Jesus’ disciples ask him to teach them to pray. They have seen that prayer – time spent in silence, alone with his Father – is at the heart of Jesus’ own life. A distinctive prayer will be a mark of their own identity as Jesus’ disciples. The prayer that Jesus teaches them is simple, but striking. He tells his disciples to address God as ‘Father,’ in trust and simplicity, as he does himself. He tells them to ask God for what they need – daily bread – and to pray for forgiveness of their sins.
Jesus teaches his disciples, too, to be persistent in prayer. When we pray for what we need, we are expressing our absolute dependence on God; recognising that we receive everything we have as a gift from God, like young children who depend completely on their parents. We may feel discouraged when prayer seems to go unheard; we may even wonder if God hears us. But we should never be afraid to ask God for our needs, and we should always trust that our loving Father wishes to give us what is truly best for us.