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Doctrines & Morals

Teach us Lord

October 10, 2018 (Wednesday of week 27 Year II)


Teach us to pray…


Dear friends in Christ, how do you pray and what sort of prayer do you say? Obviously, the disciples had been taught to pray as children and they have often prayed. Something must have moved them however to ask Jesus to teach them how to pray even though they cited the example of John who also taught his disciples. They were to ask that the kingdom of God comes and forgive their enemies. Do you pray according to the mind of Christ?


Our first reading today (Galatians 2:1-2.7-14) points to the fact that the mission to save the world was not restricted to Israel alone. Paul after many years among the Gentiles went back and laid before the Apostles the report of his mission. There he received the hand of fellowship, as he wrote, “For he who worked through Peter for the mission to the circumcised worked through me also for the Gentiles.” We too must learn to humbly give an account of our lives, before the rightful authority, to make sure that we are in line with the vision in place. Paul said he had to correct Peter at a meal where he had separated himself from the Gentiles at an agape meal, because of the presence of the circumcision party—a case of sensitivity to these visitors from Jerusalem, but a thing capable of discouraging the converts. Our lives must be such that what we do in private should be what we can defend in public.


The Gospel passage (Luke 11:1-4) is the Lord’s response to the request by his apostles “Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.” The Lord’s prayer recorded in the Gospel of Luke is shorter, compared to Matthew’s version, which is more polished. This version by Luke contains the praise of the Father and four petitions in very simple and short phrases. This format of prayers requires that the one who prays, while recognising God’s supremacy in the hallowing of his name, also makes God’s kingdom, his primary search object. This will of course, involve living as commanded by God, and sharing the love of neighbour. “Give us this day our daily bread,” is a clear indication that it is God who provides. He provided manner for the pilgrims at the exodus, and provides the bread of the Eucharist for the Christian people. He continues down through the ages to feed his people both materially and spiritually. No matter the hard labour involved on our part, it is God who makes the efforts yield the desired satisfaction. “Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” This is a prayer but also a commitment to forgive others. Forgiving everyone who is indebted to us, means that we forgive all, just as Christ gave his life for all. “Lead us not into temptation” completes the petitions. The true disciple must pray always to overcome temptations, particularly that which could put the faith at risk, and go a step further to avoid occasions of sin. How ready are you for the kingdom?


Let us pray: Lord, you taught your disciples to pray, move us to pray and when we call on you hear and answer us. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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