One day Jesus was praying in a certain place and when He had finished, one of his disciples said to him, «Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples». And Jesus said to them, «When you pray, say this: Father, hallowed be your name, may your kingdom come, give us each day the kind of bread we need, and forgive us our sins, for we also for-give all who do us wrong, and do not bring us to the test».
Many of us wish to pray and some of us do pray. The common understanding and experience of quite a lot of people is that our prayers are not heard. Very few of us check the quality of our prayers and reduce it by mere supplication. Thus, it’s important that we enter into the divine thinking to check the quality of our prayer. Does my prayer coherent to divine teaching?
According to Jesus, prayer is a relationship, a dialogue with God. In this relationship we are called to establish, an affective and progressive relationship with God, in which we establish a project together. This is purely a divine project, because it is resourced in God. This project which has its origin in God, now becomes ours, by the way we carry it out, as a human project, which will be easily accessible to men.
By carrying out this project we glorify the Father and by this glorification we cooperate in the establishment of his kingdom. For this we need God's grace, the daily bread. For this grace to make us worthy, we must purify ourselves, by reconciling ourselves to God, through our positive commitments to reconciliation and forgiveness. There we hand over everything to God, for everything comes from Him, through Him, and for Him.
So prayer is not a singular act. We listen, we commit ourselves and we hand over everything to God. Very often our prayers are incomplete. We start it well by the supplication and we don't manage to accomplish it.
Action of the day: Check, whether you pray as Jesus has taught you or you repeat the words that Jesus has used?
«Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples»
Fr. Austin Chukwuemeka IHEKWEME
Today, we see how one of Jesus' disciples tells him: «Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples» (Lk 11:1). Jesus' reply: «When you pray, say this: Father, hallowed be your name, may your kingdom come, give us each day the kind of bread we need, and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive all who do us wrong, and do not bring us to the test» (Lk 11:2-4), may be summarized in a single phrase: the best mental attitude for the Christian prayer is that of a child in front of his father.
We can see right away that the prayer, according to Jesus, is something like a “father-son” kinship. That is, a family matter based on a relation of closeness and love. The image of God as a father speaks to us of a relationship based on affection and intimacy, not on power and authority.
To pray as Christians means to position ourselves in a situation whereby we see God as our father and we speak to him as his sons: «You write: ‘To pray is to talk with God. But about what?’. About what? About Him, about yourself: joys, sorrows, successes and failures, noble ambitions, daily worries, weaknesses! And acts of thanksgiving and petitions: and Love and reparation. In a word: to get to know him and to get to know yourself: ‘to get acquainted!’» (St. Josemaria).
When children speak with their parents they try to transmit, through their words and body language, what they feel in their heart. We become better praying men and women when our relation with God is more intimate, as that of a father with his son. Jesus himself left with us his own example. He is the Way.
And, if you invoke the Virgin Mother of God, master of prayer, it will even be easier! In fact «the contemplation of Christ has in Mary its insurmountable model. The Son's face belongs to her in a very special way (...). Nobody has devoted himself with Mary's assiduity to the contemplation of Christ's face» (John Paul II).