God’s Gift of Prayer

Matthew 6:7-15
Sirach:48:1-14 / Psalm 97:1-7

This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.
(Matthew 6:14-15)

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): “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. Your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him. Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Do not bring us to the test, but deliver us from evil.’ If you forgive others their wrongs, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you either.” (Matthew 6: 7-15)

Reflection

Fr. James Keller, the founder of The Cristophers, who wrote the credo, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness,” believed that “the most effective exterior action comes from a strong interior quality.” Developing a strong interior quality comes from a regular meditation on God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures, and a deep communion with God in daily prayer. Prayer is a vital privilege– a gift that God has given us that we must constantly practice if we are to achieve peace in our land.

Jesus taught us that the proper way to pray is first to invoke the holy Name of God, and to express the belief that His plans will be fulfilled in all of His creation. Then we can ask for our needs, but we must also seek His forgiveness, pledging to forgive others their offenses against us as well. Lastly, we must ask for His protection against the evil forces of this world.

In our brotherhood, we are encouraged to pray at least fifteen minutes everyday. But does this amount of time reflect the homage and intimacy befitting the Maker of time? Instead, shouldn’t all our time and activities be forms of prayer to the Lord?

Every intimate conversation with God thru prayers and scripture reading fortifies the character within that is the soul of the human being. This divine encounter inspires and brings out the best in God’s creation, transforming the ordinariness of daily living into something new, creative and dynamic. Every thought, word and action becomes a prayer, goodwill, and benediction. Every moment lived by a prayerful person takes on a new meaning because it is an offering of love and thanksgiving for the goodness of his Creator.

Prayer is the most important activity of every child of God. As the former U.S. Presi-dent Eisenhower once wrote, “It is one of the simple necessities of life, as basic to the individual as sunshine, food and water, and of course, more so.” Simply because without prayer, life would be a meaningless existence that offers no hope, no wonder, and no reason for being. It would have been better for a man who does not know how to pray that he had never been born at all.

Come, Holy Spirit, teach us how to pray, that it may please the Father in everything we do, and in every word we say. Amen.

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