“To pray is to talk with God. But about what?... about what? About Him, about yourself: joys, sorrows, successes and failures, noble ambitions, daily worries, weaknesses! And acts of thanksgiving and petitions: and Love and reparation. In a word: to get to know him and to get to know yourself: ‘to get acquainted! – St. Josemaria Escriva
Gospel Text: (Lk 11:1-4)
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.”
If you do a Google search for “how to pray,” you’ll get 180,000,000 results … and counting. By the time you read this, the number will have gone up.
If you ask publishers of religious material what readers always want more of, they’ll say something like this: “Something that teaches the basics of prayer.” And so, the volume of books, articles, apps, and e-books on prayer swells every year.
So many choices! So many teachers and approaches! It can leave you feeling that prayer is something very difficult and complex.
But today’s Gospel reading says otherwise. It reminds us that although prayer is a very deep subject indeed, you don’t need an advanced degree or a cohort of experts to help you grow in your relationship with God.
The disciples came to Jesus with the very request people are making today: “Teach us to pray.” Jesus gave them the Our Father—a simple model of what the content and spirit of their prayer should be. In fact, Luke’s version, which is short and spare compared to Matthew’s, accents simplicity.
So today, listen to Jesus, the great Teacher of prayer, and let his Father embrace you. Receive his love. Reflect on the Our Father’s simple phrases as you go about your day. Let them sink into your heart, shape your prayer, and form your life.
It’s all so simple. So profoundly simple.