Gospel Reading: Lk 11:1-4
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.” He said to them, “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.”
WHEN YOU PRAY, SAY: FATHER
The prayer that Jesus teaches to the disciples opens with an address to the “Father.” This term, which in Aramaic is “Abba,” indicates an approach to God as a caring father figure. Disciples are called to childlike trust, not to a shallow childish intimacy. Real intimacy with God is built not on feelings or on what the Father can do for them, but on an appreciation of the true nature of the believers’ relationship with God. They turn to God for protection and care. Though a unique and great figure, God is not unapproachable. Jesus’ stress on God’s nearness and the access believers have with God for divine provision and care make his view of God deeply personal in emphasis (cf Eph 2:17-18). As a whole, the prayer reflects a disciple’s total reliance on God and his care. Whether it be in the circumstances that lead to God’s control of history, the provision of basic needs like food and spiritual protection, the disciple knows that God’s presence is an absolute necessity. That recognition is at the heart of this prayer.
Thus, the prayer bonds the disciple to God, recognizing that the affairs of life are often a matter in which we either walk alone or walk with our hand in God’s hand.
Prayer is crucial to Christian life. Do we take time to nurture and develop our prayer life?
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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.