Dear Friends in Christ
Today we encounter Jesus’ teaching on prayer, which is more radical, challenging and life-changing than we may at first realise because it encourages an approach or attitude to prayer which we might not share or even appreciate. The Lord Jesus positively and unambiguously encourages a bold, confident, even brazen attitude towards approaching God in prayer. The Lord wants us to cultivate a way of praying that is hopeful, expectant and sure of God’s goodness and generosity.
No prayer captures this more beautifully than the Our Father, which the Lord himself taught us to pray. The Our Father is the Magna Carta, the blueprint for all prayer. Despite being so short and compact is encapsulates the essence of prayer and the very heart of our relationship with God. St. Augustine said of the Our Father: ‘If you run through the petitions of all holy prayers, I believe you will find nothing that is not summed up and contained in the Lord’s Prayer.’
Jesus uses the story of a persistent neighbour, who will take not take for an answer to reveal that God the Father is not like the unwilling neighbour, but is generous, kind and benevolent provider for his children’s needs. We discover who God is more through prayer, than any other spiritual exercise, for it is in prayer that the Spirit woks in us to expand not just our minds but our hearts, our imagination and our horizons.