G-d instructing man. The sixth letter corresponding to this chapter is “Vav” which stands for man created on the sixth day.
The following acts “charitable deeds”, “prayer”, and “fasting” are supposed to be forms of worshiping G-d. They are not to be acts of self-righteousness to gain the admiration of others.
Matt 6:1-4 Take heed that you do not your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you have no reward from your Father, which is in heaven. Therefore when you do a charitable deed do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, let not your left hand know what your right hand does: That your charitable deed may be in secret: and your Father which sees in secret Himself will reward you openly.
Hypocrites - the word has its origins in the Greek theater, and described one who wore a mask. In the Brit Hadashah it refers to an unbeliever who is self-deceived.
Many workers feel insulted when their Rabbi, Pastor does not praise their hard work in the nursery, with the children’s bible study, etc. They love to be singled out for recognition by the congregation. Yeshua says they have their reward.
I would rather wait until I see Him face to face and He says: “…Well done, good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your L-rd.” (Matt 25:21)
Matt 6:5-6 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father, which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret will reward you openly.
I have seen in some groups where the people come up and pray one after another into a microphone. Prayer is not to be a show to see how good we are at words. Putting one above another.
I knew a girl who took this verse quite literally. She lived alone and had no distractions. However, she cleaned out a closet and sat in it when she prayed. This is not what the verse is saying: G-d wants our undivided attention when we are talking to Him. Sitting in the living room with the TV playing, etc is distracting. We cannot give Him our full attention. Often when we pray, G-d will bring something to mind. It is a lot harder to hear what He is telling us when we have distractions all around us.
Matt 6:7-8 But when you pray, don’t use vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Do not be like to them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him.
Vav is also the symbol of Completion, Redemption and transformation. The number denotes physical completion.
“vain repetitions” - do not use meaningless repetition (NAS) - do not keep on babbling like pagans (NIV)
G-d doesn’t want to hear the same prayer over and over and over again.
There are a number of religions groups that repeat the same prays over and over. This is boring for the person praying and I don’t think G-d is listening.
G-d wants you to talk to Him. Tell Him your problems, praise Him for who His and thank Him for all He does for you.
After all He is G-d and He is omniscient. He already knows what you need.
Matt 6:9 After this manner therefore pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name.
After this manner - THIS IS A SAMPLE PRAYER. It has all of the components of a good prayer. Yeshua is NOT saying that you MUST say this particular prayer when you pray.
Let’s take a closer look at this sample.
Our - The word “Our” reminds us of the fact that all believers in Yeshua, both Jewish and Gentile are brothers and sisters in Him. We are the children of G-d.
Father - Here we learn that we are to pray to the FATHER. We are to have a personal relationship with Him.
In heaven - Here we see our faith come in. We believe in Him by faith.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that comes to G-d must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
Hallowed be your name - Here we learn an element of our prayer is to be worship.
David knew the value of praise, and appointed 4,000 men to continually praise the L-rd at the temple.
Divrei-HaYamim Alef (1 Chronicles) 23:5 ” … four thousand were gatekeepers, and four thousand praised the L-RD with musical instruments, "which I made," said David, "for giving praise."
Matt 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Your kingdom come - Here we look forward to Yeshua’s second coming and His millennial kingdom being set up. (See Isaiah 2:2-4)
Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven - Here we learn we are to submit to the will of G-d.
Interestingly, “Vav” is the connection between heaven and earth. It indicates the beginning of a new era. It is also a hook and can link words, phrases and books. It can imply continuity between generations.
In Genesis we have the completion of heaven and earth. (Genesis 2:4) The earth will be restored to it’s earlier completion.
We hope for the Completion of the kingdom on earth; We will have heaven on earth. (See Psalm. 103:19-21; Daniel 4:35)
G-d’s presence and glory will be restored to Israel and the earth.
Matt 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
our daily bread - Provide food for today.
We learn from this verse that we are to pray daily.
Matt 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Forgive us our debts - our sins are our debts to G-d. We are to confess our sins.
As we forgive our debtors - we learn compassion. We are to forgive those who have wronged us.
Matt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For yours is the kingdom, and the power (new covenant power), and the glory, forever. Amen.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil - We depend on G-d’s help to resist sin.
G-d never promised to keep us from temptation. He did, however, promise to carry us through it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but G-d is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
For yours is the kingdom, and the power (new covenant power), and the glory, forever. - Here we learn that we are to acknowledge the fact that G-d alone is sovereign over the universe.
David prays a similar prayer in:
Divrei-HaYamim Alef (1 Chronicles) 29:10-13 "Blessed are You, L-RD G-d of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O L-RD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. "Now therefore, our G-d, We thank You And praise Your glorious name. …”
Amen - so let it be.
Matt 6:14-15 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
This is not saying that G-d will with drawl justification from you if you do not forgive others. The shed blood of Yeshua is permanent and complete payment for our sins.
However, believers are to confess their sins in order to obtain a day-to-day cleansing. Failure to confess our sins on a regular basis will affect our relationship with G-d.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Yeshua is telling us that if we are not willing to forgive others who have wronged us, the Father will withhold this daily cleansing in our lives. Our relationship with G-d is affected when our relationship with others is not right.