Devotions for July 3, 2017

MATTHEW 6:1-8

Teaching about Giving to the Needy
6 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Teaching about Prayer and Fasting
5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

THE HEART OF PRAYER

We often project a polished version of ourselves online and in-person, while God knows all along the true intentions of our hearts. Thankfully, prayer is communion with our loving Father, a place deserving humility and genuineness.

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Q: Why does God not want us to make a public show of our prayers and good deeds? What truly pleases God instead?

Q: When no one else is listening, how would you describe your prayers toward God? Do you feel like you are completely open with God, reverencing Him with worship and humility?

Q: Why are Christ-like prayer habits essential to your daily life and testimony to others?

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