Matthew 6:9-18 - “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Our missional group has recently been asking, “Lord, teach us to pray.” At first, it feels a little embarrassing - “I have been a Christian for x years and I don’t know how to pray?” But, for those of us who are going there, it has been so freeing to admit that we don’t know. It is then that we find ourselves able to truly hear and receive the clear teaching and help of our Lord.
He knows we don’t know what to do. So he teaches us to pray. By His words and by His Spirit, filling us to pray according to God’s heart.
He knows that we are so very prone to doing things for human recognition. So he teaches us that our fasting is to be “in secret,” for our Father’s eyes and answer only.
Today, let’s pray with the Lord’s prayer to guide us. Let’s choose to live our lives in the forgiveness that only Christians can experience. And let’s determine that it is before the Father’s eyes that we seek to do all that He gives to us today.