38 Jesus teaches about prayer.

Matthew 6:1–8, 14–18

One of the greatest drives of humankind is to be loved and appreciated. What is our potential loss when we seek to be admired by others (Matthew 6:1–4)?

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How should we feel when people don’t even say thank you for our benevolence (Matthew 6:1–4)?

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When people praise us, what should our response be (Matthew 6:1–4)?

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What is a “hypocritical prayer” (Matthew 6:5)?

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How might private prayer be better than public prayer (Matthew 6:6)?

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What does it matter how many are praying, what words we use, or how much we strain to believe (Matthew 6:7)?

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When we pray and receive no answer, should we keep praying (Matthew 6:7)? Why?

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If God already knows our needs, what importance might there be in asking (Matthew 6:8)?

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If we have wronged others, how important is it to ask forgiveness (Matthew 6:14–15)?

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Why is it important that we forgive those who have wronged us (Matthew 6:14–15)?

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Be careful not to do your good deeds publicly so others will admire you. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven. When you give to the needy, do not call attention to yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets. They want people to praise them. Without a doubt, they have received all the reward they will ever get. Instead, when you help someone, do it quietly, without fanfare. Then your Father will see what you have done in secret and will reward you.

Eyewitness

Matthew 6:1–4 “Be careful not to do your good deeds publicly so others will admire you. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven. When you give to the needy, do not call attention to yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets. They want people to praise them. Without a doubt, they have received all the reward they will ever get. Instead, when you help someone, do it quietly, without fanfare. Then your Father will see what you have done in secret and will reward you
King James

Matthew 6:1–4 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

“Do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so people will see them. I assure you, they already have their reward. Go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father without being seen. Then your Father will see what you have done in secret and will reward you.

Eyewitness

Matthew 6:5–6 “Do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so people will see them. I assure you, they already have their reward. Go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father without being seen. Then your Father will see what you have done in secret and will reward you.
King James

Matthew 6:5–6 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 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.

“When you pray, do not repeat empty words like the pagans, who think they will be heard because of their incessant babbling. Do not be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask.

Eyewitness

Matthew 6:7–8 “When you pray, do not repeat empty words like the pagans, who think they will be heard because of their incessant babbling. Do not be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask.
King James

Matthew 6:7–8 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

“If you forgive others for the wrongs they have done, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive them, he will not forgive you.

Eyewitness

Matthew 6:14–15 “If you forgive others for the wrongs they have done, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive them, he will not forgive you.
King James

Matthew 6:14–15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

“Do not make your fasting obvious like the hypocrites, who look hungry and miserable so people will admire them for their sacrifice. I am telling you, they have received their reward. Instead, comb your hair and wash your face so no one will know. Your Father will see what was done in secret and will reward you.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 6:16–18 “Do not make your fasting obvious like the hypocrites, who look hungry and miserable so people will admire them for their sacrifice. I am telling you, they have received their reward. Instead, comb your hair and wash your face so no one will know. Your Father will see what was done in secret and will reward you.”
King James

Matthew 6:16–18 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.