Read the Passage (NRSV)    Find more resources related to this passage  Print

Matthew 6:1-18 – True Fasting and Prayer

Summary

True fasting and prayer is done not for the purpose of outward show but draws the person of prayer into a deeper relationship with God that will express harmony with God's blessings and with God's intention to forgive.

Analysis

The righteousness of the kingdom is reflected in a piety that is expressed not for external show and reward, but rests in the confidence that God stands ready to give even before the request is made. The Lord's Prayer stands as a model of the piety of the kingdom. In this prayer we are invited into an awareness of the kingdom that knows its coming as an answer to prayer, acknowledges the daily gifts of God for life, and seeks to have one's own life mirror the blessing of God in forgiving love for the other.

Matthew 6:1-18

Concerning Almsgiving

6‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 ‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.*

Concerning Prayer

5 ‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.*

7 ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 ‘Pray then in this way:
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 this day our daily bread.*
12   And forgive us our debts,
     as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13   And do not bring us to the time of trial,*
     but rescue us from the evil one.*
14For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Concerning Fasting

16 ‘And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.*

oremus Bible Browser
biblemail@oremus.org
v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

Related Passages