Teach Us to Pray


Does praying intimidate you? Do you ever get stuck trying to choose the right words, to say them in the right way, or to pray about the right things? Sometimes, you may even wonder if something is big enough to bring to God. In today’s passage, Jesus prays and then teaches the disciples about prayer. You may be surprised that getting it right isn’t mentioned.

  • What are some things that trip you up when you begin to pray?


11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
    for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What were the specific things that Jesus included in the model prayer (vss. 2-4)?
  2. Impudence means extreme boldness (vs. 8). What response did the person’s impudence get from his friend? What can you learn from this as you pray?
  3. What instruction did Jesus give in verse 9 regarding prayer? What are the results of these actions (vs. 10)?
  4. What is God’s heart toward us as we pray (vs. 13)?
  5. In what situations are you reluctant to be bold in your prayers? Based on Jesus’ teaching in this passage, how might you pray differently?


Jesus showed us that prayer isn’t about getting it right; rather, it is about developing a right attitude as we pray. He modeled an attitude of praise and honor, daily dependence, confession, and forgiveness. He encouraged boldness and initiative. He ended with the greatest example, God’s great love for us. A loving earthly father wants to give good things to his child. As we come to him in prayer, God, our heavenly father, wants to give us even more, and his gifts are eternal ones.

  • As you pray, begin by praising God that he is hallowed: holy, honored, sacred, worthy of your praise.
  • Ask God to help you have a right attitude more than right words as you talk to him.