12 Mar 2019: Jesus’ thesis on prayer

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Reading 1: Isaiah 55:10-11; Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15

 So, you should pray like this…

 The “Our Father” is not merely a prayer to be ‘said’, but a prayer to be ‘lived’. It is an entire thesis on prayer taught to us by the Son of God!

The introductory phrase (Our Father in Heaven) gives us three essential attitudes of true prayer: That we should see God as our Father, others as our siblings and Heaven as our real Home.

Then come the seven invocations. The first three invocations, which are apparently meaningless for us to say, find their real meaning, in inverse order, in the last three phrases.

 

Holy be your name. Deliver us from Evil. We can make our father’s name holy only by distancing ourselves from evil!
Your Kingdom come! Do not bring us into temptation. We can promote God’s reign, only by denying the devil’s influence, namely temptations.
Your will be done. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. We can do God’s will only by forgiving and loving each other. He does not want anything from us apart from this.

 

In the middle is the central theme of prayer: “Give us this day our daily Bread!”

This is clearly a reference to Jesus himself, the Bread of life, come down from heaven, given to us as food, that sustains us in our daily struggle. It is through him, with him and in him that all glory may be paid to the Father Almighty. It is again in and through him that we receive everything from God. Jesus Christ, our elder brother, is the only mediator, central theme of our prayer. It is only invoking him that makes every other invocation meaningful.

What a marvellous thesis on prayer. It has to be, because it comes form the Son of God, who knew what prayer was!

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