Father José LaBoy, LC
said to his disciples: "In praying, do not babble
like the pagans, who think that they will be
heard because of their many words. Do not be like
them. Your Father knows what you need before you
ask him. This is how you are to pray: 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 trespasses, as we
forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not
into temptation, but deliver us from evil. If you
forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive
you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will
your Father forgive your transgressions."
Introductory Prayer: Lord,
I am aware that you know what is best
for me, and that is why I believe in you.
You are more interested in my spiritual well-being than
I am, and that is why I trust in
you. You always give me your loving forgiveness in spite
of my sins, and that is why I love
Petition: Lord, teach me how to pray.
Prayer is the Fruit of Silence: Some people like
to talk. They demand to be listened to, but
they don’t have the same interest in listening. However, you
usually can’t listen if you aren’t used to silence.
St. Theresa of Calcutta once wrote that prayer is
the fruit of silence. Jesus wants us to understand
that prayer is more about listening than about talking. When
you are with someone who knows much about a
topic that interests you, you limit yourself to asking
questions and dedicate yourself to listening. Jesus is the revealer
of God the Father. That means our main interest
in prayer should be asking Jesus, our Lord, about
his Father and then dedicating ourselves to listening.
2. God is
Our Loving Father: Jesus tells us that God the
Father knows what we need before we ask him.
Still, we should ask, because in asking we become aware
that we have needs that only God our Father
can grant us. We learn to ask God what
we most need for our salvation. That is why Jesus
taught us the “Our Father.” Praying the “Our Father”
reminds us that he is the father of all, and
therefore every human person is truly our brother. In
praying the “Our Father,” we essentially ask for three
things: that God have the first place in our lives,
that he give us our material and spiritual sustenance,
and that he grant us his forgiveness.
3. Forgive in
Order to Be Forgiven: Jesus emphasizes the importance
of forgiveness. As the First Letter of John reminds
us, we are all sinners (cf. 1: 8). One of
the essential characteristics of Christian life is seeking to
encounter Christ’s loving mercy. We can really experience it
only when we put it into practice ourselves. We
can admire a person who parachutes off a plane, but
we won’t understand the experience until we skydive ourselves.
We grasp the true meaning of mercy when we
forgive others. Our mercy will not be the same as
Christ’s: He never sinned, and therefore he forgives us
even though we don’t deserve it. If Christ has
forgiven us, how can we dare not to forgive others?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I thank you
for teaching me to pray to the Father. I don’t
always pray as much as I should. Please help
me to pray more and better. Please help me to
want with all my heart to give God the
first place in my life, preferring his will to mine.
Help me to treat others as I would like
them to treat me, forgiving them when they offend
Resolution: I will dedicate a specific
time to prayer each day.