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How to Pray to Jesus and Prayers of Gratitude

You’ve probably heard that God wants you to pray to Him in Jesus’ name, but how do you pray to Jesus?

Praying to Jesus isn’t something we always do naturally, and it can be difficult to know where to start and how to actually talk with Him about your needs and concerns. I have this same issue every day, but I’m getting better!

How to Pray to Jesus and Why Should We Pray?

We should pray because Jesus instructed us to; it’s how we communicate with God the Father. Prayer is also a form of worship and helps us align our will with God’s will for us.

The Bible – God’s Word – teaches us how to pray. So, obviously, I’ve added some Bible verses throughout this article about how to pray to Jesus. God’s own words will provide the foundation you need for your own meaningful prayer relationship with Him.

You don’t have to read far into the first book of the New Testament to learn how Jesus teaches us to pray. Read Matthew 6:9-13:

9In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

You should also consider praying for your friends, family, and others, especially for those who don’t know the Lord yet.

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How to Pray for Others

You can pray for others by interceding on their behalf, asking God to meet their needs, and praying for their spiritual growth. Interceding is essentially saying, ‘Lord, I pray that…’ and then sharing your prayer request with God.

Prayer is a powerful thing! Prayers do work. People are healed, miracles can happen, all just by taking the time to pray to God every day. Here’s Jesus also instructs us to “pray without ceasing in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

16 “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

In everything give thanks. No matter what the situation, God is teaching you something. He could be teaching you trust, patience, or simply reminding you to lean on Him to get you through whatever you’re dealing with.

Remember, though, prayer is a two-way street. When you pray, you also have to be open to listening to God as well.

Don’t Just Talk When You Pray – Listen

When you talk to Jesus in prayer, it’s important not to only focus on what you want to say, but also to listen. After all, part of having a conversation is listening to what the other person has to say.

When you’re having your private conversation with the Lord, you need to be ready to accept whatever His answer is. You may not like the answer, you may not like the outcome, but it’s His will for you and you need to be grateful for the lesson.

couple meditating praying outside

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Do We Need To be Formal?

Absolutely not! I realize it can be a bit intimidating when someone stands up to pray in church. I’m still not one to pray in public. In fact, at dinner, I always ask my husband to pray. I tell him, ‘You’re the head of the household.’

Well, I can picture Jesus up there shaking his head and giggling at some of the prayers that come out of my husband’s mouth. But that’s how he talks to his Friend! It’s not with any disrespect; it’s just hilarious sometimes though, like he’s trying to make God laugh.

How to Pray to Jesus with Gratitude

The first thing you should say in all of your prayers is “Thank You, Jesus.” Everything you have is because of Him, so be sure to have the ‘attitude of gratitude’ in your heart, not only all the time, but especially when you start your talk with Him.

In your prayer of thanks and gratitude, try to be somewhat specific about what you’re grateful for. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate, detailed list. Just name it! Is it your children? Your husband or wife? Your house or your car?

Whatever you’re thankful for, thank God for it! And if something else comes into your mind during prayer time that makes you grateful—say it!

woman in field of flowers showing gratitude

Even during the bad times or times of trouble and heartache, learning how to pray to Jesus with gratitude can be difficult, especially if you’re feeling angry about what’s going on.

For example, in my current situation, my car broke down; it’s been sitting for almost three months and it might be another month or so before it’s fixed. Am I thankful for that? Well, I don’t like it, but I have to be grateful that the Lord loves me so much that He’ll teach me patience. And patience is something I’ve always had a short supply of all my life.

A prayer of thanks and gratitude can shift your focus from your problems to God’s goodness. It can remind you that He is in control and that His plan for your life is good.

A Prayer of Praise

Psalm 103 is a beautiful passage speaking to the power of prayer and gratitude. It starts with the words…

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits”

I pray that this article, from the heart, helps you learn how to pray to Jesus, and not just for things you want in life, but with gratitude for what you already have.

How do you pray to Jesus?

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