Saturday, June 18, 2011

Matthew 6: 5-15

Christian Hypocrisy & Public Prayer


Nearly everyone familiar with Christianity is familiar with the “Lord’s Prayer.” It is probably the most famous prayer in the New Testament. As a refresher, it goes like this:

9...“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.

There is some variation in the wording depending on the Bible* used, but the information is the same. What is surprising to a lot of people, including Christians that do not actually read their Bible, is that the most famous prayer has a very specific instructional preface on how and when to conduct this prayer.

5And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others (emphasis added). Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Verses 14 and 15 are somewhat redundant with verse 12, but that is because it is the crux of the prayer. Forgiveness and humility. Something Fundamentalist Christians know nothing of.

More importantly, however, are the Divine instructions to KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!



*I used The New International Version (NIV) from Bible Gateway.com a resource. 

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