Gospel Reflection for 30th June
Lord, teach us to pray
We all know that because of our very busy lives, there are so many demand being made on our time. I often hear people say things like, ‘there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week!’ When this happens to us, we can often forget about what is truly important to us in our daily lives. I believe that one of those things is prayer. How often have you said, I will pray when I am not so busy or when I have time? But, let’s be honest, that time never really comes!
In the gospel this Sunday Jesus is praying. His friends say to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciple to pray.’ But Jesus can’t do this; he can only teach them to pray as he himself prays. And so, he teaches them the prayer we now call the ‘Our Father.’ This is probably the very first prayer we were taught as children. We say it so regularly and quickly that we don’t realise how powerful and radical it really is. The prayer that Jesus offers and teaches are not just words or a formula. Through this ancient prayer, Jesus shares with us the personal and intimate relationship that he enjoys with God, whom he calls ‘Abba,’ which simply means ‘Dad.’ Through this prayer we move closer to God and God comes nearer to us. The ‘Our Father’ is a prayer that helps us to create and sustain an intimate and personal relationship with God. Through this prayer, Jesus teaches us how to pray as he prays and shares with us the relationship he has with God.
I know from experience that it is so easy to stop praying. Too often we say, God’s not listening to me or my prayers are not being answered. Hard as it sounds, prayer is not about me getting what I want from God or even changing God. It’s the other way around! Prayer is about us letting God change and mould us over the course of our whole life. However, this gospel reminds us that this take patience and perseverance. Every time we spend even a few minutes in prayer we are sowing seeds that will bear fruit in God’s time, not ours! Like anything we do, prayer take practise. The more we pray, the more fruitful our lives will be.
The danger and temptation is that when we don’t see or experience any ‘results’ from our prayers or praying, we just give up and give in. When this happens, let us not lose heart. Can we simply turn to Jesus and say to him, Lord, teach me to pray.
St. Paul encourages us with these words; ‘Pray at all times, asking for what you need, praying in the Spirit one every occasion.’ (Ephesians 6.18.)
Br Michael Moore OMI
|Gospel||Luke 9 51-62 ©|
|Jesus sets out for Jerusalem|
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