This is How We are to Pray
Tuesday of the 1st Week of Lent
“At the Savior’s command, and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say.” This is the invitation that the presider at Mass say to introduce the Lord’s Prayer. This is what our Gospel today presents: Jesus commanded and taught His disciples how to pray to God by calling Him as Father; Jesus gave them an example of what and how to pray which made it indeed a divine teaching; and that we, unworthy as we are, dare to say the same prayer, today and every time we celebrate the Eucharist, that our Lord taught His disciples thousands of years ago.
“This is how you are to pray.” Our Lord taught his disciples that God’s glory takes primary place in prayer and that our needs and wants are secondary. The first three petitions deal with the glory of God: “hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done.” The other petitions that follow show our basic human needs: “Give us this day our daily bread; forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
“This is how you are to pray.” Our Lord Jesus teaches His disciples to pray to God addressing Him as ‘our Father.’ He teaches us to pray in common. In praying then we do not say ‘My Father, who art in heaven’ nor ‘Give me this day my daily bread.’ Our prayer is for everybody; so much so that when we pray, we do so not just for one, but for all people, because with all people we are just one.” Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI suggests that the word “our” requires us to “step out of the closed circle of our “I.” It requires that we surrender ourselves to communion with the other children of God.”
Brothers and sisters, we are in the first week of the Lenten Season. We are all invited to renew and even enkindle our Christian life particularly that on Prayer. Let us take Jesus’ example today. Our prayer is a response to Him who has first loved us. That is why after our prayer of praise and petition, we spend time for silence and reflection. A spiritual writer once said, “Prayer at its height is a two-way conversation, and the most important part is listening to God’s reply.”
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