Verse for the Day – Matthew 6:9a
In this manner, therefore, pray:

Daily Scripture ReadingJohn 17

Devotional Thoughts
After all that Jesus has taught about prayer He is now prepared to tell the disciples, the crowd, and us how to pray! He is about to preach the “Lord’s Prayer.” Of course, it would be better to call it the “Disciples Prayer.” This prayer is not for Him, it is for those of us who follow Jesus! He is giving us a model to use when we pray. He begins with the words “In this manner.” That phrase simply means “likewise”, or “even so, offer prayers.” The easiest way to understand this is to say “Pray like this.” Jesus responded in the book of Luke to the disciples questions about prayer not by teaching them a specific prayer – He answered their question about “how” to pray! “Pray like this,” He says.

You see, this “Disciples Prayer” is not a specific prayer. It is not wrong to recite it, but if that is the only way we pray then we fail to obey His earlier commands about prayer. We should not vainly repeat the same thing over and over! This prayer that He is about to share with the crowd that day is a prayer that is simply an outline of what a prayer should be.

“Pray like this,” gives us the idea that what He says next will be an example of how to pray. Indeed, if we search the Scriptures we will never again find the disciples or the New Testament Church praying this exact prayer. No! They pray in a manner like unto what Jesus taught. They pray prayers that put “meat on the bones” that Jesus had given them. “Pray like this” means this is just the place to start!

He also uses the phrase “therefore.” That is an important phrase used throughout Scripture. Whenever we come across the word therefore we should immediately stop reading and ask ourselves what that therefore is there for. Remember that! It is an important tool for understanding the context of a Scripture. If it says therefore, find out what that therefore is there for.

In this context, Jesus is telling us that because of all He has already taught on prayer, now He is giving us an example to follow so that we won’t pray like the hypocrites. “Therefore” is there for the proper way to obey Him! We are to pray (“When you pray”), we are to pray obediently, and we are to pray “like this.” By the way, when Jesus says, “Pray like this,” He is not giving us a suggestion! In the Greek grammar this phrase is an imperative. If you remember your English grammar, an imperative is a COMMAND! We must obey this command – He is not saying “pray this”, He is saying “Pray like this” so that He can teach us exactly what He expects.

Notice also that the word for pray can mean “offer prayers.” Have we ever stopped to think that our prayers are an offering to God? We offer Him fellowship when we pray. What did He create us for? Was it not His eternal plan to create us and redeem us for the purpose of fellowship? Offer God what He wants!! Fellowship through prayer!

I would like to close today with a quote from John MacArthur in his commentary on Matthew. He says of this verse, “After warning against those perversions that had so corrupted Jewish prayer life, our Lord now gives a divine pattern by which kingdom citizens can pray in a way that is pleasing to God.” He goes on to say about the next verses we will study, “In fewer than seventy words we find a masterpiece of the infinite mind of God, who alone could compress every conceivable element of true prayer into such a brief and simple form.”

Bible Reading For Further Study
Nehemiah 2:4-8
Daniel 9:4-19
Isaiah 37:15-20
Jeremiah 32:16-25

Recommended Songs for Worship
Sweet Hour of Prayer
I Must Tell Jesus