July 29,2007 17th Sunday of Year C

Scripture: Genesis 18:20-32
Luke 11:1-13
Sometimes I find myself wanting to pray, but just cannot get going. Then I realize my basic mistake: I think that I can pray by my own human effort alone! I need God's help, even to pray to Him. So I use the words in today's
Gospel: "Jesus! Teach me to pray."
When Jesus' disciples used the same words He taught them what we call the Lord's Prayer. The most important word is the first:"Our Father". This very word tells us what prayer for a Christian is all about. It is the expression of a gentle, warm relationship of a fully loved child towards a Father God who accepts us as we are. Jesus Himself in praying to God the Father used a small child's word "Abba"- a word full of love and trust. Jesus tells us to put our requests to God with the confidence of small children. "Ask and you shall receive!" God only wants us to be truly happy. He never wishes us bad things (Today's parable about the snake and scorpion).
In today's first reading from Genesis we see Abraham, the friend of God, daring to ask God requests. That word, daring, is important. We too dare to approach the all high God as children with our requests. Jesus taught us something very important: - we can dare to approach God as little children without fear and full of confidence. Like Jesus in Gethsemane we add to our requests: "I leave the granting of this request to you."
Personally I find I have 2 kind of requests:
#1 Requests for immediate needs - health, exams, solution of problems etc.,
#2 Requests from my deep heart. And Yearnings that come from deep inside
me. These yearnings become my prayer. Lord, teach us to pray.

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