Praying… God’s Way, Not Ours

The disciples weren’t asking Jesus to tell them everything about prayer. They were simply asking
Him how to go about praying properly. What He gave them was a model prayer, the one we know
as ‘The Our Father’. Someone remarked that this simple prayer has had such a dramatic effect upon
the world of religion. It seems that in the Old Testament days people feared God and hesitated to
even say His name aloud, because doing so implied an intimacy that they couldn’t claim as their
own. But now Jesus is giving them permission to call upon Gods name and invoke His power,
protection and mercy. Aren’t these the things that we take for granted since we so easily have the
luxury of praying whenever we want and for whatever we need?
Perhaps this gospel message is an opportunity for each of us to ask ourselves why we pray. It
should never be to impose our will upon God but rather to ask Him to put us in a position to accept
His will. Within the Lord’s Prayer is the wording: “Thy will be done.” When we pray these words, we
are handing over a certain amount of our freedom by asking that He give us the strength to change
ourselves. The entire foundation of this prayer is trust. Trust in the Father’s love, and believing that
He will take care of us, His children.
Pay special attention to the opening lines of today’s scripture. It points out that, “Jesus was praying
in a certain place, and when He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to
pray.’ Reflecting on this line got me thinking that seeing Jesus in prayer touched them so much that
they asked Him for instructions in praying properly. His good example moved them to want to
model their prayer on His. Can we say the same for ourselves? That the way we pray may have a
good influence on others? A Dominican Priest, Fr. Vogt, wrote that turning our wills over to God was
the perfect prayer. He wrote that, “anger isn’t getting my way in the present; resentment isn’t
getting my way in the past; and fear isn’t getting my way in the future.” With simple prayer, Jesus
teaches me to place the present, the past, and the future in Gods loving hands.”
Pray often,