, “What an amazing person you are!” Unfortunately, my husband and I did that recently. We weren’t aware then, but now I see how we slipped into conversations focused on our good deeds. Ha! It turned out to be a nightmare. We got the kudos, but at what cost? It wasn’t God’s will for us to do it, and we have no treasure to show for our trouble, just a bit of humble pie.

It’s the same with prayer and unforgiveness. Don’t flaunt your “righteousness,” and don’t harbor bitterness in your heart. If you do, you will be tortured by hostile ruminations, and you will not have peace or joy.

Furthermore, we are not to go on and on in our prayers. (You know who you are.) Jesus gives us an example of a complete, power-packed prayer that addresses everything. 1. God is our Heavenly Father, holy and pleasing; 2. Jesus is coming again, and we desire all things to be as they will be when He returns; 3. Earthly provision; 4. A heart of forgiveness; 5. Deliverance from evil. Tada! Could it be that Jesus mixed a bit of wit into His sermon? After all, the Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

How do you struggle with pretense?

My Verse: Matthew 6:7-8 “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

My Response: Again, I cannot read the word “babbling” without smiling. I like to think Jesus winked at someone in the audience who struggled with babbling when He said it. What cuts me to the heart is that long, drawn-out prayers are how the pagans prayed because they thought their many words did the trick. In essence, they thought they had control, and if something good happened, it was because of their “work.” Ugh! Self-righteousness is everywhere!

Father, please keep me focused on You and keep my prayers short and sweet.



1 Comment. Leave new

  • Sharon’s verse: I was struck by a verse in the Lord’s Prayer this morning, as I remembered that not long before this sermon, Jesus was in the wilderness wrestling with Satan. My verse: Matthew 6:13 “And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.”

    My response: Lord Jesus, You knew what it was like to be tempted by the evil one. Your forty days must have been so hard! Thank You for teaching me to actively pray that I’d be protected from that evil one. Help me to remember this more often, and thank You for Your help in temptation and Your rescue when I am attacked.


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