Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day7: Prayer-It's not about you.

Today's gospel turns our attention to the Lenten practice of prayer, with the model Christian prayer, the Lord's Prayer.

The prayer only appears in Matthew and Luke. Luke's version is much briefer.

Luke 11:2-4

2 ...Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread;
4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation."

Matthew's version is the one we usually recite

Catholic Study Bible

Matthew 6:9-13

9 ...Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread;
12 And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors;
13 And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.

Some things worth noting:
1. The prayer is mostly about God.
2. It is always "us" and never "me."
3. Most of what we ask for is spiritual. The only physical thing we ask for is "our daily bread", and even that may be understood as a reference to the Eucharist.

In short, this prayer draws our attention upward. It turns our focus outward.

Particularly when we are wounded, hurting, our tendency is to turn inward, to emotionally circle the wagons. This prayer reminds us that that is precisely the wrong thing to do. When we are hurting we need to look outward, remember that we are part of something larger, the Church. And most of all we need to look up.

Our Father, who art in heaven

He is the only source of true power. With our eyes fixed on heaven we can pass through any adversity.