Homily – July 28, 2019

Lord, teach us to pray. Most of us see ourselves as poor prayers. We’re so busy we find it hard to find the time to pray and when we do pray we find it hard to be still, our minds are like racing motors thinking of things we should be doing.

We’ve made Jesus’ lesson on how to pray into a prayer itself. Jesus’s first point in his teaching is that when we pray we are entering into a relationship, son or daughter with our father, our mother. The most basic of all relationships.

On another occasion when Jesus was talking about prayer he tells us not to babble like the gentiles do. They think that by using many words they will be heard. Then he tells us,’ your Father knows what you need even before you ask him.’ Our father/mother knows what we need. We know what we want. As has been said before, prayer isn’t about changing God’s mind to suit us as it is about changing our minds to suit God’s.

The Our Father is a series of petitions the first of which is ‘hallowed be thy name.’ It is the most important petition, that God’s name be glorified. We ask the God’s kingdom come to that part of our lives which have yet to be redeemed. We ask that our lives be open to God’s will for us rather than our own. We ask for the daily bread of God’s living giving grace. Our next petition is a bit frightening if we think about it; forgive us our offences as we forgive those who have offended us Finally we ask not to be put to the test of being separated from our father/mother.

There is a country western song that sings, sometimes God greatest gift is our unanswered prayers. He’d discovered that the love he so longed for would have been a disaster. The spiritual writer CS Lewis once quipped that we will spend most of eternity thanking God for those prayers of ours that he didn’t answer!

The greatest prayer we pray is a prayer of thanksgiving. That’s what we are praying right here, right now. When we begin our Eucharistic prayer, our prayer of thanksgiving we say, it is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks Lord holy father, almighty and eternal God. We give you thanks for the gift of ourselves, our lives, our faith, our sight, our hearing, our mobility, our family, our friends, our work, our food and so many other blessings we take so much for granted. No mattered what our problems and struggles we are a blessed people.

As we continue to celebrate this Eucharist, this prayer of thanksgiving may we know in our hearts that is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation always and everywhere to give our God to give you thanks.