16 June, Thursday – In Prayer

16 June

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Ecclesiasticus 48:1-15

The prophet Elijah arose like a fire,
his word flaring like a torch.
It was he who brought famine on the people,
and who decimated them in his zeal.
By the word of the Lord, he shut up the heavens,
he also, three times, brought down fire.
How glorious you were in your miracles, Elijah!
Has anyone reason to boast as you have? –
rousing a corpse from death,
from Sheol by the word of the Most High;
dragging kings down to destruction,
and high dignitaries from their beds;
hearing reproof on Sinai,
and decrees of punishment on Horeb;
anointing kings as avengers,
and prophets to succeed you;
taken up in the whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with fiery horses;
designated in the prophecies of doom
to allay God’s wrath before the fury breaks,
to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children,
and to restore the tribes of Jacob,
Happy shall they be who see you,
and those who have fallen asleep in love;
for we too will have life.

Elijah was shrouded in the whirlwind,
and Elisha was filled with his spirit;
throughout his life no ruler could shake him,
and no one could subdue him.
No task was too hard for him,
and even in death his body prophesied.
In his lifetime he performed wonders,
and in death his works were marvellous.

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Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:

‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.

‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’

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Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“I do not know how to pray.”  I hear that a lot.  When asked to lead a prayer, there is a lot of pinpointing who will say it.  There are people who do not pray.  There are others who do not realize that they are already praying.  We have our own individual perception when it comes to prayer.  There are prayers that we learned from home, school, and at church.  There are also specific personal prayers that we say to God.  A hope for a wonderful day is a prayer.  Wishing someone a good health is a prayer.  If we ask God, “Why…?”, it is already a prayer.

How do I pray?  To answer that, I have a one-sentence prayer as I open my eyes in the morning.  I thank God for giving me another day to live.  Aside from that, I have other prayers like asking for God’s help to keep us safe, to have a meaningful day, and other prayers seeking the Lord’s assistance.  I have a very long list of prayer request and there are many petitions that I received a “NO” answer.  There were times that I get frustrated with a “NO” answer.  But eventually I accepted it thinking that God has better plans for me.  And He never fails me.  But the feeling of getting a “NO” right on my face really hurts.

Today’s Gospel is very wonderful.  It is about the Lord’s prayer.  Many people know this prayer.  The first line is, “Our Father in heaven, may Your name be held holy”.  This line indicates that we profess and recognize the Holiness of God the Father above any other.  This shows how much we revere our God.  Though it seems we are putting God first, there are times that we give more priorities to what we want.

We have our own desires and we pray to God to fill our temporal needs.  Most of our prayers are about what we need and want for our life.  We sometimes forget to pray for what God wants for us.  It also says there in the Gospel, “Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.”  Anything that happens to us is God’s will.  Not because of our own doings.  We must always thank the Lord for all the graces that we received.  We should also thank the Lord for our struggles as well.  We must believe that our loving God gives us challenges that only we can handle.  When we feel that God does not seem to answer our request, we do not hang-up.  Rather, we hang-on.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Beryl Baterina)

Prayer: Father God, grant that we may not cease in our prayer life.  Please make us accept the things we cannot change, be grateful to what we have, and to desire what You desire for us.

Thanksgiving: I thank you Father for my prayer life and Your continuous blessings.

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