And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples (Luke 11:1).
This request of the disciples was quickly answered in the familiar words of what has long been called the Lords Prayer. This was evidently intended as a model prayer, but multitudes of professing Christians through the centuries have used it instead as a rote prayer, recited with little appropriation of its meaning, and with little hope of specific answers.
Apart from this prayers basic items of praise, confession, and petition, which should characterize all our prayers, the Lord Jesus has left a number of additional important prayer principles in His other teachings. Some of these can be summarized as follows: Believing prayer: And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22). Watchful prayer: Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation (Matthew 26:41). Persistent prayer: Men ought always to pray, and not to faint (Luke 18:1). Prayer through Christ: If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it (John 14:14). Christ-centered, Bible-centered prayer: If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7). Compassionate prayer: Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest (Matthew 9:38). Submissive prayer: . . . nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42). Meaningful prayer: When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do (Matthew 6:7).
It is clear that Christians need to pray earnestly, and often. Christ taught by example as well as precept, and if He spent much time in prayer (e.g., Mark 1:35), how much more urgently we need to pray! HMM