After reflecting on our call to be disciples like Martha and Mary, faithful women and good friends of Jesus along with their brother Lazarus last week, today Jesus’ disciples ask him how to pray. Prayer is integral to our life of faith. As Abraham was persistent in his negotiation with the Lord God over the plight of the good people in Sodom, we hear how God was willing to listen and take Abraham’s request to heart.
Similarly, the disciples are fascinated that Jesus often goes off to pray, not necessarily in the synagogue but we know he does that too. Jesus goes off to pray to commune with the father, receive strength and grace to face the challenges of his next day of life, mission and ministry. With kindness Jesus responds to their request and does not respond back with a question. Instead he offers them the prayer we say/pray every Sunday, the Our Father. As Luke shares the words, it is a brief, succinct prayer outlining so many major thoughts and beliefs. The prayer should be prayed communally, addressed to God in a familiar way who is like a father to us. And like a father he has some expectations for his people that they will be cognizant of others, requesting mercy when mercy is needed and receive basic sustenance and deliverance from evil.
The Our Father as a prayer deserves our undivided attention as God is so willing to listen to us and bless us in ways we can’t even imagine. It calls upon us to be selfless, sharing what we have with those in need. May we be generous to others today whether with the little or surplus that we have as God is generous to us. Above all, like Abraham and like Jesus we need to be persistent in our prayer, praying always for the needs of others and God will take care of us.