Jesus Teaches Us How to Pray
Christ kept in close personal contact with His Father in heaven.
Consequently, Jesus' life was rilled with love, faith and power from
God. His frequent and fervent prayers made possible His victory over
sin and death.
Jesus' disciples were aware that their teacher
knew how to draw close to the eternal God and call upon His help in
every situation. So one of them asked Jesus to teach them how to pray
(Luke 11:1). Jesus' instructions are preserved for us today in
Luke I 1 and Matthew 6.
Let's study our Savior's inspired guide to meaningful and effective prayer.
Did Jesus begin by telling His disciples to repeat His sample prayer
over and over, or were they to pray in a similar way — "*in this
manner'"' Matthew 6:9. Hadn't He previously told them not to repeat the
same prayer'.' Verse 7.
that Jesus did not call this the "Lord's Prayer" as many do today, or
in any way encourage His disciples to memorize this particular prayer
and repeat it when they prayed. He had just forbidden them to do that.
Jesus was simply outlining the correct approach to God in prayer and
the basic things we should ask for.2. Notice how Jesus began His sample prayer. To whom did He say we should pray? Verse 9.
came to reveal the Father to mankind (John 1:18), and He always
addressed the Father in His prayers. This Father-child relationship is
also open to all o( us. Such a private relationship with our heavenly
Father should be as real and intimate as the physical relationships we
ideally should have with our human fathers or children.3. Where did Jesus say the Father lives' Matthew 6:9.
said that our Father is in heaven. When you address the Father in your
private prayers, realize that you are having a personal audience with
the supreme ruler of the universe. Most people would treasure a private
audience with one of this world's rulers. Think how infinitely greater
is our privilege of coming to the throne room of the universe, to talk
with the Ruler over all at any time, day or night!4. Should we "hallow," or honor, the Father's name when we pray to Him? Matthew 6:9, last part.
we begin our prayers, we should not only address and think of God as
our Father, but also honor and praise His name and His office as
Creator and Ruler, as well as His character of unselfish love, great
goodness and generosity.5. How did Jesus continue His sample prayer? Matthew 6:10, first sentence.
God's name and all that it stands for
is to be held in absolute reverence. Our deep respect and awe for our
heavenly Father should be total. Addressing God in an attitude of
praise, worship and adoration (see Psalms 18:1-J and 104:33) focuses
our attention on the greatness of the being to whom we are praying.
section of Jesus' prayer outline is perhaps the most overlooked and
misunderstood of' all. Praying "Your Kingdom come" is asking for and
looking forward to the time when God's government will be established
on this earth through the return of Jesus Christ as "King of kings and
Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:16). It is earnestly desiring the time
when real and lasting peace will be ushered in and all mankind will
know and follow God's way (Isaiah 11:9).
of injustice, starvation and war, there will be peace, happiness and
great prosperity in the world tomorrow. It will be the prophesied time
of the "restoration of all things" (Acts 3:19-21) under the government
of God, when the Ten Commandments will be the standard for daily life
everywhere.6. But before God's Kingdom can come,
did Jesus say that the advance news of its coming must be proclaimed as
a "witness to all the nations""' Matthew 24:14.
who have their hearts in the end-time work of God are praying daily
that the broadcasting and publishing o( this really good news to the
world by God's Church today will expand in ever increasing power and
authority. Only after this work is done will God's Kingdom come.7. What did Jesus say in the second part o( Matthew 6:10?
this section of our prayers, we should ask God to help us understand
and do His will. We need to ask God to help us study and understand the
foundation of all knowledge, the Holy Bible, which reveals what we are.
why we were born and how to achieve His awesome purpose for our lives.
We also need God's help, inspiration and guidance in expressing His
love, joy, warmth and affection to all those with whom we come in
contact. Ask Him to help you be patient and gentle. Ask for meekness,
humility and the power of self-control over your temper, weaknesses and
What is the next request of Jesus' sample prayer'? Matthew 6:1 1. Can
we ask this in confidence if we are seeking, as our highest priority.
God's Kingdom and His righteousness'1 Verse 33 and I John 3:22.
Ask God for the living faith of Jesus Christ, which will
allow you to believe and trust God totally — to know that His way and
His law are right, and that He stands behind and backs up His will. His
laws and His promises to those who serve Him.
not put first, this request is certainly necessary. We can confidently
ask God to supply our physical daily needs, such as food. clothing and
shelter, as long as we are seeking first the Kingdom of God and keeping
His commandments. In your personal requests you can detail your needs
and ask God to guide you to do your part. God knows of these needs even
before we ask Him (Matthew 6:8). However, He has not promised to
automatically supply what we do not ask for. God wants us to never
forget that He is the ultimate supplier of everything we have.9. Is our "daily bread" dual? Matthew 4:4. Who did Jesus say is the spiritual "bread of life'"7 John 6:35.
addition to physical food, we need spiritual nourishment. This is
obtained by studying the Bible daily to learn the mind of Jesus Christ.
We should ask God daily for the spiritual understanding of His words of
eternal life and the strength to live by them.
10. Are we also to ask forgiveness of our sins'1 Matthew 6:12. ("Debts" would have been better translated "sins.")
of us sin daily by breaking God's commandments in one way or another.
We need to recognize and repent of our sins, then ask our loving and
merciful Father to forgive us (Psalm 86:5). Remember to ask that "our,"
not "my," sins be forgiven. Learn to be concerned for other people by
having godly love and compassion for them as well.11. Should we also be forgiving toward others'1 Matthew 6:12. 14-15. Also notice the principle in Matthew 5:23-24.
that God will forgive us only if we are willing to forgive others. If
you cannot first rid yourself of feelings of bitterness, resentfulness
or hatred toward others, then ask God to clean up your mind by
replacing the spirit of hate with His Spirit of love so that your
prayers will not be hindered.12. What is the last
request of Jesus" sample prayer? Matthew 6:13, first sentence. But
doesn't the Bible elsewhere state that God does not tempt
anyone? James 1:13. Is it rather the devil and his demons who are
stalking us. watching for a chance to tempt and even destroy us?
Ephesians 6:12 and I Peter 5:8.
statement in Matthew 6:13 is better translated: "Bring us not into sore
trial, but deliver us from the evil one [Satan]." God tempts no one.
but He does sometimes permit us to fall into trials and troubles of our
own or Satan's devising in order to test us.
should pray daily and earnestly that God would not permit us to be
brought into any severe trial or temptation, as He promises in I
Corinthians 10:13. We should also ask that He would give us the
spiritual help to recognize sinful thoughts and temptations, to reject
them and to do His will.13. Before
closing our prayers, in whose name should we acknowledge that we are
praying? John 16:23, second sentence.
our requests should be made in Jesus Christ's name. We can rightfully
ask the Father for things "in Jesus' name" when we know it is His will
— that Jesus Christ's authority stands behind our requests.14. How did Jesus say we should close our prayers to the Father? Matthew 6:13, last part.
Jesus' inspired outline of prayer begins with praise and adoration of
our heavenly Father, so does it close. This reminds us once again to
whom we are praying and of the character and office of the true God who
rules over His vast creation.Finally, as Jesus shows, we
are to affirm the content of our prayer — that we really mean it — by
concluding with "Amen." The word amen simply means "be it