10 Things Jesus Says about True Prayer

10 Things Jesus Says about True Prayer

Although we can often overcomplicate it, prayer is simply being in communication with our Savior. It is our opportunity to come directly to His throne and speak with Him.

Prayer is a two-way channel for us to speak to our Savior, so it’s necessary to quiet ourselves and actively wait for Him. Our faith needs prayer to walk in good guidance, strength, and healing, thanking Him for all Christ has already done in our lives.

Prayer is vital for mature believers, as we need it to change our perspective and lean on Him to direct our lives. We must operate from a place of prayer to activate the tools He has given us while on earth.

When studying Scripture, I believe there are 10 key things Jesus says to us about true prayer:

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    1. True prayer is often done privately.

    “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6 ESV)

    Praying privately is how we often see Jesus praying. He would seek out a solitary place and pray to His father. I think we need to get comfortable being alone with our Father and have our prayer time operate from an intimate place. It is in private where we can be authentic and open. We can be intentional to seek His face with whatever we need.

    2. There’s no need to ramble when we are staying true in our prayers.

    Jesus tells us that there are some people who think if they use many words they will be heard (Matthew 6:7). I find comfort in knowing that prayer doesn’t have to be a lengthy petition—sometimes it can be as simple as saying “Lord, I need your help in this meeting.” We don’t have to pray in an effort to try to impress Him or others with our words, but we can simply pray to Him in whatever way is true to how He created us. Our prayers need only be intentional. He already knows what we need. He just wants to hear it come from us.

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  • 3. <strong>Jesus gives us a structure on how to pray.</strong>

    3. Jesus gives us a structure on how to pray.

    Jesus gives us a blueprint on how to pray to our Heavenly Father because He knows the will of the Father. He gives us the framework for what we call the Lord’s prayer. In Matthew 6:9-15 says:

    “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

    This structure of prayer allows us to show honor to our Heavenly Father, revering Him for who He is. It acknowledges Him as our Provider and shows our need for Him. This prayer also gives us time to search our hearts to ensure we are seeking forgiveness, as we often fall short and will always need Him to cover and guide us in this sinful world.

    4. True prayer honors His church.

    There’s something special about corporate prayer with other believers. “He [Jesus] said to them, ‘It is written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer,”’” (Matthew 21:13). His church should be honored and revered, a place to seek Him with other believers. It is a holy place. True prayer will honor His church as the house of prayer. It is our Father’s house and should be treated and valued as such.

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  • 5. <strong>True prayer invites Him in the midst.</strong>

    5. True prayer invites Him in the midst.

    “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). The church building is a sacred place and we have the opportunity to be His church wherever we go. Jesus promises us that He will be there when we pray together in His name. As you lead the small group in your home, He can meet you there. As you steward the prison ministry, He will be there. There’s power in the name of Jesus and if we are willing to align our will with His and to pray in His name, He will be there. Invite Him into your midst and call on Him to meet you there.

    6. True prayer always seeks His will.

    When Jesus knew the timing was approaching where He would be nailed to the cross, He had a vulnerable moment in the Garden of Gethsemane. Because of His power and authority, He could have easily changed His mind because He knew the pain He would endure, yet He prayed that God’s will be done (Luke 22:42).

    Jesus modeled to us the importance of keeping our eyes on God’s will above our feelings and above our plans. And because He prayed for God’s will, it tells us in Luke 22:43, the angel appeared and strengthened Him.

    When we seek God’s will above our will, He will meet us at our place of desperation. Pray boldly for the things you are hoping for, but always ask for His will to be done. It is His will that is perfect even if we don’t understand it.

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    7. True prayer has to be persistent.

    “Always pray and never give up” (Luke 18:1). There are some prayers that are answered immediately and some that take time to fulfill. We may never know why some prayers take longer to come to pass, but Jesus tells the disciples the importance of being persistent in their prayers. He told them a parable of the persistent widow who was seeking justice. At first the judge ignored her, but eventually he gave her justice because of her constant requests (Luke 18:1-8).

    Our Father is looking for people like the widow who won’t give up because they aren’t seeing the answer come quickly. He wants us to persevere through the process. Keep praying and believing that at the right time your request can be met.

    8. True prayer pleads for others.

    It can be easy to become selfish in our prayers and forget to include others, our church, or even worship for God.

    In John 17, we see Jesus pleading to God for His disciples. He knows that His time on earth was coming to an end and yet He thought enough of His disciples to pray for their protection. But He didn’t stop there, because He also remembered us.

    Jesus said, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me” (John 17:20-21).

    True prayer will remember others and plead for them. The Lord has entrusted you with some people in your world, remember them in your prayers. Stand in the gap for others.

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  • 9. <strong>True prayer provides strength.</strong>

    9. True prayer provides strength.

    “Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)

    Jesus knew we would endure some bad days. He never wants us to fall into the traps of this world, so He provided us with these words to be reminded of how when we activate our prayer life, He will help strengthen us and help us get through difficult days in our world.

    10. True prayer acknowledges temptation.

    Jesus told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation” (Luke 22:40). Jesus knew we would have moments of temptation—even He was tempted. I find encouragement in how He tells us to be intentional around this area because it is inevitable; however through prayer we have the power to overcome the temptations that come our way.

    Jesus gave us instructions on how to pray, but He also modeled it well throughout Scripture. Knowing how to live in true prayer, to recognize true prayer, will keep us in the company of Jesus, fortifying our walk with Him today and in the days ahead.

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    Shakia Clark Author HeadshotShakia Clark is a writer, marketer, and servant leader who is passionate about encouraging women to experience God’s best for their lives. She has a heart for women to see themselves the way that God sees them. She finds joy in coming alongside them in their journey. When she isn’t writing, you can find her spending time with friends and family, traveling, reading, trying new recipes, or actively serving her community. She blogs at www.shakiaclark.com.