What has Christ given to teach us how to pray? 


The Lord's Prayer

Prayer is talking with God. If anyone was ever an expert on prayer, it would be Jesus. One day, after watching him pray, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1). After watching the Master at work, they knew there would be no better person in the world to teach them to talk with God than the Son of God himself!

Jesus responded by giving them a prayer to pray. We have a special name for this prayer. It’s called the “Lord’s Prayer” because the Lord Jesus gave it to us. You can read the Lord’s Prayer in a couple places in the Bible. We’ll look at it more closely over the next six questions. That’s because the Lord’s Prayer is made up of six “petitions.” A petition is a word that means “to ask someone in charge to do something for you.” In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus gives us six different petitions, six things we ask the Lord God to do for us.

Before we look at these six petitions, let's examine how Jesus taught us to start this prayer. In Matthew 6:9, he said, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven...’” There are lots of names the Bible uses for God. He’s the Lord, the Almighty, the King, and the Rock! Any of those names would have been okay for us to use as we start our prayers. But out of all the names in the Bible for our God, Jesus taught us to start our prayers by calling him our “Father in heaven.”

When we pray, Jesus wants us to think of God as a Father: a heavenly Dad who loves us and wants the best for us. That should encourage us when we pray. We aren't talking to someone who's bothered by our requests. We are talking to a Father who cares for his children and loves to hear our prayers!

There are two ways to use the Lord's Prayer to help you talk with God. First, it's perfectly fine to just memorize the words and repeat them back as a prayer to God. However, they aren't magic words. God gave us brains for a reason! It's important to know what in the world we are saying as we pray the words of Jesus’ Prayer.

We can also use the Lord's Prayer as a checklist. The six petitions give us six different types of things to pray for. We can use them like a checklist to remind us of all the different areas of life God wants us to talk with him about. These six different prayer topics will keep us from focusing too much on only one area of life.

In our last question, we talked about praying “in Jesus’ name.” We learned that this means praying in his power while asking for things that Jesus would want for us. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we can always be certain we are praying in his name. Why? Because it’s the prayer Jesus himself gave us to pray! There’s no doubt – these are the things he wants us to pray about!


+ How much of the Lord’s Prayer can you say from memory?

+ What does Jesus want us to think about when we call God our “Father in Heaven?”



Matt. 6:5-15; Luke 11:1-13

© 2023 Andrew Doane. All rights reserved.