Teach us to pray

Today’s Gospel begins when Jesus’ disciples see him praying. Perhaps they realise how important prayer is in Jesus’ own life, and so they ask him to teach them to pray.

Jesus tells the disciples to pray to God as ‘Father.’ He is telling them that they are all God’s children, and all brothers and sisters. Since Jesus himself prays to God as ‘Father,’ he is telling us that he is our brother, too. When we pray for God’s kingdom to come, we are praying that God will rule in our lives and in our hearts – that we will live according to God’s commandments of love. In asking for our ‘daily bread,’ we are asking for the things that we need each day, knowing that we depend on God for everything. We pray that God will forgive our sins, because we know that we need to be forgiven – but at the same time, we promise to forgive others who have hurt us. It can be hard to forgive but, unless we do, we will carry around the burden of all the wrongs and hurt that we have suffered.

It may be difficult to pray to God as ‘Father,’ for someone who did not have a good relationship with their own father. Jesus is telling us to speak to God as the one who knows us and loves us, more than we can imagine. God wants us to pray every day, to ask for all that we need, and not to give up. God loves to hear from his children.

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