Teach Us to Pray, Part 1

Jesus-Patterned Prayer
May 30, 2021 | By Tyler Carroll

Despite the fact that the vast majority of followers of Jesus would say that prayer is really important, it remains a glaring weakness in our spiritual formation. If we are going to pursue the lifestyle of Jesus, then perhaps we need some help learning how to pray. Fortunately, Jesus is a great teacher.


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Prayer is talking to God.

Tim Keller
“Prayer is the only entryway into genuine self-knowledge. It is also the main way we experience deep change—the reordering of our loves. Prayer is how God gives us so many of the unimaginable things he has for us. Indeed, prayer makes it safe for God to give us many of the things we most desire. It is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God. Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life.”

Paul Miller in The Praying Life
“In…culture and in our churches, we prize intelligence, competence, and wealth. Because we can do life without God, praying seems unnecessary. Money can do what prayer does and it’s quicker and less-time consuming. Our trust in ourselves and in our talents makes us structurally independent of God.”

Dallas Willard
“God’s ‘response’ to our prayers is not a charade. He does not pretend that he is answering our prayer when he is only doing what he was going to anyway. Our requests really do make a difference to what God does or does not do. The idea that everything would happen exactly as it does regardless of whether we pray or not is a spectre that haunts the minds of many who sincerely profess belief in God. It makes prayer psychologically impossible, replacing it with dead ritual at best. And of course God does not respond to this. You wouldn’t either.”

1. The Sufficiency Problem
2. The Experience Problem
3. The Theology Problem
4. The Hurry Problem
5. The Bad Habits Problem

Luke 11:1
“Lord, Teach us to pray…”

Mark 1:35
“Very early—in the middle of the night, actually—Jesus got up and went out, off to a lonely place, and prayed.”

Luke 5:15-16
“The news about Jesus, though, spread all around, and large crowds came to hear and to be healed from their diseases. He used to slip away to remote places and pray.”

Luke 6:12-13
“It happened around that time that Jesus went up into the mountain to pray, and he spent all night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples, and chose twelve of them, calling them “apostles”

Matthew 14:23
“After he had sent the crowds away, Jesus went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came he was there by himself.”

John 5:19
“The son can do nothing by himself. He can only do what he sees the father doing. Whatever the father does, the son does too, and in the same way.”

John 12:49-50
“I haven’t spoken on my own authority. The father who sent me gave me his own command about what I should say and speak. And I know that his command is the life of the coming age. What I speak, then, is what the father has told me to speak.”

Matthew 6:5
“When you pray, you mustn’t be like the hypocrites. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on street corners, so that people will notice them. I’m telling you the truth: they have received their reward in full.”

The primary purpose of prayer is to usher us into communion with God.

Matthew 6:6
“No: when you pray, go into your own room, shut the door, and pray to your father who is there in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.”

Matthew 6:7
“When you pray, don’t pile up a jumbled heap of words! That’s what the Gentiles do. They reckon that the more they say, the more likely they are to be heard.”

Matthew 6:8
“So don’t be like them. You see, your father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matthew 6:9-13
‘Our father in heaven, May your name be honored, May your kingdom come, May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven Give us today the bread we need now; And forgive us the things we owe, As we too have forgiven what was owed to us. Don’t bring us into the great trial, But rescue us from evil.’

J.I. Packer
“If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much [they] make of the thought of being God’s Child, and having God as [their] Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls [their] worship and prayers and [their] whole outlook on life, it means [they] do not understand Christianity very well at all.”

If prayer begins by acknowledging that God is your Father, then it continues only by considering what it means that your Father is God.

Psalm 145
“Every day let me bless You, and let me praise Your name forevermore…Gracious and merciful is the Lord, slow to anger, great in kindness. Good is the Lord to all, and His mercy is over all His creation. All your creatures, Lord, acclaim You, and your faithful ones bless You.”

Tim Chester
“We need to pray for our daily bread not because we are worried about where our next meal will come from, but because we’re not.”

Prayer is primarily about connecting with Your Heavenly Father and the enjoyment of being in His presence.

When you pray, you should create the conditions necessary for God to have your undivided attention.

When you pray, talk to God as if you believe that you have His undivided attention and He has good intentions toward you.

When you pray, follow the Jesus pattern.