It turns out that Jesus' disciples did just that, and in doing so, they gave Jesus an opportunity to teach us how to pray.
In Luke 11:1-4, Jesus' disciples noticed that he was praying as a habit and in his usual place. Evidently, they noticed something special about Jesus and prayer, because when he returned, they asked him to teach them how to pray. In response, Jesus gave them what we now refer to as the "Lord's Prayer."
One interesting thing about this passage is that Jesus begins by saying, "When you pray, say." He told them what to say. It is okay to use this prayer as it is written because Jesus told us to. He seemed to know that some of us struggle with getting things right, with what to say, and with how to say it. So he provided a model prayer. He simplified things so that we can focus simply on prayer, on communicating with God, our Father.
Although this prayer can be used as we can also consider using it as more of a template. Looking at the "concepts" that Jesus teaches us to pray about, we can ask questions such as
- How do I trust God as my Father?
- How do I honor and glorify his name in my life?
- How do I yearn for God's kingdom to come?
- Do I pray for what I need, or for what I want?
- Do I forgive others even as I ask for forgiveness?
- Do I seek to avoid temptation or do I invite it in?
When we ask these questions, we can use our answers to them to pray and fulfill the purpose and simplicity of the Lord's Prayer.
Jesus gave us the Lord's Prayer as a beautiful and simple way to pray, so we can focus on prayer itself, and connecting with our Father. Use this prayer to grow in prayer.