Matthew 6:5-15 Prayer

Welcome back the group and acknowledge any new members. Share with them that the purpose of the group is to help people discover more about God and how He relates to their lives. Explain that anyone is welcome, and if they have other friends that they would like to invite to join, they are welcome.

Care

Begin the session by asking:

· What are you thankful for this week?

· What are you struggling with and how can we help?

Spend time praying for their concerns

Accountability

· How did you apply the lesson from last week? How did it go for you?

· Who did you share the story with, and what was their response?

Story: Matthew 6:5-15

Relate the Purpose: Know how not to pray and how to pray

Relate the Background: Early in Jesus’ ministry he began to teach in the synagogues of Galilee and heal every disease and sickness and the demon-possessed. His fame spread all around and large crowds followed him. One time when he saw the crowds he went up on a mountainside and taught, giving what has been called the Sermon on the Mount, the most famous sermon ever given. As part of that sermon he taught on prayer: what true prayer is and what it is not. Let us hear what he taught.

Read the Story: Either the facilitator or members of the group can read. Read it once with Bibles open with the members following along, and once with Bibles closed.

Matthew 6:5-15

5 When you pray, don’t be like those show-offs who love to stand up and pray in the meeting places and on the street corners. They do this just to look good. I can assure you that they already have their reward.

6 When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you.

7 When you pray, don’t talk on and on as people do who don’t know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers. 8 Don’t be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask.

9 You should pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
help us to honor
your name.
10 Come and set up
your kingdom,
so that everyone on earth
will obey you,
as you are obeyed
in heaven.
11 Give us our food for today.
12 Forgive us for doing wrong,
as we forgive others.
13 Keep us from being tempted
and protect us from evil.

14 If you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Retell the Story: Have a group member retell the story in their own words. If they miss parts or misunderstand, ask the rest of the group to help them, or fill in what they have forgotten.

Ask Questions for discussion and clarification: These are sample questions you might use for this story. Also use your own. Let their answers to your questions do the teaching.

Application

What is your “I will _____________”for this lesson?

Who will you share this story with?

Summarize the Session: (Relate to Purpose)

Prayer is to be a vital part of developing a close relationship with God. Prayer is talking to God, communicating with him, asking him for things vital to both our physical and spiritual lives. It reflects our dependence on Him. But we are not to make it a show or simply a ritual. Each of us should make prayer a vital part of our lives.

Close in Prayer:

Pray that God will help each of us to make prayer a vital part of each of our lives, helping us guard against improper use of prayer.

Set the time and place for the next meeting, and remind them to feel free to invite others to join the group.