Jesus the Great Philosopher

Real Piety: Prayer and Fasting

March 20, 2022 / Josh Sercey

In this week’s sermon on Matthew 6:5-18, Pastor Josh looks at Jesus’s teaching on prayer in his Sermon on the Mount. We see where prayer gets its power, what we should pray for, and how to think through unanswered prayer.

  • Prayer is never about persuasion. Rather, prayer gets its power because of God’s character and goodness.
  • Though God is completely sovereign and free to do what he wants, he has chosen not to do certain things in our life until we ask him for it. 
  • The categories Jesus gives us to pray cover all of life. There is never a prayer that we should hold back. 
  • When prayer goes unanswered, we can go back to who we actually are praying to: a good, loving Father.



  1. Pastor Josh started off by talking about how Christians often treat prayer as if it’s just a fanciful naïveté. We don’t often believe that it “works.” Is this a belief you often fall into? What has contributed to you concluding that about prayer?
  2. There are things God wants to do in your life that he will not do until you ask him for it. This is because he desires relationship with you, rather than just being your spiritual utility. Can you give examples of things you’ve prayed for that came through? Seeing those answered prayers, how did your prayer life grow?
  3. The categories Jesus gives for us to pray about cover all of life. But we often hold our desires back from the Lord, thinking we first have to investigate or purify them. But God is smart enough to know what he should and shouldn’t answer. What experience have you had with this? Are there any prayers that you’re holding back?
  4. Unanswered prayer is painful, but the community can hold those unanswered prayers alongside you. If you’re willing, can you share deep desires and prayers that you’ve seen go unanswered so far? Have the Community Group pray through those and share the burden together.