Lord, Teach Us to Pray – A Guide to Prayer Taught by Jesus

Lord, Teach Us to Pray


Luke, the physician and author, presents his readers with an account of Jesus’ times of prayer in the first of his two-part volume describing the life and ministry of Jesus. In Luke 11, concluding a time of heavenly communion with the Father, Jesus is surrounded by His disciples when one dared to ask, “Teach us to pray (!)”

These men had been in the company of the Messiah, heard Him preach and teach with authority, and witnessed the restorative healing of the sick and righteous dominion over demonic forces. Such power exerted from the Son of God should bare many questions, yet the pertinent request on their minds in the moment was: teach us to pray.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Matthew 6:7- 13

There is much to glean from this passage, a prescription for prayer when one lacks words. We see that Jesus addresses the request of the disciple with an answer that pierces the soul.

Our Father creates access to a personal relationship with God—so powerful that he makes clear our adoption as sons and daughters in Him. The Invisible One who has gone before us is taking care of us and to Him we say, Hallowed be your name. Reverence for GOD establishes the posture and attitude of the worshipper’s heart. We must clothe ourselves with humility as we laud the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Your Kingdom come, your will be done. May God’s purpose be advanced on the earth as it has been predestined in Heaven. May righteousness rule and authority bring peace to a volatile and violent world that has fallen prey to sin.

With open hearts and outstretched hands looking towards what is to come, may we be recipients and agents of His grace and mercy.

–> May God soften our hearts to hear and respond. Let us seek to die to our vain pursuits as we purpose to live for His.

–> May God purge and prepare us and work on us as we do the work that He has prepared in advance for us to do.

–> Give us this day our daily bread.

–> Let all resources that have been entrusted in our care meet our need and the needs of others.

–> May our success and pain continually reveal the idols of our hearts so we can cast them down and place Christ on the throne where He belongs.

–> Forgive us of our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. May our hearts be still and bring to mind each and every one that has sinned against us that we may forgive them as Jesus has so surely forgiven us.

–> May God search our hearts and reveal if there is any wickedness, any blind spots that His spirit is unable to shine through. Again remind us that forgiveness requires godly humility.

–> Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. As we continue to draw near to God, may we resist the conniving tactics of the evil one. We know that it is not in God’s character to tempt his people, but provide for them an escape route.

We are assured that the testing of our faith produces perseverance that procures completion in Christ where we lack nothing…. AMEN! <== TWEET THAT

I encourage you to use this model to pray as Jesus did. Approach His throne humbly yet boldly, honestly, and fervently with GREAT faith. Still your spirit and listen for His response. Then do what He has commanded because your FATHER knows what you need.

The original version of this article 1st appeared in The Summer Edition 2012 of The Ivy League Christian Observer published by Christian Union.

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  • Danielle K

    Great and inspiring post. I often lack words sometimes when it comes to prayer so this gave me a lot to think about.

  • Hannah Diane

    This is great! Thank you for such a good post!

  • Lauren Akin

    This is a,beautiful and inspiring post. I have also,shared it in hopes that it will reach many others. Thank you

  • MJ

    Kim, this post is so on time for me. Sometimes I sit in silence when I am lost for words during prayer. Sometimes I’m scared to ask God for his covering and guidance. Thank you for sharing.

  • My friends and I were just discussing prayer the other day so I am definitely sharing this. Praying can sometimes seems so hard when you fall out of practice, but it really doesn’t have to be. These are all great pointers. Thank you & God bless you! =)

  • Coralie Scott

    Sometimes when I collect myself in prayer- rather than use words, I visualize in my mind’s eye opening my heart much like I would open a suitcase and then simply asking God to help me hear what he needs me to hear. Sometimes the best is when we circle back to the fundamentals.

  • sierra

    I am new to your blog and your post are very inspirational Love that I found it!

  • Caroline Barnes

    Praying is really important and I want to teach my kids that. Sometimes just closing your eyes to pray for a minute can help a lot in your day.

  • Nikki @ www.MBAsahm.com

    Great post 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Debra Needles

    I just need to learn to be less busy!!! That is my biggest reason for procrastinating prayer.

  • Stacy&Eric Anastasia Vintage

    Wonderful post. The sermon at my church yesterday was also about prayer, so this is very timely 🙂

  • SO great and refreshing to read!

  • dreammua

    Great read. I can’t make it through a day let alone an hour without praying to Jehovah God.

  • Aisha Leuthardt

    I love this post… I will tweet that! It’s amazing how over time I have really learned how to pray and speak to the Lord in the way Jesus did. Thanks for this 🙂