Teaching us how to pray

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In today’s reading, we learn that one of the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus’ reply to this in Luke 11:2-4 is, “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 in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.” In these 3 short verses Jesus is giving us an outline on how to pray to the Father.

Jesus also states in Luke 11:9-10, “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” I want to focus on the prayer aspect of these verses. We need to pray the way Jesus has taught us, not just by saying written prayers such as rosaries, but by having a conversation where we connect to God. There is nothing wrong with saying the rosary, in fact it is a wonderful form of prayer, but we need to ensure our prayer life also includes honest, raw, emotional connection to God. Prayer is about a relationship. We need to have a relationship with Him each and every day. Prayer is something we can do anytime and anywhere. It is also important to give God time to speak to us. We need to quiet our heart and mind and really listen to what He is saying and asking of us. We can do this at home, in church or adoration but we must do as He asks. The question is, do we have this kind of prayer? Are we connected to our Heavenly Father or do we just do rituals? We need to come into the presence of God. God is love and he longs to have a relationship with us. When we get into a real relationship with God and strive to be more like Jesus, it will help us love more and judge less. None of us are perfect and before we “notice the speck that is in your brother’s eye” we should ask God to help us “notice the log that is in our own eye” [partial of Matthew 7:3.] And we can’t know how to do that until we ask and then listen while in prayer.

Jesus wants us to pray as He does so talk to your Father in heaven and be in a daily relationship. This is one of the ways that will ensure that we grow spiritually. It is not enough to come to church once a week.

Don Barry