Wednesday, May 26, 2010
So our prayer needs an interior element and we do indeed need to pray, so how to we do that?
Jesus teaches us how. Jesus doesn't say, these are the words you say when you pray, but gives a how-to. The inside (our hearts) should match the outside (our words). When we say "Our Father who art in heaven" we proclaim the reality that God is not my father, but our father; we are united together in a common humanity. We also proclaim that we are adopted sons and daughters of God and the existence of heaven, which isn't a place where we polish our halos and tune our harps, but heaven is a place of eternal joy and communion with God. All the while, when we pray these words on the outside, our hearts should be lifted up to the Lord, they should raise up to Our Father, who art in heaven. Our focus and concentration should be not on the job we have to do when we're done praying or the grocery list or the Olympics, but on Our Father, who art in heaven.
When Jesus teaches us how to pray, he doesn't just teach us what to say but teaches us that prayer involves our entire selves, mind, body, heart, and soul ascending to God not only in a mystical way but in a practical way.