How does Jesus teach us how to pray? This is a topic that is highly debated by a lot of sections in the Christian community. It is, therefore, essential to go back to the beginning and study how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. By doing so, we’ll learn how he taught us to pray.
On that note, let’s begin.
How Does Jesus Teach Us to Pray?
If we want to consider how Jesus teaches us to pray, there’s no better place to find out than in the scriptures. The popular scripture for the Lord’s Prayer is Luke 11:1-13. We can also find the prayer in Mark 6:9-15. Both New Testament chapters shed light on the Lord’s Prayer.
Luke begins the passage with Jesus being deep in prayer. As their teacher, the disciples view Jesus Christ as a man of prayer. Therefore, one of the disciples asked Him for instructions on how to pray, and Jesus shared the Lord’s prayer as a model.
On the other hand, Matthew portrays that Jesus shared the prayer during the Sermon on the mount. Our Lord Jesus explained that there is a righteousness from our heavenly Father that exceeds that of the Pharisees. He warned the disciples not to follow hypocrites just to be seen.
Here’s the Lord’s prayer.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thin is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
How Should We Pray According to the Bible?
The Bible has some guidelines about how we should pray. Apart from the model prayer shared by Christ Jesus, below are some tips on how you should pray.
1. Always start with Thanksgiving.
This is what Jesus meant when he began the Lord’s Prayer with Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. All of the prayers that Jesus made had this same hallmark of thanksgiving to God first before making requests.
2. Then Intercede
After worship, we should pray for God’s will to be done on earth. This is known as intercession. It requires us to intercede for others who pray for God’s will to be done in their lives. After the intercessory prayer, you can focus on your own needs.
3 Make your requests
There are different requests you can make unto God. Here is a breakdown of the categories of requests you can make.
a. Ask for what you want.
Now, you should make your requests known to God. Matt. 7:7 makes it clear that we should ask, seek, knock, and we’ll get the answers that we’re looking for. In John 14:14, Jesus told us to ask anything in his name, and he’ll do it. Be sure to ask what you want, in accordance with the will of God for your life.
b. Ask for mercy
Ask God for his mercy and forgiveness. And if you’re asking if it’s okay to ask God for mercy, yes, it is. If you don’t ask your heavenly father for mercy, who will you ask?
c. Ask for the grace
You should ask for grace. Grace to forgive, to live according to his will, to be worthy ambassadors of Christ, etc. Ask for grace for anything you can think of. God’s grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor 12:9).
d. Ask for deliverance
Pray that God will deliver you from troubles, temptations, and the plans of the wicked. If you’re battling with spirits of any kind, you should ask him to deliver you from such spirits.
4. Thank him again.
As you end your prayer, thank God for the honor of talking to him at that moment. The Bible also shares that every prayer should end as you started it, with praise and worship.
Because of moments when we’re unsure what to say or how to pray, Jesus provided a framework through the Lord’s prayer. This way, we can easily fill in the blanks to speak to God.
Don’t forget: Spend time in the presence of God after your prayers. Be still, quiet, and focus on God. In this moment of silence, God may drop a word into your heart. It could be a bible verse or something he wants you to pray about.
Why Did Jesus Teach His Disciples How to Pray
According to the Book of Luke, the Lord’s prayer was due to a request from Jesus’ disciples, who wanted him to teach them how to pray. Jesus’ followers saw him as a rabbi, and rabbis were known to teach their students to pray. Each rabbi had a style that was their trademark.
The disciples know that John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray. Therefore, they took the opportunity to ask Jesus to teach them to pray when he returned from prayer.
The Jewish prayer culture was quite ancient and didn’t have the essence of privacy and intimacy anymore. Prayer had become hypocritical, and believers no longer had that parental connection prayer offers. Therefore, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray to help them reconnect with God’s presence.
Is There a Wrong Way to Pray?
To talk directly with God and build a relationship with Him, the Scriptures ask us to call on our Heavenly Father through prayer actively. Therefore, your faith directly connects with the quality of your prayer life. So, you might wonder if there’s a wrong way to pray. Should you be in a specific position? Is there a way to begin or end the prayers?
When doubt runs through your mind, and you’re wondering if there’s a better way to pray, you should check the Bible. There are many ways to call on God, but there are things that God encourages us not to do.
Below are some things to avoid when praying.
- Don’t pray with worry or anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7)
- Don’t pray without placing trust in God’s will (John 15:7)
- Don’t pray without giving glory to God
- Don’t focus on receiving blessings when you pray
- Don’t pray like you’re reciting a magic formula
- Don’t pray without listening to God’s voice
What Happens When We Don’t Pray?
There are times when we get really distracted and forget to pray. Some people even think prayer is a waste of time and wonder if anything happens when we don’t pray. Failing to pray means you miss out on the benefits of prayers. The following happens when we don’t pray:
- We find ourselves having problems
- Things we need don’t come to us
- We become distant from God
- Our trust becomes misplaced as we put our confidence in ourselves and others
- We begin to act rashly by saying and doing things we regret.
- We miss God’s will for us, and we become blinded by our emotions
- We no longer have direction
- We’re weighed down with stress, anxiety, and fear
- We lose our happiness and peace
How Many Times Does Jesus Talk About Prayer?
Prayer is probably the most important thing followers need to learn. The first command is to love God, and we can do this in prayer. Jesus spent most of His earthly ministry talking about God’s kingdom and prayer. He encouraged his disciples to pray and taught them the Lord’s prayer as a framework. He told them parables about prayers as well.
The Bible records Jesus praying about 25 times while on earth. However, Jesus was recorded speaking about prayer 37 times in the Bible.
Suppose you’re doubtful whether you’re praying the right way or feel stuck in your prayers. Then you should follow the format of the Lord’s Prayer. We also shared how the Bible teaches us to pray to help our prayers feel more complete and focused. By avoiding all the wrong ways to pray, you’d notice your prayer life growing and deepening.