Tuesday of the First Week of Lent; 7th March 2017.
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “In praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trepasses, as we forgive those who trepass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trepasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Jesus teaches us how to pray this Lent. In our quest to be holy, we can’t afford to neglect our prayer life. We must pray more and not just more; we must also pray well. “In praying do not heap up empty phrases… (Matthew 6:7)” We have known prayer to be the raising up of our hearts and minds to God and not mere utterances of words. “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him…(Matthew 6:8)” So there’s no need for lengthy prayers if your God knows your heart intentions and what’s best for you. It’s only good that we make our prayers conform with God’s will. A good prayer to contain:
Adoration: “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.” Give God praise and honor for who he is as Lord over all.
Thanksgiving: “Thy will be done as it is in heaven.” .
Confession: “And forgive us our trepasses, as we forgive those who trepass against us.” Beg for pardon with a contrite heart also remembering that the forgiveness of sins you ask for should be the measure you are willing to give to those who may have wronged you.
Supplication: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Pray for the needs of others and yourself. And pray it goes in accordance to God’s will.
But Christ also tells us that to pray well we must have forgiveness in our hearts, we must hold no grudge and habour no hatred towards anyone. This is the secret formula to receiving forgiveness from our loving Father. So in the spirit of Lent, may we reconcile with all those who wronged us and those who we hurt as well so that our prayers may be pleasing to our Lord who hears the pleas of we his children.