We have a loving Father!

By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | July 24,2022 - 09:07 AM

The story is told about a señora who asked her maid: “Did you clean the keyboard of my computer as I told you to do?” The maid responded: “Yes, Ma’am, I did. Not only that. It was a little difficult, but I also rearranged the keys of the keyboard alphabetically!”

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 11:1-13), Jesus instructed us on how to pray. The Lord’s Prayer, the “Our Father,” is the model of how we should pray. It is, so to say, the complete prayer. When we pray, it is good to follow His instructions as He Himself taught us to pray this prayer.

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When we pray, let us be guided by the acronym ACTS which stands for Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. The “Our Father” contains all these. Let us not omit all these elements to make our prayers complete. Take note that supplication or petition prayers are at the end. Don’t we all tend to specialize in petitions whenever we pray? Let us not, so to say, rearrange the keyboard!

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But it’s not as if we have to follow a strict formula whenever we pray. Someone put it beautifully that it is better to pray with a heart without words than to pray with words without a heart. True prayer is from the heart, like that of a child, trustingly praying to his/her father.

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I suggest that we learn to pray with HOPE, i.e. Humility, Obedience, Perseverance, and Expectation.

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HUMILITY. When we pray, we come as lowly creatures to Someone greater than us, like that of a servant to a Master. A humble and contrite heart is a heart that is so pleasing to God. We also pray with gratitude, for we all have been forgiven, saved, and blessed. Instead of feeling down when we do not receive what we asked for in prayer, let us humbly thank God for the many times He gave us what we did not even deserve or ask for.

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OBEDIENCE. We do not order God when we pray. We premise all our prayers as petitions with “Thy will be done, Lord.” We pray, trusting in God’s wisdom, mercy, and perfect timing. We surrender everything and everyone according to God’s loving will and plan. “Let us take whatever God gives and give whatever He takes with a smile. That is holiness.” (Mother Teresa)

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PERSEVERANCE. We must pray without ceasing, and not be dismayed especially when God seems not to hear our pleadings. The Gospel talks about persistence in prayer. Just pray, and pray on. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12,12).

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EXPECTATION. We pray and believe that what we ask for will be given to us. Like a child, may we be ready for surprises and second chances from this God who loves us more than we know. Whenever we pray, let us expectantly believe that God will make a way, and that, indeed, He makes all things beautiful in His time!

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Think about this: “God is my Boss, and I’m His employee. I am very thankful for my everyday salary called LIFE, with benefits called BLESSINGS, and a reward called ETERNAL LIFE.” (Jaya Prakash)

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For me, the most important line in The Lord’s Prayer is “Our Father.” When we pray, we are given the privilege to talk with a loving Father who reminds us that we are all brothers and sisters, so we should love one another. Yes, we have a Father who is bigger than our problems, bigger than our sins, and bigger than all our worldly blessings! Thank You, Father! 

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, thank You for reminding us that we have a loving Father, and that we should love one another as sisters and brothers. Amen.

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