New Defender's Study Bible Notes
6:7 vain repetitions. This principle could apply both to ritualistic prayers and also to the modern idea of repeating several times the sentiments sung in worship choruses. All prayer—whether verbalized, sung or silent—should come from the heart and be addressed to God, not an audience.
6:9 After this manner. This prayer is not technically “the Lord’s prayer” as it is commonly called, for He never prayed it Himself (note Matthew 6:12). Rather, it serves as a model prayer for His followers. It was not intended as a ritualistic prayer for regular recital, but rather a guide for praying “after this manner.” The Lord Jesus gave many other commands to pray (e.g., Matthew 7:7-11; 9:38; 17:20-21; 18:19-20; 21:21-22; 26:41; Luke 18:1,7; John 14:13-14; 15:7,16; 16:23-24)—all of which give further instruction on the vital subject of how believers should pray.
6:10 Thy kingdom come. Note the principle of beginning our prayers neither with personal thanksgiving or personal requests, but rather of acknowledging our Creator’s purposes for His creation. Focus on God’s will is of primary importance (far more so than our personal needs).
6:11 Thy will. This is the first occurrence of the word “will” in the New Testament, and it is noteworthy that it refers to God’s will—not man’s. The last occurrence is in Revelation 4:11, there translated “pleasure,” but again referring to God’s will.
6:11 daily bread. This is the only occurrence in the New Testament of the Greek word here translated “daily” (except for the same sentence in Luke 11:3), but the Lord does note here that we should ask for our physical needs one day at a time.
6:13 Amen. The remarkable word “amen” closes this model prayer taught by Christ, as well as the Bible itself (Revelation 22:21). Its meaning is “so it will be;” it is thus an expression of faith in God and His promises. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into Greek and then into most other languages, so that it is practically a universal word, especially among Christians in every nation. It is even one of the titles of Christ (Revelation 3:14). In Hebrew it is almost identical with the Hebrew word aman, meaning “believe” or “faithful.” All of God’s promises in Christ “are yea, and in Him Amen” (II Corinthians 1:20).
6:16 when ye fast. There is no commandment in the New Testament requiring fasting and only one in the Old Testament, assuming that the command to “afflict your souls” on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29) refers to fasting. However, voluntary fasting is appropriate on special occasions of great concern or need, provided that the motivation is not just to appear spiritual to other people but to pray more single-mindedly to God.
6:24 serve God and mammon. See notes on Luke 16:8-10.
6:27 taking thought. The phrase “take thought” (Matthew 6:25,27,28,31,34) connotes “take anxious thought”—that is, to worry or be anxious. A believer should not be slothful or imprudent, and certainly not greedy or miserly, but should honor the Lord in all aspects of life, having faith that God will supply his needs (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19).
6:33 kingdom of God. This is the first use of the phrase “the kingdom of God,” which occurs five times in Matthew and frequently in the other gospels. The equivalent term “kingdom of heaven” is used only in Matthew (see note on Matthew 3:2).