The Disciples’ Prayer, the Sermon on the Mount, and Matthew

Last Sunday I’ve finally finished a ten-week series on the Disciples’ Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). I don’t know how many of you guys have preached a long series like that, but for me it feels a bit like finishing a long marathon or a long road-trip. I feel exhausted yet excited, edified, equipped, confronted, convicted, corrected, and grateful all at once!

Although I had preached several times through this section of the Sermon on the Mount in the past, I had never took time to really unpack this prayer that our Lord Jesus taught to his disciples until recently. This has been one of the best preaching decisions I’ve made. For some of us that are practitioners of expository preaching, we consider it a joy and incomparable privilege to dig deep and discover the treasures of God’s truth. And we especially enjoy the sanctifying effects it has on us (though not always fun when we are preaching to our own soul). I did not originally plan the series to be a 10-week deal though it can easily be stretched out longer. But I was running out of energy though I drank plenty of Gatorade before each service.

Here’s my preaching outline for the series:

  • An Introduction to the Disciples’ Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
  • The Disciples’ Prayer – Part 1: The Paternity and Personableness of God (Matthew 6:9a)
  • The Disciples’ Prayer – Part 2: The Place and Power of God (Matthew 6:9b)
  • The Disciples’ Prayer – Part 3: The Praise and Purity of God (Matthew 6:9c)
  • The Disciples’ Prayer – Part 4: The Priority and Presence of God (Matthew 6:10a)
  • The Disciples’ Prayer – Part 5: The Purpose of God (Matthew 6:10b)
  • The Disciples’ Prayer – Part 6: The Plans of God (Matthew 6:10c)
  • The Disciples’ Prayer – Part 7: The Provision of God (Matthew 6:11)
  • The Disciples’ Prayer – Part 8: The Pardon of God (Matthew 6:12)
  • The Disciples’ Prayer – Part 9: The Protection of God (Matthew 6:13)

If you want to hear how bad I preached, you can visit our church’s website. I’m sure you’d be encouraged to do a better job.

However, let me offer a helpful tip if you ever decide to preach or teach on this prayer. I suggest you give several months ahead for study and preparation, especially, if you don’t have the luxury to study full-time. You would only get out whatever you put into it. Hence start early. Give enough time to exegete, read, digest, synthesize, pray, self-examination, and for more praying. You can’t give what you don’t have.

In terms of the reading, commentaries on Matthew and the Sermon on the Mount have been helpful, but you’ll find out that you need to seek elsewhere for more light and depth on the Disciples’ Prayer. For me, I’ve sought the Puritans. Let me first list commentaries that I’ve used on Matthew, and then on the Sermon on the Mount, and finally, on the Disciples’ Prayer.

Commentaries on Matthew:

  • Louis A. Barbieri, “Matthew” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, ed. by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Colorado Springs: Cook Communications, 2000)

  • Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes: The Gospels (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996)

  • John Calvin, “Harmony of Matthew, Mark, and Luke,” translated by William Pringle in Calvin’s Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003)

  • D.A. Carson, “Matthew” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 12 volumes, edited by Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984)

  • Jon Courson, Matthew Vol. 1, 1-13 (Jacksonville, Oregon: Tree of Life Publishing, 1993)

  • William Hendriksen, Matthew, NTC (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002)
  • Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1961)

  • John MacArthur, Matthew 1-7 (Chicago: Moody, 1985)

  • William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Nashville: Nelson, 1995)

  • J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, Vol. IV (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983)

  • Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew, PNTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992)

  • Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids: Revell, 1987)

  • Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1989)

Books on the Sermon on the Mount:

  • James Montgomery Boice, The Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972)

  • D.A. Carson, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World (Toronto: Global Christian Publishers, 2001)

  • Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Sermon on the Mount (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1997)

  • D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993)

Books on the Disciples’ Prayer:

  • Terry L. Johnson, When Grace Comes Alive (Ross-shire: Christian Focus, 2005)
  • Alan Redpath, Victorious Praying: Studies in the Lord’s Prayer (Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1993)

  • Thomas Watson, The Lord’s Prayer (Edinburg: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1999)

Helpful Books on Prayer:

  • D.A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academics, 1992)
  • Bryan Chapell, Praying Backwards (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005)

Online books:


3 thoughts on “The Disciples’ Prayer, the Sermon on the Mount, and Matthew

  1. I didn’t know Pink’s sermons were online. That’s pretty sweet. I found his Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount and Lloyd-Jones’ extremely helpful when I preached through the disciples’ prayer back in 2000.

    What, if anything, did you do with the “for thine is the kingdom …”?

  2. Gunny,

    Good question. I didn’t go into all the textual issue other than to state that it is not found in best of the manuscripts, but did give a reason why it is included. I also said that if I had to include it as part of the prayer, then I would refer to it as “The Preeminence of God.”

  3. This section of scripture is really a good place to start in regards to a foundation of how to pray. Praying can be done not using this ‘context’ or ‘script’ if you will, but I think that understanding this prayer really helps in my prayer life.

    I may have to visit your church’s website to hear for myself.

    Thank you for being humble enough to even post it and make it available dispite your confidence level. With you heart being in the place it seems to be (as discerned from reading your blog) I am sure that God will use it to bless many people within your congregation.

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