Tuesday 23 February 2021


To become prayer

Read

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. And do not put us to the test, but save us from the evil one. Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’

MATTHEW 6: 7-15

Reflect

Many years ago, in the late nineteenth century, a priest called Fr Griffith Arthur Jones was sent to St Mary’s. He was met with much opposition. Within the parish were held prayer meetings later described by colleagues of Fr Jones as “trying ordeals” with “extempore effusions not conducive to devotion.” In a biography of Fr Jones written after his death we read that “On one occasion something or some one was compared to an “unthinking horse”; another time a person floundered hopelessly in a bog of words and ideas, and was driven to exclaim, ‘Thou knowest, Lord, what I do mean.’ On most Sundays the conversion of the Vicar and clergy to the “pure Gospel” was prayed for.” In the gospel reading today, Jesus warns his followers not to babble in their prayers using words to impress others rather than grow close to God. He then gives us a model of prayer which has characterised Christians ever since. Jesus is the perfect pray-er. He is the perfect prayer. The French Priest, Michel Quoist, once wrote, “If we knew how to listen to God, if we knew how to look around us, our whole life would become prayer.” In prayer, we lean closer to the will of God, we wait upon him, listen to him. As we take to heart the prayer of Jesus, we are drawn deeper into his own intimate relationship with the Father, learn to look at the world in a new way, so that our whole life, like Jesus, will become prayer.

Pray

God our Father, help me to listen, to learn, to yearn for your love, and to look at the world as it is in your eyes so that the whole of my life will become prayer. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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