The only thing the disciples asked Jesus to teach them was how to pray.
“Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1 NLT)
And this is how Jesus replied:
“This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.” (Luke 11:1-4 NLT)
There’s much to learn from the passage above referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer” as well from what Jesus Himself demonstrated.
12 STEPS TO PRAYING LIKE JESUS
Begin prayer with Praise and worship
“Father, may your name be kept holy.” (Luke 11:2)
In considering why we should praise and worship, we begin to list His attributes and wonderful works: He is great (Psalm 145:3), full of glory (Psalm 138:5), wise and powerful (Daniel 2:20), good (Psalm 107:8), merciful and faithful (Psalm 89:1), One who saves us (Psalm 18:46), keeps His promises (1 Kings 8:56), pardons our sins (Psalm 103:1-3), and so much more!
Pray for God’s will
“May your kingdom come soon.” (Luke 11:2)
Jesus prayed for God’s will: “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Pray our Petitions (requests)
“Give us each day the food we need.” (Luke 1:3)
God is a loving Father that wants to answer the prayers of His children. Unlike our earthly parents, God knows everything, is good and only does good (Psalm 119:68).
Pray confessions asking for forgiveness
“…and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” (Luke 11:4)
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1John 1:9 NLT)
Sin is what stands between us and the Father blocking our prayers. But through Jesus we may come boldly to the throne of God (Hebrews 4:16).
Pray protection from ourselves and from the devil (Spiritual Warfare)
“And don’t let us yield to temptation.” (Luke 11:4 NLT)
We will be tempted by our own sinful desires and the devil.
“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NLT)
God gives His followers heavenly weapons to fight temptations and the devil (See: Ephesians 6:10-18, 2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
Pray for others and with others
Jesus prayed for others: “One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.” (Matthew 19:13 NLT)
Jesus prayed with others: “About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray.” (Luke 9:28 NLT)
Jesus prayed alone: “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” (Luke 5:16 NLT)
Jesus prayed often: The passage above from Luke states that Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
It’s important to establish a daily time of uninterrupted prayer.
Pray Fervently (heartfelt)
Jesus’ prayers were heartfelt: This is demonstrated clearly in John 17 where Jesus prays for Himself, His disciples, and all believers (at that time and to come).
Pray with Persistence
“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” (Luke 18:1 NLT)
Pray with thanksgiving
Jesus prayed with thanksgiving: “And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it…” (Matthew 26:27 NLT)
It’s important to thank the Lord for who He is and what He does for us.
Pray scripture back to God
Jesus prayed scripture: When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (as stated in Matthew 4:4), He said, “No! The scriptures say,…”
We can pray scripture back to God as well.
Here’s how: Take a particular passage and put it in first person. For example, Psalm 23:1 reads like this:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.”
You would pray: Thank you, Lord for being my shepherd and taking care of my needs.
WE MUST ACCEPT OUR NEED TO PRAY: Consider how much Jesus depended on prayer. Jesus prayed not only to set an example, but also to teach us that even the Son of God needed to be connected to His Father through prayer.
WE MUST ADMIT OUR NEED TO LEARN: The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Prayer is not a formula or secret code, but one heart talking to another. The best way to learn is to just do it!
PRAYER IS NOT A FORMULA OR SECRET CODE, BUT ONE HEART TALKING TO ANOTHER.
— Beckie Lindsey (@BeckieLindsey_) October 26, 2015
Why not start now?
PRAYER: Father God, you are good and all that you do is good. I’m asking You now, as the disciples asked Jesus, to teach me to pray. Please help me establish a daily time to spend with You in prayer, praise, worship and reading Your word. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen!
Thank you so much for this post! In Bible study this morning a friend asked for prayer for her small group in which some were struggling with prayer. I’m going to share this with them. They’re discouraged by God not answering their prayers and think maybe it just doesn’t matter if they pray or not. As you so beautifully pointed out, Jesus was fully devoted to prayer. If God is going to answer anyone’s prayers, it’s going to be His, and look what His prayers got Him — crucified on the cross. So glad He was willing to pray God’s will so that He would indeed be crucified so that we could now bring our prayers to our heavenly Father and to know that Jesus is right now in heaven interceding for us. Thanks for encouraging us to pray and for these great 12 steps. Blessings!! Jean
Jean, Thanks so much for your encouraging words. I’m truly humbled and honored that the Lord would use anything that I have posted. Please let your group know that I will be praying for them! The theme this month has been prayer, perhaps look at the other posts as well. Take a look at “The Prayer Couch.” http://beckielindsey16.com/2015/10/05/the-prayer-couch Blessings to you and yours!
I love this post! i like having 12 steps or focus points. Sometimes our prayers can be a bit repetitive and it helps to refocus our minds. I remember going through periods when I felt my prayers were unheard. In those periods it helped me to remind myself of God’s characteristics (e.g. Faithfulness) and acknowledge that during prayer. It’s amazing how the doubt melted away. 🙂
Elihu, I agree with you. It helps me to have focus points as well to keep my mind on track. Otherwise I tend to wander onto things like what I need to do that day or my grocery list etc.
Thank you for sharing. Truly made my day. Look forward to reading more. God bless you.
I’m blessed to hear it was helpful. There are other posts on prayer and more to come. Thanks for commenting!