Why do we pray the traditional prayers such as the 'Our Father' and 'Hail Mary'? Why do we use these scripted prayers to express our faith in worship? We are taught the that saying the rosary can bring many graces, we recite the Our Father during mass and many bedtime family prayers recall these prayers as well. Personal prayer from our hearts is very important, building a deeper relationship with God through asking for aid and for giving thanks. However, traditional prayers also provide a straight path to God, reaffirming our faith in very basic language, and remembering our doctrine. How important are all types of prayer in your life?
Today's Gospel states:'"And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for 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 debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses ('Matthew 6:7-15).
Today's Gospel talks about how we can't pray with empty phrases, but to ask what is truly on our hearts. Jesus teaches us how to pray, starting with praise, recognition, recalling our faith. We ask to accept this day, and every day as a gift, leading us on the journey to heaven. We ask forgiveness of our sins and failures and have hope to change and be worthy of God's love. These are just some of the minor things we remember as we say the Our Father prayer, intertwined into others as well. How often do you take time for any form of prayer, especially that which help you remember the roots of your faith? Take some time to ask God to help bring you into a continuous prayer life.
Today's prayer is traditional, recalling your faith through words that Jesus brought us:
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. Amen.