Passage: Matthew 6:5-8 and Romans 8:26-27
What was your introduction to the Lord’s Prayer? In what ways have you learned how to pray?
Read Matthew 6:5-8. What ideas or phrases surprise, encourage, or spark questions for you?
In verse 5, Jesus is not condemning public prayer, he is addressing wrongful motivation in prayer: praying for show/attention, going on and on mindlessly, and forgetting God knows us and loves us as a perfect Father. Which of these three wrongful motivations are you more susceptible to?
There is an important distinction between hypocrisy and faithfulness. We typically think of hypocrisy as people who do one thing but feel another. However, doing what you know is right even if you don’t feel like it isn’t hypocrisy, it is faithfulness. How have you wrestled with your feelings in the practice of prayer?
Augustine wrote, “Remove from prayer much speaking, not much praying.” Martin Luther said praying should be: “brief, frequent, and intense.” Commentator Dale Bruner wrote, “Prayer is not an intelligent brief for God; it is intelligent conversation with God.” How might these encouragements shape your practice of prayer?
Consider Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3: 14-21. In verse 18, Paul prays for the church to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. How do these extravagant dimensions help you to know that our Father in heaven knows what we need before we ask him? How does this truth impact your practice of prayer?
What from this passage do you need to remember, rejoice in, request, or repent of?
Share with your group how they can be praying for you: what is weighing on you from this past week? What are you praising God for from this past week?
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27