Read Matthew 6:5-15. What is the meaning of the word “prayer”? How do people pray in your culture? Why do they pray?
- How did Jesus say the hypocrites prayed in his day? What was their motive?
- How did Jesus say his followers should pray?
- What does the word “father” imply about the relationship between Jesus’ followers and God?
- How does Jesus say the pagans pray? What is their motive?
- Why don’t Jesus’ followers need to pray this way?
- If our Father already knows our needs before we ask, what are other reasons we might want to pray?
- Jesus’ prayer is divided naturally into two parts. Where would you divide it? What title would you give each part?
- What do these verses imply about the priorities of the person who follows Jesus?
- What affect would it have on our lives to make God’s desires more important than our own desires?
- In what three areas are we dependent on help and care from our Father? How can he help in each area?
- What are the characteristics of a God who knows us and wants to help us?
- How does Jesus say our relationship with God should affect our relationship with other people?
- Why do we need forgiveness? Why is it important that we forgive others?
How would you summarize what Jesus taught about God and about praying to God? What was new for you? Are you a member of God’s family – can you come to him as a loving father?
*note: some questions were taken from Sermon on the Mount: Seeking First the Kingdom of God by John Stott (InterVarsity Press)