Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Our Father…

When Jesus taught the multitudes how to pray, He warned them to avoid hypocrisy in prayer.  In Jesus’ day there were people who loved, “to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men.”  There were also those who believed the longer the prayer the more affective it is, “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

I guess it’s not that much different today.  Today we still have people with bibles in their hands preaching to the wind on street corners for all who would hear them.  Today we have those who close their eyes and with large gestures begin lengthy renditions and petitions – and usually in the company of many people – calling on God and the Holy Spirit to hear their prayers.

My question is simply this, if you pray with lots of gestures and long phrases, knowing you are being watched what exactly are you concentrating on – the prayer (communicating with God) or being seen by your fellow men?  Is this for your edification or for God’s glory?

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes public prayer is necessary to “wake-up humanity” to many of the evils of today, but that public prayer is meant to invite and include, not to focus on one individual and their talent for phrasing or voice projection.

So, how does God want us to pray?  From the depths of our heart, in full confidence that He not only does He hear us, but that He will answer our prayers.  But how does one go about praying?

Well, we obviously shouldn’t just go on and on with our words losing sight of what we were praying for, and on the “flip-side”, we don’t want it to be so quick that we’re not even aware of what we prayed.

I think Jesus knew that we would run into these difficulties, and that we would need His help in this area.  I think that’s why He did this extraordinary thing for us,… He actually taught us how to pray.

In the Gospel according to Matthew 6:5-13, Jesus tells us all of the above and, “your Father knows what you need before you ask [Him].”  Thus giving us the confirmation we can have the courage to ask our Father for what we need.  Are you ready to pray with Jesus and ask the Father for your needs? Jesus, help me prepare my heart to pray with you. Are you ready?  Let’s go!  Matthew 6:9-13…

Our Father, who art in Heaven…

–  The throne room of God, the dwelling place of the Most High, the place where Jesus has gone to prepare a room for each of us (Jn 14:2-3), we can call Him, Our Father.

Hallowed be Thy name…

–  God’s name is so sacred that the Jews of old wouldn’t say it or even write it!  Hallowed – regarded as holy; venerated; sacred

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…

–  “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand… For I have not come down from heaven to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me…~Mt 4:17; Jn 6:38

On earth as it is in heaven…

–  Jesus’ authority is both on earth and in heaven (Jn 3:35; 5:22, 27), and that which the Father wills is accomplished through the Son (Eph 1:20-23).

Give us this day or daily bread…

–  Jesus said, “I am the bread of Life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. ~Jn 6:35. He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all”~ Romans 8:32

Such is the gift given to us in the Eucharist which is only found in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Do you receive your “daily bread” by attending Daily Mass?

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…

–  These aren’t just “words”, Jesus is serious!For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ~Mt 6:14-15

Lead us not into temptation…

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil.”  “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; ~Lk 4:1-2; James 1:13

But deliver us from evil…

–  “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”    “I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.” ~1Cor 10:13; Jn 17:15

So be it!

Jesus gave us this prayer for our use, for us to pray, but most importantly for our courage to call His Father, Our Father.  When you pray this prayer, remember, we “were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.” (Rom 5:10).  The Son and the Father are ONE (Jn 14:10-11), and this is the prayer the Son gave us so that we may call God, Our Father. Any questions?   Let’s pray!

Return to:

Praying the Rosary

Or continue on to…

Hail Mary
Glory Be

One Response to “Our Father…”

  1. Carol said

    Great post! The reflections are a wonderful help in entering into the depth of the Our Father.

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