Prayer: Talk of A Child to His/Her Father
(See Lk 11:1-13)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The Gospel story tells us that someone among the disciples of Christ asks Him to teach them how to pray to God.
All religions consider prayer as an indispensable part of religious practices, through which believers approach God and offer Him their petitions for many and different needs. Aware of their unworthiness before the Most Holy and Almighty, they feel in them profound reverence and great fear which resound through the words of their prayer and reflect in their gesture of worship. People get familiar with this way of service of God at a distance and in trembling as servants and slaves should do to fearful kings and the world superpowers.
To the disciples’ surprise and amusement, Christ tells them to pray to God just the way they talk to their mother or father. In fact, at the beginning of their prayer, they address the Most Holy and Most Powerful “Our Father”. Those who call someone “father” are no doubt his children. For the first time in the history of humanity, believers in Christ are taught by no one other than the Beloved Son of God the great reality that the Almighty and Eternal God, the Creator of the universe, the Source of all that is true, good and beautiful, is their loving and caring Father.
For Christians, the most beautiful and meaningful prayer, as taught by Christ, is the “Our Father”.
Every time we pray, we look up to God and call Him “Abba!”, Hebrew for “Daddy”, “Papa”, “Ama”, “Bố ơi”, “Ba ơi”.
“Our Father”, this way of addressing God the Almighty immediately builds up a strong confidence, a profound intimacy, and a sweet love for Christians to continue their talk to the heavenly Father.
“Our Father”, this way of opening the worship of God makes Christians feel at home to offer their Father in heaven the best of their gifts which is their hearts filled with burning love and care for His Great Name, for His Glorious Kingdom, for His Holy Will, and with deep gratitude for His blessings of safe and happy life, for His merciful love and forgiveness of their sins, for His saving power from the forces of evil. Amen.
Fr. Francis Nguyen, O.P.