Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This is how you are to pray: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’
“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
Jesus corrected the concept of prayer that his contemporaries had. Today many of us repeat the same words that Jesus used and we are content to assume that we have made a beautiful prayer. In truth, very often, we have spent a good moment of life, a very pleasant moment, before the divine presence, without paying attention neither to his word nor his will. That is why our prayers remain like a half-made dish, which is not edible. Let me explain:
Prayer is certainly a place of dialogue and sharing where an affective relationship is established, it is a place of listening and after having listened to the Lord, it is also a duty to accomplish, to do his will. This is a complete prayer. How can we pray to God without having established a relationship, an affective relationship? How can we justify our prayer without having done his will?
Personally, I would not mind calling God, as my Mother, because God knows my heart and He will understand me perfectly. Whatever may be the kind of relationship that we wish to establish with God, it is important to realize, that without this, we can’t even pray to God. Thus, let’s start to establish an affective relationship with God, and anything that comes out of this relationship will be de facto a prayer.
Action of the Day: Learn to Love God.
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him”
Fr. Emili MARLÉS i Romeu
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today the Lord wants to help us grow in a main issue of our Christian life: the prayer. He warns us not to pray like pagans trying to convince God about what they want. Many times we try to achieve what we want through insistence, being "annoying" to God, believing that we will be heard with our verbosity. The Lord reminds us that the Father is constantly solicitous of our life and that he knows what we need before we ask him at all times, (cf. Mt 6,8). Do we live with this kind of confidence? Am I aware that the Father is constantly washing my feet and that he knows better than anyone what I need at all times (in big things and small things)?
Jesus opens for us a new horizon of prayer: the prayer of those who address to God with the conscience of being children. The type of relationship I have with a person is determined through the way I ask for things to that person and also what I can expect from him. From a father, and especially from the heavenly Father, I can expect everything and I know that he takes care of my life. For this reason, Jesus, who always lives as a true son, is telling you: "do not worry about your life, what you will eat and drink" (Mt 6:25). Do I really have this son’s consciousness? Am I addressing God with the same familiarity as I do with my father or mother?
Later, Jesus opens his heart to us, and teaches us what his relationship / prayer with the Father is like so that we also make it ours. With the "Our Father" prayer Jesus teaches us to live as children. Saint Cyprian has a well-known comment about the “Our Father”, telling us: “We must remember and know that, when we call God “Father”, we have to act as his children, in order for him to be pleased with us, as we are pleased to have him as Father.”