Discovering the Lord of the prayer- Tuesday, 1st week in Lent – Mt 6:7-15

 Rattling the Lord’s Prayer has become second nature to most of us.  Jesus gave us this prayer in the context of how we ought not to pray and rattling it was certainly not on His mind.  Empty phrases do not please Our God and so Jesus gave us this simple prayer of dependence before Our God. Our rediscovery of this prayer may help us to understand the gift given to us in this precious prayer.

This prayer of Jesus emanated from His heart, yet in more ways than one it was revolutionary. Addressing God as ‘Abba’, Father, was unheard of.  The name of Yahweh itself was never uttered I the Old Testament.  In giving us the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus brings in a dimension of intimacy and trust between the believer and God. God is no longer that distant vengeful God but a loving Father.

The prayer has a strong communitarian dimension.   It may be said by a disciple or by a community of disciples but it is always said keeping the petitions of all in mind. The prayer begins with the word ‘our’ and this word is scattered all through the prayer. This fifty eight word prayer has the words ‘our’ and ‘us’, seven times and at least each time in every petition.

Pope Benedict XVI, commenting on the Lord’s Prayer said, “The Christian does not say “My Father” but “Our Father”, even in the secrecy of a closed room, because he knows that in every place, on every occasion, he is a member of one and the same body.”

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