Where do you go if you want to learn how to do something? Thirty, forty or fifty years ago, the answer to that question might be… the library or firsthand from an experienced person. Today, the immediately reply would be – the internet. We know that the internet has many videos on how to do something… from experts and amateurs. We can get many different perspectives. There’s a wealth of information at our fingertips.
People at the time of Jesus also asked the question: How do I ….? In today’s gospel, the question asked is about prayer … Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples. In other words, how do I pray? Specifically, the disciples wanted to learn from the expert, Jesus, about prayer. Jesus invites us in today’s gospel to a deeper understanding of prayer.
First, we should start with the question: why do we pray? We know that at the heart of our prayer is our relationship with the Most Holy Trinity. A relationship requires listening, communication, exchange and action. The Holy Spirit prompts us to pray. The Holy Spirit takes the initiative. While we may say, that I am praying… it is the presence and action of God in our lives that draws us closer into relationship with Him. We can count on with absolute certainty that our prayers are heard by God and responded to “on God’s time”. God gives us the grace we need in every situation of our life.
A French mathematician in the 17th century named Pascal said: “Prayer is one of the ways that God chose to share His infinite power with us.”
Sometimes we speak of the power of prayer. This is God’s power. We always pray for the best outcome – but we should be ready to accept God’s Will and plan, knowing that we are under His divine guidance and providence every second of the day.
Jesus also talks about the importance of trust and perseverance in prayer. For everyone who asks receives; and the one who seeks finds: and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
In today’s first reading, Abraham persists in his intercessory prayer to have mercy on the innocent righteous people of Sodom. Moses would also intercede for the sake of the people, asking God to forgive their sin.
When we pray the Our Father, let’s reflect on how much God love us, forgives us and deeply desires that we be in a friendship with Him now and or all eternity!
God bless us all always!