Learn to pray

01.09.2019

 

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)

With the time of the holidays behind and already projected in the recovery of the innumerable activities, working, family and ecclesial. It seems that you can never find time to devote to us and to what is most dear to us. All the year we are saying that we have no time to devote to prayer, relegated to being the cinderella of our occupations and concerns. We always have something else that takes time. In this way we declare that we are not men of prayer and not knowing how to pray. I think that if we recognize this limit, we should then express the whole desire to learn to pray, as the disciples did. 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 really prays, possesses and transmits something that is not of this world. I read that "those who know how to pray participate in the very value of God, they have a value that surpasses all boundaries. While those who do not know how to pray are of little value ”. Here then is that one of the disciples boldly 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, who remained 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 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 powerlessness, poverty and loneliness. Precisely for this reason we need that prayer which is an encounter with God, where our superficial and empty life discovers the taste of existence. No longer a sterile attempt, but a certainty of listening and dialogue with "Abbà", the heavenly Father. Christian prayer is therefore entering into Jesus' dialogue 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), helping us to overcome all our weaknesses.

We learn to pray by praying to Jesus to teach us, because prayer will never be an achievement, but only a divine gift. The time we will be able to dedicate to him will not be wasted, because as Augustine of Hippo said "those who have learned to pray, have learned to live". Lovingly, Paul exhorts the Ephesians: "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18). Whoever has made these indications his own can assure us well that by learning to pray, we find ourselves enabled to live in the will of the Father, to resist the temptations of the one who "goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8 ), to overcome every obstacle that appears to us insurmountable, to face and break down every giant that stands in our way, despite our limited capabilities. And then, there is no higher place to stay than the feet of the Lord.

Devotional 36/2019
Weekly Bible reading plan

September 2, Psalms 137-139; 1 Corinthians 13
September 3, Psalms 140-142; 1Corinti 14: 1-20
September 4, Psalms 143-145; 1Corinti 14: 21-40
September 5, Psalms 146-147; 1 Corinthians 15: 1-28
September 6, Psalms 148-150; 1 Corinthians 15: 29-58
September 7, Proverbs 1-2; 1 Corinthians 16
September 8, Proverbs 3-5; 2 Corinthians 1

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