“teach us to pray” (lk 11:1)
“Father...” —Luke 11:2
In a conversation with God, Jonah “prayed” in anger: “And now, Lord, please take my life from me.’...But the Lord asked, ‘Have you reason to be angry?’ ” (Jon 4:2, 3-4). Part of Jonah’s prayer actually involved a direct back-and-forth conversation with God (Jon 4:4, 9-10). Yet an in-person conversation with God had less life-changing impact for Jonah than did spending three days in the belly of a fish (Jon 2:1ff). This demonstrates that something was lacking in Jonah’s prayer life. Cain and Solomon likewise had direct conversations with Almighty God (Gn 4:9ff; 1 Kgs 11:11). These encounters with God likewise failed to change their hearts.
My new grandson, Frederick, is two months old. He has just learned how to focus his eyes on his parents. He spends time in their arms and gazes into their eyes. He is learning his parents’ voices and facial expressions. Frederick’s daily life is absorbed in his relationships with his mom and dad.
Although Frederick cannot talk yet, his relationship with his parents is a beautiful example of the kind of “prayer” Jesus is teaching to His disciples. As children of God, we address God as Jesus taught us, saying “Father,” an intimate word which could be translated as “Abba” or “Daddy” (see Rm 8:15; Gal 4:6). In prayer, we learn who our Father is, trust Him as would an infant, and fall deeply in love with Him. Dare to pray, “Father...”
Prayer: “Father, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come” (Lk 11:2).
Promise: “You are great and You do wondrous deeds.” —Ps 86:10
Praise: St. Bruno was a great teacher of theology. One of his students, Urban, later became a pope.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(The Gospel of John reveals Jesus as the Christ, the anointed One of God. Join our retreat Oct. 22-24 as we delve into this beautiful Gospel. Call 937-587-5464, 513-373-2397, or see presentationministries.com to register or for information.)
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