Sunday Sermon Matthew 6:5-8

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We still have Angel Tree kids available, see Kathy.
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Good morning and thank you for the wonderful message of music.
If your new to FCC, we welcome you!
We believe it take the whole Bible to make a whole Christian, therefore, we simply teach the Bible simply one verse at a time, one book a time so we get the whole counsel of God.
We have come as far as verse 5 in Matthew 6, therefore, let us open our Bibles there.

Read Matthew 6:5-8

Matthew 6:5–8 NKJV
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.


Lord Heavenly Father, we have gathered together to worship you in Spirit and in Truth this morning as you have commanded us, and we have come Father with expectation desiring to hear from you. Lord we are headed into a section of Scripture on prayer and since you know our hearts even before we reveal them to you, we confess that our prayer life needs work, in fact, we ask that you would forgive us for our prayerlessness and self-sufficiency and pride that it produces in our lives. We ask now that you would fill us with your Holy Spirit and that you would lead, guide, and direct us into all truth as we learn about how not to pray. Lord comfort the faint in heart and restore and revive us all.
In Jesus Name, we pray, we Love You! Amen and Amen.


As we continue our journey through the Sermon on the Mount, I would encourage everyone to weekly or even daily read Matthew 5, 6, and 7. So you come prepared to receive with meekness the Word that the Lord has for you each Sunday.
Because there is no way that I can cover the Word in its richness and the Lord desires to speak directly to you in personal study things that I may never teach.
And besides, when you do this, the Word will be more vibrant, instructive, and encouraging each week and growth will be the result.
Last week, we looked at Matthew 6:1-4 and the Lord taught us first what our giving should not look like and then what it should look like.
We are called not sound trumpets or toot our own horns in our vernacular when we give.
The hypocrites (Pharisees and Scribes) tooted their horns when they gave in the synagogues and in the streets to be seen be men.
They loved the praise of man, rather than the glory of the Lord church.
And this fit right in the self-righteous, legalistic system that they had created.
What is sad is that they recieved their reward from man and not from God.
The word reward here is a Greek accounting term that literally means to be paid in full.
Would you rather be paid in full from man of from your Father in heaven church?
To me, that’s a no brainer, but our flesh loves the affirmation of man.....
3. Then after Jesus teaches on how not to give, he goes on to teach how to give in secret, so our Father can reward you openly or publically as the language suggests.
There are two terms here that speak of intimacy church, two terms that speak of relationship.
The Father
And in secret
The Lord desires for us to spend time with him in secret church, he desire us to pour out our hearts to him and give as the Spirit leads us.
This was a totally new concept for the Jew, because they had been taught by the religious leaders of the day to toot their horn when they gave.
God desires us to take care of the poor and needy church and one way we can do this is through giving of our resources and of our time.
Here in Matthew 6:1-18, what we have is Jesus correcting the spiritual disciplines that the Pharisees taught wrong and what he does is to help his listeners understand that part of being Kingdom people means that we give, we pray, and we fast with proper motives and heart attitudes.
Sop we come to our next spiritual discipline and that is prayer.
Matthew 6:5 NKJV
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
There are two kinds of learning, positive and negative.
Often it is necessary to teach on what something is not, before teaching on what something should be or is to understand it full impact.
In Luke 11:1, the disciples asked Christ, “Lord, teach us to pray.” So our Lord begins by showing them how not to pray before He tells them how to pray.
What is interesting about the text here in Luke 11:1, is that the disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them how to study their Bibles, raise the dead, give sight to the blind, etc…, but rather they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray because they somehow understood the power of prayer because the Jews embraced prayer more than all the nations they were surrounded by, but somewhere in the process they lost the genuineness and authenticity of prayer to mechanical nothingness for the sake of the tradition that was ingrained in them from birth.
Prayer can become hypocritical, external and mechanical for the Christian and, when it does, we are no better than the hypocritical Pharisees.
There is nothing that tells the truth about us as Christians as our prayer life.
Have you ever noticed how much easier anything else is than prayer?
When we begin to slip spiritually, it is prayer that first is affected.
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to speak to others about God when your prayer life is going well?
You know we often share more of our problems with others than with God.
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to pray in a group than to pray alone?
These are things that Christ will bring to our attention this morning, for a disciple of Jesus Christ externalism does not impress God.
The real test of a person’s spiritual life and condition is the genuineness and sincerity of his prayer life.
NOTE: All the great Christian men and women of history have been men of prayer.
If we desire to be used by God church, we must live a life of prayer...
True prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length. The Secret Of Power In Prayer, Volume 34, Sermon #2002 - John 15:7
Charles Spurgeon
Matthew 6:5 NKJV
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
