When you pray, do not use a lot of words, as the pagans do, for they believe that the more they say, the more chance they have of being heard. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need, even before you ask him.
This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven,
holy be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we forgive those who are in debt to us.
Do not bring us to the test,
but deliver us from the evil one.
If you forgive others their wrongdoings, your Father in heaven will also forgive yours. If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you.
The Lord’s Prayer is one of the best known prayers ever. As Christians, we learn to recite it early in life. However, the words have become so familiar that we tend to pray it so mechanically and mindlessly to the point that it no longer comes from the heart. When Jesus taught his disciples this prayer, he meant it to be a personal and intimate communication from a beloved child to a loving father. Jesus teaches us that prayer is first of all a relationship between God and us, a relationship built on love and trust, more than fear. Unless we believe in the goodness of God, we cannot pray this prayer from our hearts. In faith, we ask God to provide for our daily needs as we learn to live our life one day at a time. This serves as an antidote against our tendency to hoard supplies as insurance for future shortages, indicating a lack of trust in God’s care and protection. Prayer is incomplete if it does not end in action and change. True prayer teaches our hearts to forgive those who have hurt us, an act which requires courage and faith in God’s healing love.
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