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Oblate blog: July 27, 2010: Prayer

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Pray & Work weekend 2010

Pray and Work weekend, July 9-11, 2010 --- To see more pictures of the "Pray and Work" weekend go to:  http://kennethosb.smugmug.com/Conception-Abbey/Oblates-of-Conception-Abbey/Oblates-2010/11800836_6UNUd

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In the Gospel last Sunday the disciples asked Jesus to "Teach us to pray…" Perhaps these are words we too ask of Jesus at times. How can I pray better, or teach me to pray better than I do. Jesus simply taught the disciples by telling them to pray as follows. And then he taught them the so called "Our Father" or "Lord’s Prayer." We recite this prayer so often both in the liturgy and in our private prayer. Some have suggested that it is less a prayer to be recited than a list of things around which our prayer should be centered. Each phrase can stand on its own and be a topic of prayer in its own right.

Of course it begins with that simple phrase which we use so often: "Our Father." We do not begin by addressing God as Lord, or Master or Judge etc. We call him by a very personal name, Father, Abba, Papa etc. By calling God Father we are also all children and so brothers and sisters of each other. Unless we accept this fact, it will be difficult for us to call God Father. He is always "Our Father" and not my Father alone.

This is emphasized even more when we ask forgiveness for our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. This links us once again to those around us. We pray to share in this most beautiful of God’s qualities—His readiness to forgive again and again and again.

And Jesus emphasizes how we are to persevere in prayer: seeking, asking, and knocking again and again. God does not always give us what we want, for our wants are often short sighted and self-centered. Perseverance in prayer can help us become more aware of what we should really be asking for.

God hears our prayer, he wants to help us.