Lord, please teach us how to pray
Readings: 1st: Sirac 48:1-15; Ps: 96; Gos: Mt 6:7-15
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today is Thursday of the eleventh week of ordinary time. Today, Christ gives us a very precious prayer, as well as, thought us how to pray.
There are two versions of the Our Father in Lk 11:1-4, and Mt 6:7-13. In Luke, the Our Father is shorter. Today’s version is from Matthew’s gospel.
Unfortunately, this prayer has for some been a source of controversy. This is because, they say that, The Lord’s prayer is not a real prayer in itself, but only a model of how to pray. This is absurd.
The Lord’s prayer is both a prayer, and a rich model of how to pray that contains different aspects of prayer from penitential, thanksgiving, petition and praise.
The Catholic Church teaches that, Our Lord’s prayer is a beautiful prayer of the church divided into seven important petitions (CCC 2803-2854). This is why, it forms a very important part of the Mass.
It is complete prayer. So, as well as a model of how to pray, Christ gave it to us a prayer that touches the heart of God, and opens the door of heaven.
Christ was always connected to his father through prayer. So, the most important lesson today is that, Christ reminds us of the importance of prayer as a tool for always being in contact with God.
Equally, he reminds us that our prayer must be honest, humble and simple. This is why he warns us: “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.”
So, prayer is a simple dialogue with a loving Father, and not an argument or quarrel with him. God does not hear, or answer our prayer because of how loud we shout, or because of the number of words we use. Rather, he looks at our humility, sincerity and genuine need.
Let us pray: Lord, please teach us how to pray.
Peace be with you all!