Notice that Jesus says when you pray, not if you pray, just like he did with our giving?
He assumes that his followers pray church, but as you know prayer is one of the most difficult things that we do because everything in this life attempts to keep us busy and thus, our prayer life often suffers.
And if is suffers long, it is a slippery slope to becoming a backslidden Christian, because prayer is often the first thing to go...
Next, Jesus tells us that we should not be and pray like the hypocrites.
Hypocrite- hypokritēs-(hoop-ok-ree-tace') - an actor, a stage player, a pretender, or a deceiver, one who plays the part.
A hypocrite church is one who assumes a character that does not belong to him.
He is a person who acts outwardly what he actually is not inwardly.
In context, it is a man who pretends to be a man of prayer by praying publicly but he does it only to be seen by men. His heart is far from God.
Jesus is actually teaching about the Pharisees here, for they wanted men to think they were spiritual and they gave off an air of being super-righteous or pious if you may.
ILLUSTRATION: I remember a story about a very great preacher who, one day when walking down the street in London, dropped to his knees, took off his hat, mumbled a few words in prayer and went on. Those who saw it were very impressed, and tabbed this preacher to be a very spiritual man. When I first heard this story, I too was impressed but in light of this verse it was quite fair to ask if he did it for men or for God? Could he have prayed without making a public display? Did he pray when he arrived at home? Only God knows this man’s real motive.
Matthew 6:5 NKJV
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners church, to be seen by men.
In the OT we find that there are three postures of prayer:
Laying prostrate on the ground.
And the hypocrites loved the standing part church to be seen by men.
But none of these postures matter, if our hearts our not right and we are praying mechanically, ritualistically, or to be seen by men.
Here, Jesus is teaching on public prayer.
One will not pray publically, if they do not pray privately first.
And to top this off, Jesus uses a different word here for streets than he did when he was speaking of giving.
Matthew 6:2 NKJV
Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
Streets here in Greek means a narrow street, while in Matthew 6:5, streets is a wide street.
They went to the busiest intersections, with the most people church, so they could be seen and thought of as the super-spiritual of the day.
Have you ever noticed that when you pray publically, that at times you say to yourself, that was really good? They must of liked that one?
In this case, was your prayer about God or you? Was it to be heard by men?
Note: Jesus says that they have there reward, just like those who toot their horn when they give.
The term reward here in the Greek, is an accounting term church, that means to be paid in full.
This means that the reward they recieved was not heavenly, but earthly and sensual. Their reward was to be seen by men and affirmed by men and not blessed by the Father.
When Dr. Richard Halverson was the U.S. Senate chaplain, he spoke before a group of evangelicals who had expressed their anger about Congress’ inactivity on the subject of school prayer. They were irritated that congress had not acted with a strong initiative to restore prayer in schools. To these who were seeking greater initiative from the government, Dr. Halverson asked, “How many of you have prayed with your children this month, outside of church?” Nobody raised their hand. Spiritual initiative starts in the home, not on Capitol Hill.
Matthew 6:6 KJV 1900
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
But are the keys that unlock the passage, it means on the contrary, or is a term of contrast and that is exactly what Jesus is doing here.
He is contrasting Pharisaical way of praying with his way.
He shifts from how not to pray, to how to pray.
I love the KJV here because it uses the word closet here and I think it speaks louder than some of the contemporary translations.
Closet-tameion-(tam-i'-on)-inner room n. — a room located in the inner parts of a house or building. A storeroom, a secret room, a storage chamber.
The closet or the inner room of their homes was were they stored their most prized treasures church.
Think about this, Jesus told them to go into the storehouse where their most prized possession were.
Is Jesus your most prized possession? Is prayer this important to you, that you have a secret place?
Secret places are different for all of us.
It might be a secret chamber in your house or yard.
It might be at the kitchen table.
It might be hiking in God’s creation.
It might be your barn, your garage, a kitchen.
The bottom line church, is that God desires us to go there, shut the door and pray!
It is not if your pray, but when you pray and look, there is a promise from the Father that is attached here:
Your Father who see in secret, will reward you openly.
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Did you get that? If your pray to your Father in secret, he promises to reward you!
He is a good, good father church!
Hypocrites pray to be seen by men church, while Kingdom Kids do it in secret to glorify the Father who is in heaven.
If you’ve not read Thomas Brooks on the vital importance of private prayer, I highly encourage you to do so. First published in 1665 under the title The Privie Key of Heaven, and reprinted by the Banner of Truth as The Secret Key to Heaven, it is a soul enriching exposition of this most essential of duties. In one chapter, Brooks makes the obvious but wonderful point that just “as secret meals make fat bodies, so too will secret duties make fat [healthy] souls; and as secret trades bring in great earthly riches, so secret prayers make many rich in spiritual blessings, and in heavenly riches.”
Matthew 6:7 NIV
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
Jesus returns to the negative again and says do not, (which is an imperative) babble.
