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Father Muench Says...

Praying how Jesus taught us

January 13, 2021

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I believe that only thing for me to write about would be prayer. We pray because God loves us. We love God because God loves first. You and I are followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught us how to pray. There is a story in the Gospels when the apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. At that time, He taught them the prayer that we call the “Lord’s Prayer.”

First, we must begin with silence. Any time we talk about prayer we must begin with an understanding of silence. You and I must realize that the only way to find peace in this noisy world is first to find some silence. Silence allows us to be calm in our very being. At the same time, silence allows us to find our God – a time to bring our cares and concerns, our hopes and dreams to the Lord, our God.

Prayer must begin with a Creed. Through the prayers of the Creed, we make a decision, and we proclaim our dedication to Our Lord and Savior. It is a moment when we place our faith and trust and confidence in God. It is a time to announce to the world and to ourselves that we truly believe in God and that God is a part of our world. Our lives only makes sense because we want God to be a part of all that we do. We make it clear, especially to ourselves, that we believe we place our faith in our God.

Now, the Lord’s Prayer – Jesus’ Prayer. Jesus tells us to begin prayer with our dedication to “Our Father.” When we pray to our God, we are praying to our Father, a Father who has given us life, who creates for us this world – a good and alive world. We pray to “Our Father” who promises to listen to us and who answers our prayers as a good and loving Father.

We honor, our Father, for he is in Heaven. So, we make his very name sacred. We pray that we may do all in the name of our God and Father. As disciples of the Lord, Jesus, our lives are dedicated to form the Kingdom of God here on this earth, a Kingdom of love and peace and forgiveness and a Spirit in which we live in a strong and loving relationship with our God.

Our daily bread – we ask of our Father to watch over us and take care of us each day, physically and spiritually, through the food of this world and the sacramental food of the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus then asks us to make a covenant with Our Father, that we seek forgiveness of our faults and sins just as we, ourselves, show that forgiveness and mercy to those who trespass against us. The disciples of Jesus are a forgiving, loving people.

Jesus completes this prayer as he urges us to plead with our Father to protect us – to deliver us from all evil. Today, we can pray that God will preserve our world from the evil of this pandemic.

Each time we recite the Lord’s Prayer we make a sincere prayer that God watches over so many who now suffer from this COVID. This prayer of Jesus reaches out to the Lord for all those who are suffering.

The “Our Father” is a handy prayer. We all know it, and people of other Christian faiths know it also. Whenever we need a prayer, we have it. Personally, I have stood with a group and want them all to pray with me, and I know that I can use the Lord’s Prayer. I think of the many times I have been with a family around the hospital bed of a seriously sick loved one and can ask them to join with me to pray, and we join in faith to say the Lord’s Prayer.

Today, we must be a people of prayer.

Please join me as we say together the Lord’s Prayer.

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