Gospel: Lk 11:1-4
One day, Jesus was praying in a certain place; and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ”Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” And Jesus said to them, ”When you pray, say this: Father, may your name be held holy, may your kingdom come; give us, each day, the kind of bread we need, and forgive us our sins; for we also forgive all who do us wrong; and do not bring us to the test.”
”Lord teach us to pray” was the humble request of one of His disciples as he saw Jesus in deep prayer. The disciple must have difficulties in praying or as we call must be suffering dryness in prayer. He wanted to pray as Jesus prayed. Jesus taught him His prayer. What did Jesus teach his disciple? I am sure among others are the following:
First, these lines which we used to sing when we were minor seminarians; ”Prayer is the key to heaven. But, prayer without faith is like a boat without an oar. Have faith when you speak to the master…” Faith is needed in prayer but not just any kind of faith. A young boy was trapped in a burning house. The father called his son; ”My son jump from the window.” The son answered,” I can‘t see you.” The thick smoke covered his sight. The father strongly persuaded the son to jump. The son jumped and fell into the arms of his father. He jumped because he trusted his father. Prayer needs this quality of faith, a complete trust in God.
During the Roman period, after a successful conquest or victory of the Roman soldiers they have to formally report to the emperor seated on his throne. In their full colorful uniform and at the cheers of the crowd they walk toward the throne. One time, a young boy ran across the marching crowd. The guard stopped him and told the boy, ”you are dishonoring the emperor” but the boy answered loudly, ”to you he is the emperor, to me he is my father.” The boy succeeded to the throne. Every time a person prays, he must never forget that God is Father to him and that he is son of God.