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.”
The Lord’s Prayer, The Our Father, these are often two different names for the same prayer. Most of us learned the Matthew version as kids- not this version.
It’s easy for me to simply recite the words of the Lord’s prayer without any meaning behind it. I pray it daily, both publicly at Mass, and privately in my morning and evening prayers. That’s a common problem with “formed” or “canned” prayers. Of course it’s just as easy with extemporaneous to be caught up in praying for show and/or babbling along like the pagans do (Matt 6:7). Both are great, both can be bad. It’s the classic “not either/or but both and” approach.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a little reminder of who’s in charge. The Lord’s Prayer is:
- An acknowledgement of just who is in charge, God not us. Because God is in charge, it would do us well to offer him praise and thanksgiving for that.
- That God gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want. God knows what’s in our hearts, He knows what we need before we need it. We shouldn’t be disappointed if we don’t get what we want. God sometimes simply says “NO” to us because He already knows the outcome of what we ask for. That outcome may not be good for us.
- That God forgives us for what we’ve done, and what we have failed to do if we repent and ask Him to. Forgiveness is only made possible through Jesus Christ.
- That we must forgive others and ourselves as our Heavenly Father forgives us. (Matt 6:15) We are to forgive just as God forgives us, out of love and charity to others. Just as Jesus did.
- To be spared of evil, temptation of sin and apostasy, and tribulation in our lives. There will come many times in our life were we will be tempted to turn away from God, to turn away from our faith out of ridicule and/or embarrassment. To turn away because things will be “easier” for us. May God preserve our strength through those trials and tribulations in our life.
Thought for the day: What am I praying for in my life? Who’s glory am I praying for, my own, or for God’s? Am I cognizant of what God has given me already in my life? Do I forgive others as Jesus did or is my heart hard and full of anger? What will happen if I am tested in my faith? Who will I turn to? The immediate comfort of society or the eternal comfort of the Lord?