Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him,
“Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples”
Luke 11:1 (NKJV)
We are entering the holiday season, when in some way (at least I hope) we will manage to find time to devote to us. All the year we are saying that we do not have time or that we have more to do, more and more important than prayer, relegated to being the cinderella of our occupations and concerns. We always have something else that interests us more. In this way we declare that we are not men of prayer and not able to pray. I think that if we recognize this limit, then we should express all the desire to learn to pray, as did the disciples. In an unspecified place, while the Master is praying, they observe and perhaps unite in silence. They are attracted, because a man who prays, and truly prays, possesses and transmits something that is not of this world. I read that "those who know how to pray share in the very value of God, has a value that surpasses every boundary. While those who can not pray are worth very little". Here then one of the disciples, courageously finds courage, and asks: «Lord, teach us to pray».
When you approach the Master to ask him something, you have grasped something extremely important, you have made His teaching yours. Perhaps today you and I must make the same request. The disciple, left anonymous, does not ask to know a method to pray better, to get more answers, as we might think. What do we ask with "Lord, teach us to pray"? Are we perhaps recognizing that we have to start from scratch, because until now our prayers were not such? In this sense, we are bitterly expressing a sense of incapacity and impotence, poverty and loneliness. Precisely for this reason we need that prayer which is meeting with God, where our superficial and empty life discovers the taste of existence. No longer a sterile attempt, but certainty of listening and dialogue with "Abba", the heavenly Father. Christian prayer is therefore to enter into the dialogue of Jesus with the Father. To pray is to desire, to listen, to believe and to feel the Spirit of the Son, the Spirit who intercedes with us with ineffable sighs, as Paul writes (Romans 8:26), contributing to our every weakness.
Let us then, at this time, observe the Son, reading and meditating on the Gospel. And then we learn to pray by praying to Jesus to teach us, because prayer will never be a conquest, but only a divine gift. The time that we will be able to dedicate to him will not be wasted, because as Agostino of Ippona said "he who has learned to pray has learned to live". Lovingly, Paul exhorts the Ephesians: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:18 - NKJV). Those who have made these indications well can assure us that by learning to pray, we find ourselves enabled to live in the Father's will, to resist the temptations of him who "walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8 - NKJV ), to overcome every obstacle that seems insurmountable, to face and break down every giant that is placed on our path, despite our limited capacity. And then, there is no higher place to stand than the feet of the Lord.
Weekly Bible reading plan
6th August Psalms 70-71; Romans 8:22-39
7th August Psalms 72-73; Romans 9:1-15
8th August Psalms 74-76; Romans 9:16-33
9th August Psalms 77-78; Romans 10
10th August Psalms 79-80; Romans 11:1-18
11th August Psalms 81-83; Romans 11:19-36
12th August Psalms 84-86; Romans 12
Photo by Yarik Mishin, www.freeimages.com