In the Gospel of Luke Jesus teaches the Our Father to the disciples in response to a very beautiful question, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1). But I want to call attention to the beginning of this verse.
“He (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1).
Did you catch that?
What was it that spurred the disciples to ask this question???
The disciples were watching Jesus pray! How beautiful is that! These disciples who day after day witnessed Jesus performing unimaginable miracles were so taken by watching Him pray that they wanted to be like that, pray like that.
Here are two lessons from this Gospel story:
1. Let others see you pray, because people are watching. When we are in a public restaurant do we pray before meals? And by the way, if you see someone pray before meals in a restaurant, approach them to thank them for their public witness (especially if it is young people). Do our children see us pray (they are certainly watching)? Are we willing to pray or read Scripture at work or other public spaces? When people ask us to pray for them are we willing to pray with them right there instead of only promising to pray for them later?
2. Take the time to teach others how to pray. I often hear from people, “I just don’t know how to pray.” And that statement is many times coming from a lifelong Catholic. But if prayer is just a conversation with God then why don’t we know how? How did we learn to talk? We watched and heard other people talk and learned to imitate them. SO TOO WITH PRAYER!
We need to pray together so that we can learn to pray or pray better. When I came back into my faith during my sophomore year in college, I learned so much about prayer in that first year from my time working in the Totus Tuus catechetical program and at Franciscan University by hearing young passionate Catholics pray.
Co-Founder & COO
Casting Nets Ministries