First Reading: Is 55:10-11; Psalm: 34. R. v. 18b; Gospel: Mt 6:7-15
HOW TO PRAY
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
According to psychologists, the reason why angry people shout at their offenders even when the person is very near to them is because whenever someone is angry, the person is psychologically far away from others. So an angry person will always shout so that he/she could be heard even when distance is not a barrier in communicating. But when two hearts are at peace and in love with each other, their hearts are psychologically very are close. They wouldn’t need to shout to communicate. A soft gentle voice would be enough. And sometimes, they can even communicate deeper when they sit in silence.
Jesus said in the gospel of today, “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.” This means that to pray do not necessarily require too many words. But Jesus was not saying that spending hours in prayer was wrong. But that if we were conscious of God’s closeness and knowledge of us, we would pray better because we would feel more connected to God.
As children of God, we must not forget that God is very close to us. God in fact lives within us. He knows our thoughts even before we say or do them. He knows our fears and worries even before we express them. There are people who complain that they don’t know how to pray on their own or the right words to use when praying. But Jesus reminds us today that we don’t really need to say much when we pray. We can just kneel in silence even when we lack words to express our intentions. For God knows all our intentions even before we ask them. So when we come before God in faith; we can pray better if we remembered that God is very close to us.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us to understand that to pray better begins by recognising that you are very close to us. Amen.