Posted by / Sunday 19 March 2017 / No comments

Jesus' teachings on prayer

A prayer refers to a request that an adherent of a religion makes to his object of worship, A request that something be done or given to the petitioner. It may also refer to a form of thanks giving for some earlier request that has already been granted by the deity. In the context of this subject, we shall refer to God almighty as the object of worship.

While Jesus was on earth, his very life was a remarkable teaching on prayer. He taught that in every major path that one takes on earth, one must pray about it. Jesus prayed before he stated his ministry on earth, he also prayed before he chose his twelve disciples. Jesus prayed during his transfiguration and before he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. The man was full of prayer.

Jesus taught that if an unforgiving person prays, his prayer would not be answered by God. That is why he said if a man is going to pray and remembers that he has anything against anybody, he should go back and sort the issue out with the person before he comes to pray.

Jesus taught the people not to relent in prayer but pray incessantly. In the parable of the friend at midnight, the door was opened because the friend persistently knocked on the door till it was opened. So also in the story of the unjust judge, the woman received judgment because she pestered the judge persistently.

Jesus taught that when people pray, they must not display self-righteousness. Anybody who is self-righteous cannot receive from God. In the story of the Pharisee and the Tax collector, one could see how the Pharisee was feeling self-righteous, thinking he was better that the tax collector. Jesus told the people that genuine remorse from the heart while praying was the key to answered prayer.

In his teachings, Jesus encouraged brevity in prayer. He taught that when people pray, they should not say plenty things with the mind that they would be heard.

Jesus also taught the people to pray for their enemies and not for their friends alone. He exhorted them to pray for their enemies also. This was in sharp contrast to existing practice before and during the time of Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus emphasized that when the people pray, they must have the faith that their prayer would be answered. In the book of Mark, Jesus told the people that when they pray, they should believe that what they have received whatever they had asked for and it shall be theirs.

1. a. Highlight Jesus’ teachings on prayer.
    b. What three things an prevent one’s prayer from being answered by God?

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