With today being the National Day of Prayer; I thought I would talk a little bit about praying as Jesus taught.
A really good quote I once heard goes like this: “We don’t pray to tell God what to do; we pray so God can tell us what to do” <– Tweet that.
The quote got me to thinking about prayer and how Jesus prayed, so then I decided to look up just what he told his disciples about prayer.
Praying as Jesus Taught:
He taught us to pray for our enemies. Matt 5:44 Pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you. And on the cross he left us a great example by praying the father would forgive them, because they didn’t know what they were doing. (Luke 23:34) Forgiveness in prayer.
He taught us to pray against temptation. Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation, for the spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. And again he left us an example. Asking that if God was willing, this cup of suffering would pass from him, but in all things may Gods will be done. (Luke 22:42) Praying for God’s will to be done, even in temptation.
Praying for those unsaved. Luke 10:2 The harvest is great, but the laborers are few. Pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers to the fields. Christ’s great commission to us was to reach out to those unsaved and bring them forth to God’s glory. Praying for the harvest.
Praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ. In the garden, Christ prayed for those that the Father had given him. “Neither pray I for these (his disciples) alone, but for those which shall believe on me through their word.” John 17:20. I think what amazes me so much, is the fact that while here on earth, in his hour of great temptation and distress, Jesus thought ahead to all of us, and prayed for us! He prayed that we would be in him, as he is in the Father. He also prayed for unity among us.
And finally, in one prayer, Jesus teaches us exactly what we should say. Matthew 6:9
Our Father which art in heaven, Hollowed be they 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 thine is the power and the glory, for ever. Amen
Praying as Jesus Taught, covers everything.
Glory to God.
Glory to his kingdom.
God’s will be done.
Forgiveness, towards ourselves and others.
Safeguard against temptation.
Praise again to God.
One thing that stands out to me is this. The prayer begins and ends with praise, and right before the requests are made, it is asked that God’s will be done.
I know for me, it’s really easy just to jump in and start asking God for any-thing and everything that’s on my heart at the time. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but I want to start making it my focus to praise first, pray second, and to always pray that God’s will be done.