Prayer That Pleases God

(Matthew 6:5-15)


A. A wonderful privilege enjoyed by the children of God is

1. Through prayer we can receive mercy and grace to help in
time of need – Hebrews 4:14-16

2. Through prayer we can find peace that guards our hearts
and mind – Philippians 4:6-7

B. But the privilege of prayer assumes God will heed our

1. Not all prayers are acceptable to God – Proverbs 28:9

2. Indeed, God does not hear the prayers of all men

a. Isaiah 59: 1-2

b. 1 Peter 3:12

3. Jesus described the prayer of one man which did not
please God – Luke 18:9-14

C. Do we know what qualifies as “Prayer That Pleases

1. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus had much to say about

2. Especially the kind of prayer which finds favor in God’s

D. In this study, let’s take a look at Matthew 6:5-15, where
Jesus taught His disciples regarding prayer. First, we find
Jesus telling us…



1. Matthew 6:5

2. Do not pray like the hypocrites

a. Who love to pray standing in the synagogues or on the
corners of the streets

b. This they do “that they may be seen of men”

3. “They have their reward”

a. That is, they are indeed seen by men

b. But that is the extent of their reward (the praise of men)

c. They have no reward or blessing from God!

4. Jesus is not condemning all public prayer

a. Evident from the fact that He Himself prayed in

1) Matthew 11:25

2) John 11:41

b. As did Paul – Acts 27:35

5. The emphasis is the same as stated in Matthew 6:1, “do
not do your deeds of righteousness before men, to be seen
by them.”

6. How, then, are we to pray as to be heard by God?


1. Offered to be seen of God – not men – Matthew 6:6

a. This is the main idea of “praying in secret”

b. “The sincere and humble worshiper, one who is not
interested in making a public display for the sake of
enhancing his prestige, will find the secluded nook or
den to be most appropriate for his devotions.”

c. The person who prays much in secret is praying to be
seen of God, not men!

2. Offered to be heard of God – not men  – Matthew 6:7

a. We must avoid the use of “vain repetitions”

1) As was often practiced by the heathen religions

2) “The heathen tried to tire out their gods with such
endless prayers. Mere formulas were repeated over
and over again; the Jews had such prayer formulas,
Catholics also have them in the form of their
rosary.” (Lenski)

b. This is not condemning all repetition, but
“vain” (insincere, useless) repetition

1) Jesus repeated Himself in prayer at Gethsemane
(Mt. 26: 36-44)

2) Paul repeated his requests concerning his “thorn in the
flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7-8)

c. Since “your Father knows the things you have need
of before you ask Him,” prayers to be heard by God
do not have to be filled with superfluous words

1) Have you ever noted the brevity of prayers recorded in
the Scriptures?

2) God is not swayed the by quantity of words, but by
the quality of the heart!

3. Offered according to the pattern – Matthew 6:9a

a. The phrase “after this manner” suggests that this

1) Is a pattern for praying

2) Not a “bottled prayer” as sometimes practiced

b. The pattern of proper prayer:

1) First, simplicity

a) Notice the word “therefore” (v. 8) – It connects what
follows with what was said before

b) Jesus’ pattern for prayer is an “illustration” in
contrast to the “many words” used by the heathen

C) In the prayer itself, note the brevity of words

2) Then, in its content, proper prayer includes…

a) Reverence for God and His “Name” (i.e., His being
and character) – Matthew 6:9

b) Prayer for the progress of God’s Kingdom and His
Will on the earth – Matthew 6:10

c) Asking for physical necessities – Matthew 6:11

d) Also, our spiritual needs

– Forgiveness of sins – Matthew 6:12

– Protection and deliverance from evil – Matthew

e) Praising God – Matthew 6:13b


4. Offered with a merciful spirit

a. This indicated in the pattern prayer itself – Matthew
6:12, 14-15

b. Otherwise, we cannot expect mercy for ourselves

1) Matthew 18:21-23

2) James 2:13

c. Prayer must be very important to Jesus – as is seen in the
detail He gives


A. This is not the only occasion in which Jesus taught on

1. Later, His disciples would ask Him to teach them to pray
(Lk 11: 1-4)

2. He taught them about the importance of persistence, faith
and humility in prayer (Lk 11:5-13; 18:1-14)

B. But in this sermon Jesus sought to stress prayer that is

1. To be seen by God, not man

2. To be heard by God, not man

3. Who knows better what kind of prayer that is, than He
who now sits at the right hand of God!

C. If we believe that God hears prayer (Psa 65:2) and that
He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb.
11:6), then let’s be sure we offer the kind of “Prayer That
Pleases God”


About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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