The How and What of Prayer

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The WORD in other words by Fr Gerry P Donato SVD — Divine Word Institute of Mission Studies, Tagaytay City

Tuesday 1st Week of Lent

Photo: Invocation of the Saints in the Ordination Rites, Kinshasa, Congo

Today’s Gospel is about prayer. To pray is such an ordinary activity but it is not an easy task. But then, without praying, there is nothing to nourish our soul and our spirit spiritually, and most especially, we have no other means to connect ourselves with the Lord Jesus.

Like any other form of activity, prayer can be an exciting and joyful experience. Prayer is never a waste of time nor waste of energy. Praying is never an exercise in futility. Thus, in the Gospel, Jesus taught his disciples and all of us how to pray and what to pray.

First, in praying, he warned us to avoid many words, instead, we should rather be simple and direct to the point. Let us be careful “babbling with too many words” for God knows already what we pray for or what we even need before we open our mouth.

What is important is the heart from which we pray with sincerity and patience, persevernce and persistence. God sees the heart that prays.

Second, what do we pray for? In response, our Lord tells us what is necessary and basic to live our Christian life on earth.

For instance, we pray that we never fail to acknowledge the presence of God in our lives and more importantly, to do his will on earth as it is in heaven. We pray too for our daily food that we have always something to nourish our body. Lastly, we ask God always to be on our side so that we never succumb to evil temptation, and likewise, to forgive our sins, just as we are ready and willing to forgive others too.

The prayer is simple, but at times hard to pray because of what it demands us to do. Difficult indeed, but this is the prayer that our Lord taught us. It becomes OUR prayer and our way to his kingdom in heaven.

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