Prayer – Matthew 6:5-18 – Sermon Notes

There is a chasm between us and God but the gospel is good news. Jesus bridges that gap. We can be forgiven and become friends with God.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.”

All relationships are costly. Following Jesus is costly. Real relationships are worth the cost. Following Jesus is about a relationship with the God of the whole earth and is always worth the cost.

Fast because you depend on Jesus

We should fast and pray. Fasting is choosing to go without something. Is it something that we don’t really do? The New Testament assumes that we fast. The Bible talks about fasting as a way of deepening your relationship with God. Jesus says “when you fast”, not “if you fast”. He says to do it in secret, and it doesn’t have to be food. Do I really depend on Jesus for all my life?

Fast to train yourself

If you can fast and resist the temptation, you are disciplining yourself to say no.

Fast so that you can pray

The point of fasting is so that instead of eating (or whatever it is), you use the time to pray. Praying is talking to God. All Christians should pray.

Pray because you love Jesus

We pray because we love Jesus. We don’t have to worry about the right words to say. There are examples of how to pray, but we can talk to God in any way we wish. If we never talk to God what does that say about our relationship with him?

Pray because you need Jesus

We think we can get through the day on our own. The way we live and the way we pray can show that we don’t need Jesus. We can pray for others, but secretly think we don’t need Jesus’ help ourselves.

Pray because you trust Jesus

Do you believe that God’s will for your life is better than yours? If we’re praying “your will be done” maybe Jesus will change you. We might begin to realise that where we are is God’s will. Jesus knows what he’s doing. He went to the hardest place to rescue us. Make praying a daily pattern, such as your routine (walking for example). Pray and fast even when you don’t want to. We need to talk to Jesus even when it’s hard. Whatever it is that stops you from talking to God, don’t let it.

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