Think Biblically!

Jesus and Prayer

Jesus provided several key teachings and instructions on prayer, which are recorded in the New Testament. These teachings offer guidance on the attitude, content, and approach believers should have towards prayer. Here are some of the central instructions Jesus gave about prayer:

The Lord's Prayer: In Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4, Jesus provides a model for prayer that is known as the Lord's Prayer. This prayer serves as a template for addressing God, acknowledging His holiness, submitting to His will, requesting daily provision, seeking forgiveness, and asking for deliverance from temptation.

Pray in Secret: In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:5-6), Jesus instructs His followers to pray in private rather than seeking attention by praying publicly. The emphasis is on a genuine, personal relationship with God rather than displaying piety for others to see.

Persistent Prayer: In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus tells the parable of the persistent widow to illustrate that believers should always pray and not give up. This teaches persistence in prayer, encouraging believers to continually seek God with their requests.

Praying with Faith: Jesus often emphasized the importance of faith in prayer. For example, in Mark 11:24, He says, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." This underscores the need for faith in the effectiveness of prayer.

Praying for Enemies: In Matthew 5:44, Jesus instructs His followers to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. This was a radical teaching at the time, emphasizing love and prayer even for those who oppose or harm us.

Avoid Repetitive Babbling: In Matthew 6:7-8, Jesus warns against using many words and repeating phrases mindlessly in prayer, as the pagans do, thinking they will be heard for their many words. He teaches that God already knows the needs of His children before they ask.

Praying in Jesus’ Name: In John 14:13-14, Jesus tells His disciples to ask for anything in His name, and it will be granted. Praying in Jesus' name signifies praying in alignment with His character and will.

The Importance of Forgiveness: In Mark 11:25, Jesus instructs that when standing praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. This highlights the importance of a forgiving heart as a prerequisite for effective prayer.

These teachings of Jesus on prayer not only provide instructions on how to pray but also reveal the heart of a prayerful relationship with God. They emphasize sincerity, faith, persistence, and alignment with God's will, as well as the importance of a right attitude towards others, including forgiveness and love.