Readings: Isaiah 55:10-11; Matthew 6:7-15
"Your will be done." (Matthew 6:10)
When you play at a pinball machine you send down balls in the hope that you are going to make contact and turn on a light. The more balls you use, you may think, the better your chance of hitting the target. But you have no guarantee of hitting the jackpot.
Jesus says something similar about the way "the pagans" pray. They use as many words as they can in the hope they are going to make contact with God. Don't babble in prayer, he says, but pray with simplicity and confidence. Jesus gives us the Our Father as a model of prayer. Call on God as a Father and pray that his will be done. Ask for daily bread and forgiveness. And when a crisis comes, ask for deliverance.
So Jesus teaches us to be simple in prayer. God may know beforehand what we need, but we often don't. We need to be still and trusting in our Father's presence and as we pray that his will may be done we will discover what our real, not our superficial, needs are. It is not necessary to use a lot of words. The Our Father is our model prayer, but we also have the model of Jesus in the Gospel as the one who prayed. As he faced his death in the garden of Gethsemane he prayed that God's will might be done. And his prayer was answered.
Lord Jesus, you gave us a lesson in prayer and then showed us how to put it into practice. Give us the grace of prayer that we may trust in our Father's faithfulness and seek his will in all that we do. Amen.