Exploring The Ways Jesus Teaches How To Pray With Trust And Purpose

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Published by Kenneth Garcia


Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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Jesus Christ was a man of prayer. He prayed on the streets, in the desert, inside homes, and in the temple court. He also prayed at dawn, dusk, and many other moments during the day. The Bible says that prayer is the primary form of worship that establishes regular fellowship with the Lord.

However, prayer requires sincerity and a humble attitude. As God’s children, He is pleased when we approach Him as our Father with our pleas, thanksgiving, and confession[1]. As Christians, we are called to emulate Jesus Christ, especially in His prayer life. Read on to learn more about the ways Jesus teaches how to pray.

What Did Jesus Teach About Prayer?

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Colossians 4:2

On the Day of Atonement, only the High Priest of the Israelites could enter the Holy of Holies to ask for pardon for the Israelite’s transgressions. Wearing the ephod, the high priest acted as a bridge between the divine and the mortal, channeling God’s will and blessing to the people.

An animal sacrifice was also required by God during these moments. But today, through the atoning sacrificial death of our Messiah, Jesus Christ, we have direct access to God in prayer and worship.

  • Jesus teaches that you can pray anywhere. Prayer is not limited to a specific location. Whether at your home, the workplace, at the wheel of a car, or in a park, you can always petition God from nearly any place.
  • You can pray at any time. Whether in the morning, afternoon, or evening, prayer is always accessible. You can pray upon waking and incorporate it into your schedule throughout the day or before going to bed at night.
  • Ask forgiveness from God through prayer. None of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes. When you have committed an error, ask for mercy from God through prayer.
  • Thank God in prayer. Expressing gratitude to God is an essential aspect of prayer. Thank Him for everything you currently have in your life.
  • Jesus teaches us to pray for our needs. Whether for physical, emotional, or spiritual needs, prayer can help us find comfort and strength. Moreover, beg Him for guidance, healing, security, and support.

How Did Jesus Teach Us Or His Disciples How To Pray?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

Because of the customary display of hypocrites like the Pharisees, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray and warned them against praying without sincerity.

  • Do not pray like the hypocrites who pray to stand in the synagogues (Matthew 6:5). This means that we should not pray for others to see us, but rather for our own connection with God.
  • Jesus advises His disciples to pray in private and not to make a show of it. This means that our prayers should be between us and God, not for the purpose of impressing others.
  • Jesus warns against “empty phrases” in prayer, as if repeating a formula will make it more effective. This means that our prayers should be heartfelt and guided by the Holy Spirit, not just a repetition of words.
  • Jesus assures His disciples that God already knows what they need before they even ask. This means that since God already knows our needs, we should do our part by communicating with Him genuinely.

3 Ways Jesus Teaches Us How To Pray

Jesus Prayed Alone

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Luke 5:16

Jesus was known to be a prayerful person, and it was a fundamental aspect of His relationship with God. Jesus often prayed alone, as He needed the space to communicate with the Father without distraction. In the same way, when you quiet the noise of the world, you can often find Jesus in your life through the still, small moments of reflection.

 Jesus Prayed Before Meals

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and began to give it to them.

Luke 24:30

Before meals, Jesus would thank the Heavenly Father and bless the food, recognizing the divine provision and sustenance. This simple act of gratitude and recognition of God’s provision reflected Jesus’ deep trust and dependence on God.

Jesus Prayed For Us

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.

John 17:20

Jesus interceded in prayer for us, on our behalf, and for His glory forever. He knew that we were grappling with sin and He sought forgiveness, guidance, and protection. His pleas reflected His love for all of humanity.

hands in prayer with rainbow lights

Why Did The Disciples Ask Jesus To Teach Them To Pray?

Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.

— Luke 11:1

The disciples implored Jesus to instruct them in prayer due to the paramount importance they had witnessed it play in His life. They noticed that Jesus typically went to a secluded area and dedicated extended prayer time there. The disciples concluded that prayer was profoundly relevant to His association with God.

The disciples had faith. But they often wavered or harbored doubts about the mighty power and authority they could draw from the Lord. This mindset included areas like how to pray. In response to their plea, Jesus taught them the Lord’s Prayer.

This form of supplication serves as a template for how to interact with God. By presenting them with this prayer pattern, Jesus gave His followers a guidebook to shape their own prayer lives while also enhancing their fellowship with our Father in heaven.

Why Did Jesus Teach The Lord’s Prayer?

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Psalm 145:18

The prayer Jesus taught about the Lord’s Prayer is a model for His followers to pray. The prayer is recorded in the Bible in Matthew 6:9–13 and Luke 11:2–4. In Matthew, Jesus prefaces the prayer by instructing His disciples not to pray to be seen by others but to pray in private. He then gives them the Lord’s Prayer as an example of how to pray.

The Lord’s Prayer is a powerful prayer that covers many important aspects of our relationship with God. It begins by acknowledging God as our Father in Heaven. It then asks for God’s name to be honored and His kingdom to come. The prayer also asks for our daily needs to be met, for the forgiveness of our sins, and for protection from temptation.

What Does The Lord’s Prayer Teach Us About Prayer?

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16
  • Prayer is a two-way communication with God, the Father. By recognizing God’s omnipotence and control in our lives through The Lord’s Prayer, we are reminded that prayer isn’t simply a monologue with many words but an intimate talk with God.
  • God’s will is an anchor in our prayers. We must seek awareness of the meaning of “Thy will be done” to ensure that all desires expressed while praying fall within His plans for us, rather than actively seeking things we ourselves selfishly want.
  • Incorporating prayer into our everyday life. Being mindful of the phrase ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ helps us to implement prayer as a natural part of our routine, similar to eating.
  • Pardoning one another is essential to effective prayer. The clause “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” tells us to ask for absolution from a higher power for others who have harmed us in any way.
  • Prayer must be rooted in trust. With “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” as our consistent guardrail, we are reminded to seek protection and guidance from the Lord against the evil one and spiritual adversity.
old woman holding rosary in prayer


In our earthly lives, we often spend our time at the workplace doing our jobs or at home doing household chores. The things and concerns of the world have often eclipsed our primary duty to please our Creator.

The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray sincerely, in private, and not for the sake of impressing others. It reminds us that God already knows our needs and that our prayers should be genuine and heartfelt.

A robust prayer life is the cornerstone of a happy relationship with God. Our prayers should be humble and selfless—an act of worship through which we express our worship and trust in God.

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