Lord, Teach Us To Pray | iPray with the Gospel
He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.”
When you pray with the Gospel, imagine the scene and try to be one more character in it. This one could have been more or less as follows: Jesus and His disciples had been sleeping in the open air. When the apostles started waking up they noticed that Jesus wasn’t there. ‘Where is He?’ someone asked. ‘There! He is praying,’ answered another. As they were clearing their heads and rubbing their eyes and someone was grilling a fish on the fire, someone else, – maybe John, who had his eyes always on the Master – said, ‘I wonder how He prays? … John the Baptist taught us to pray, do you remember Andrew?’ ‘Certainly!’ answered Andrew, ‘Yeah, I’m also curious to know what Jesus says in His prayer…’ By then Jesus was walking back towards them. He sat by the fire, smiling, knowing that they wanted to ask something but didn’t dare. He might have looked at John and said ‘What is it?’ “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples!” And then Jesus taught them. So simple: talk to God as to your Father. You and I have to learn to pray as well, so we ask Him to teach us. He responds with His Gospel: take it and read it!
‘Open the Holy Gospel’ St. Josemaría taught, ‘but don’t just read it: live it. My advice is that, in your prayer, you actually take part in the different scenes of the Gospel, as one more among the people present … Live your life close to Christ. You should be another character in the Gospel, side by side with Peter, and John, and Andrew… In this way (and I know many perfectly ordinary people who live this way) you will be captivated like Mary was, who hung on every word that Jesus uttered or, like Martha, you will boldly make your worries known to him, opening your heart sincerely about them all no matter how little they may be’. Mary, my Mother, let me be at your side, to see your Son as you see Him and to listen to Him as you do.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).