[This sermon is one of a series entitled “Sermon on the Mount, Concentrating on the Beatitudes,” which is being preached on Sunday mornings by Pastor Tim Senter.]
We know the truth. We begin living the truth. As the truth of God shines from us like the lighthouse beacon, people find us. We try to show them the rocky reefs.
Looking intently at verse 7 last week, we discovered a great many things. Probably the most prominent lesson is that faith produces different prayers than the prayers of unbelief. Faith also assures that God hears prayer. The prayers of an unbeliever or those without faith in their prayer become rather repetitious as though God did not hear the first time. The believer who is bringing prayers to the Lord in full faith of their answer will bring different prayers to the Lord as their heart changes. A believing heart bends and desires the will of God more and more as it is sanctified. The effect on the soul is quite amazing to witness as one shuns selfishness while the spirit is molded to become humble. The effect of prayer on the heart results from the righteousness of God in contact with that submitted heart. As the bereft spirit of man gains humility by seeking God’s righteousness, it develops a meek and gentle response to life. This submitted heart is purified in faithful prayer and becomes peace-loving as it grows in Christ. The Christian knows Christlike-ness and purity, righteousness and submission enrage Satan and his demons. We also know that these evil beings will attack and use unbelievers to relentlessly torment believers. Being maligned for Christ’s sake is a blessing (Matt 5:11). Further, suffering for Christ is a great joy for the Christian (James 1:2-3). The question for verse seven then is, “How can an individual growing in the Beatitudes pray using meaningless repetition?” The Christian knows God hears their prayer. They never presume He is ignorant of their needs, or that He might ignore their prayer. Christians know that it is the quality of time in prayer with God, not the quantity of one-way licentious and self-indulgent communication to God. The Christian knows the more we pray about nothing, the more nothing is heard.
In the weeks following, we will concentrate on a section of scripture well known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” All we have learned to this point is preparation for what is to come in chapter six, verses nine through thirteen. Let us continue our preparation for our Lord’s teaching.
Look at Matthew 6 and verse 8 please. Natural man (1 Cor 2:14) prays to God with a very surface or superficial attitude. The natural man claims sincerity, but if he were sincere, he would first ask God what He wanted in prayer. The natural man is simply not that willing to submit to, seek to obey or open himself up to God. We all have our walls, our barriers so to speak. We do not really want God to get beyond those barriers. In fact we often stack more things in front of it to barricade the entrance and keep Him out. We barely let the people around us in; why would we permit a perfect God access? Continue reading