Praying to Our Father

Matthew 6: 7-15
2 Cor 11:1-11 / Ps 111

. . . your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
(Matthew 6:8)

The Lord’s Prayer is in every way
The most complete prayer there is.
As Jesus taught us how to pray,
Let’s pray it constantly for peace.

Jesus taught His disciples the best way to pray. He said, ‘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, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not bring us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.’

Reflection

I pray the Lord’s Prayer at least twice a day everyday — when I get up in the morning, after offering the day to Jesus, (“…my prayers, works, joys and sacrifices, for all the intentions of Thy Sacred Heart…”); and before I doze off for the night, together with a short prayer of thanksgiving. However, it’s always an effort to keep my mind from going into “auto-pilot” because praying it has become such a routine in my daily life.

Perhaps we can approach this prayer from another perspective. After all, our Lord Jesus did say, “Pray in this way;” He did not say, “Pray in these words.” So, in my own words, this would be my prayer:

Our Father God, Creator of all things, because You are Love, You have deemed it fitting through Your Son Jesus Christ to be called our Father. We acknowledge You as the One true God, Whose Name is sacred to our lips, and we pray that Your kingdom may soon reign in this world, and Your plan of salvation become a reality according to Your will. Divine Provider, thank You for supplying all our needs, in spite of our unworthiness. Thank You for forgiving all our offenses. Grant us the grace to be able to forgive all those who have offended us as well. Weak as we are, keep us away from temptations of this world, and fortify instead our resolve to be pure and faithful to Your laws always. And finally, Father, keep us always safe from all evil and harm, as we strive to fight injustice and dishonesty, and share the Good News of Your kingdom to others. Amen.

Jesus taught us to address His Father as “Our Father”. The implication is that we are His worthy children, “adopted” through our fellowship with our Lord Jesus. Ultimately, the sincerity of our prayer hinges on our loving relationship with Christ Himself.

Father God, may we always pray this beautiful prayer that Your Son Jesus taught us with hearts and minds focused on Your great love and compassion, ever grateful for all Your blessings, and never doubting that everything that happens in our life will eventually turn out for the good. After all, who is the father who will not take good care of his children? Even before we open our mouths to pray, we believe that You already know what we need and what is good for us. We need only to have faith in Your loving mercy, and in Your Beloved Son, our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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