Other version use vain repetitions, meaningless words, or heap up empty phrases here.
The word pagan here, points to the Gentiles of course which includes all those outside of Judaism.
Pagan practices had poured into the church then and are pouring into our church now.
The Jews and many other religions pray mechanical prayers that are meaningless and it is almost like chanting.
Saying the same things over and over again in hopes that God will hear you:
1 Kings 18:26–29 NKJV
So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made. And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.
Another formalized prayer Barclay refers to was the Shemonēh ’esray (Shemonah Esrei), (“The Eighteen”), which embodied eighteen prayers for various occasions. Faithful Jews prayed all eighteen each morning, afternoon, and evening. It, too, had an abbreviated version.
Both the Shema and the Shemonēh ’esray (Shemonah Esrei) were to be said every day, regardless of where one might be or what one was doing. Wherever one was—whether at home, in the field, at work, on a journey, in the synagogue, or visiting friends—at the appointed time the devout Jew stopped what he was doing and offered the appropriate prayer.
The most common times were at the third, sixth, and ninth hours (9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 3:00 p.m., according to the Palestinian mode of time).
Daniel 6:10 NKJV
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
Jesus is not speaking against pleading to the Father the same request over and over, but what he is speaking against is praying words that have become a meaningless ritual, words that are mechanical and the heart is no longer connected.
We do this over meals, we have done this with are children, and we have done this in church.
Prayer is a living thing—you cannot find a living prayer in a dead heart. CS Spurgeon
God desires our heart in everything we do.
He desires us to be transparent, honest, and open with him.
To become vulnerable, real, with no facades.
The Pharisees thought that the length and numbers of prayers offered to God attract his attention. They would repeat the same prayers over and over again, thinking this would impress God with their spirituality.
The rabbis used to say whenever a prayer is long, that prayer is heard. And the implication is that you’ve got to spend the first few minutes just getting God’s attention.
When men pray, they are not to pray with vain (thoughtless) repetitions, for this is the practice of pagans.
Again Prayer, not flowing from a heart of love, can become ritualistic and meaningless.
NOTE: Vain repetitions in themselves have no value, and that the mere bulk or quantity of prayer will produce no special benefit. God is not impressed with the numbers of prayers but prayer from the heart that loves Him.
Its not the length of our prayers church, its the weight of them.
After a Muhammadin funeral, it is not uncommon for the people to gather around after the funeral and say Allah El Allah, which means god is God, and repeat it 3,000 times before they leave.
Buddhists have been known to put a written prayer on a wheel and turn it with a crank or let it be turned with the wind, and every time the wheel turns, the god is – is supposed to be hearing the prayer.
It’s not unlike the churches even in our own country, Roman Catholic churches, where people light a candle and, supposedly, as long as the candle is lit, the throne of God is besought and besought and besought and besought with the same constant prayer.
Jews in Israel today, I’ve seen them stand in a spot with their little black suits and their little black hats and they genuflect for hours repeating the same prayer over and over. They take that prayer, stick it in the cracks of the wailing wall. And as long as it stays in the crack, it’s being offered to God .
Roman Catholics sit down and say their Ava Marias and run through the rosary, Hail Mary, full of grace. Blessed art thou among women. Blessed is the fruit of the womb, Jesus. And go down to the next bead and the next one and the next one and say all their Ava Marias. And by the way, the rosary came from Buddhism. It was passed through the Muhammadins, and it found its way into Spain and thus into Christianity. It has no biblical base at all.
The bottom line church is it is not about the length of our prayers or the vocabulary we use, but rather our hearts cry!
My favorite prayer in the Bible came for Peter. Jesus called him out on the water and he started to walk on water then took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink.
Guess what Peter prayed? It was only three words long church, but his heart was crying out to the Lord as a child crys out to his mother or father.
Peter prayed: LORD, SAVE ME!!!!
Matthew 6:8 NKJV
“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
WE are not to pick up pagan habits church.
We are to be different in our prayer life and have a heart that longs to commune with God.
God knows what we need even before we ask, but he longs to commune with us.
God wants our hearts and if He gets that, we will spend time in prayer with Him.
How is your prayer life? When was the last time you spent in secret with our heavenly Father?
Prayer is essential to the Christian life and without it we shrivel up spiritually and the Father’s heart is broken.
The promise of the Word is true: YE HAVE NOT BECAUSE YE ASK NOT!


Our Father who art in heaven, hear our cry and teach us to pray as you would have us to pray. Lord our hearts desire is to not pray to be seen by men with many words, but to pray Lord with sincere and transparent hearts as a child speaks to his father. Lord forgive us for our mechanical prayer lives that do not have our hearts connected and please convict us greatly when we fall victim to this type of meaning less repetition. Please Lord transform our lives and grow us as a church in prayer. Because a family that is praying together, is staying together.
In Jesus Na Love You Amen!
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
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