Learning to Pray from the Master

Challenge: Ask Christ to teach you how to pray. Strive to imitate him in your posture and in your attitude towards prayer.
by Father Patrick Butler, LC | Source: Catholic.net

 
October 8, 2008
Wednesday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Luke 11: 1-4
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test."


Introductory Prayer: Lord, I try to imagine the scene that your friends contemplated – you on your knees praying. This fills me with a desire to pray. You inspire me with faith. You make me hope for union with God here in this life and beyond, in eternity. Seeing you pray to your Father, whom you love, gives me the desire to love him and his will with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.

Petition: Jesus, teach me to pray -- today.

1. In a Certain Place
It is remarkable to think that there are certain real, physical places where Jesus prayed. He is a real person, flesh and blood. His humanity, united to his divinity, makes him the perfect man. Seeing him do anything makes me want to imitate his way of doing it. This is especially true when I see him pray, since he has greater intimacy with God than anyone, even Moses, who knew God face-to-face (cf. Deuteronomy 34:10). Do I have a particular place which I set aside to pray?

2. Teach Me
St. Paul hits the nail on the head when he says, “We do not know how to pray as we ought” (Romans 8:26). Even if I have been making an effort to pray for years, I can never say that I know how to do it on my own. Every day, I need to say to Jesus, “Lord, teach me to pray.” I do not want to pray independently from my Lord, because he is the perfect model and the consummate master of prayer.

3. The Lord’s Prayer 
Thus far, I have contemplated Jesus praying and have sought from him guidance on how to pray. Now I turn to the prayer itself. I will not get to the bottom of the content of Jesus’ prayer, neither in this meditation, nor in all of my subsequent meditations on the “Our Father.” What I need to do is to break out of my routine way of saying it and seek the depth of each one of the seven petitions. Let it suffice that today I try to live the first petition – “Holy be your name” – in my life today.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I want to give honor to the Father today by the way I live. I desire to further your kingdom with my thoughts, words and actions. I want the Father’s will to be the standard by which I guide my daily life.

Resolution: I will ask Christ to teach me how to pray. I will strive to imitate him in my posture and in my attitude towards prayer.



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