Prayer, Our Journey into the Divine Life!

We are reminded this weekend that prayer must always be a part of our journey as we seek to share more deeply in the Divine Life.

We are now in the middle of the summer and it is a great reminder of both our need to remain in prayer and that there is great power for our journeying when we pray. In the midst of my own summer journey spending time with family and friends, prayer must always as a priority for us. Many persons of prayer recognize their need to be always at prayer, from the rising in the morning, to the blessing of the food that they share in each day. There are those that maybe reserve prayer to when they are in need, going through a crisis. We often hear it said, “in our thoughts and prayers.”

This week we are being invited to model our lives after Christ Himself as we hear Jesus’ disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. This request must come from their experience and witness to Jesus’ prayer. Jesus’ union with His Father. They are seeking to enter into and experience a union much like His. They witness Jesus having an intense prayer life. It is a true witness to them to be like the one that they follow.

abun d’bashmayo Our Father

In teaching His disciples to pray Jesus opens a new way to approach and relate to the God that His disciples so desired to know more deeply. Jesus uses the title, Abun, or Abba, an affectionate title meaning Daddy. This is an intimate and warm opportunity for Jesus to open to His disciples and to us a deep and intimate relationship with God. This is a new relationship unlike what they had known in the past. This is significant because it opens us to use the very words that Jesus used in prayer. This prayer is probably the prayer most prayed throughout the world. Whether during Divine Liturgy or Liturgy of the hours to daily devotion. It is the prayer of Jesus and has great power for our lives.

In opening up this ability to call God Father, Jesus brings us into this intimacy with God in a new way and we are to follow His example in approaching the loving God who created us. And in doing so Jesus tells His disciples that this is not just some common action, but rather what I’ve given you in relating to God in this way must be set apart, it must be seen as sacred thus saying, “Hallowed be they name” The God who we can now call Father should be “hallowed” kept holy and is not a common reference. This holiness is expressed in the prayer of the people of Israel. “Shema Israel, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Ehad”. Here Oh Israel the Lord is God, the Lord alone. So as highly regarded and held as Hallowed so are we called by Jesus to keep the title of God as Father as Holy for God alone is worthy of this praise. In the sacredness and hallowing of God’s name we are opening up ourselves to experience God placing our lives and its challenges to be ordered by God’s greatness and holiness. God in this way we proclaim and hold as primary and central to our lives. Turn to our Father in Heaven and let Him order our steps in accordance with His will and His way. In this way God reigns over our lives and the very Kingdom that Jesus brings about through His action gives new order and direction to a very chaotic and disordered world.

Let us share in the divine life and through Jesus loving forgiveness our lives have a new possibility now and for all the be renewed and restored to live again and anew for God. Jesus in teaching us to prayer invites us to experience the liberation and protection that comes when we are open to God’s forgiveness and our ability to forgive others. We see so many trapped in bitterness, pain and disillusionment because they hold on to unforgiveness. The new divine life that Jesus opens to us is meant for us to live in great freedom and forgiveness gives us this ability to not be held back but rather transcend our past to encounter what God has new for us.

Through prayer not only do we foster our relationship with Christ, but we reaffirm the great gift that Jesus has given us. The ability to experience like Jesus a profound union of intimate encounter as we experoence Hod as Father,

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