Some people want to pray but do not know how. The disciple in today’s Gospel (Luke 11:1-13), who, after having watched Our Lord praying, said, “Lord, teach us to pray”. Thanks to that exchange we now have in our treasury of spiritual things, the prayer that is now known as the “Lord’s Prayer” or the “Our Father”.
So how do we pray? Perhaps one of the ways to learn how to pray is to ponder the content of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. The prayer relates us to God as ‘Abba, or Father (Daddy!)”. Pondering on this alone can take us into great spiritual depth. We can also take the prayer apart and meditate on the seven articles that are embedded in it. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has some of the most beautiful explanation on prayer. Check it out, and here are some of the beautiful paragraphs:
2559 “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart? He who humbles himself will be exalted; humility is the foundation of prayer, Only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,” are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God.”
2560 “If you knew the gift of God!” The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.
2561 “You would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” Paradoxically our prayer of petition is a response to the plea of the living God: “They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water!” Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God.