‘In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles 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.
The Lord´s prayer, which we pray today wherever there are Christians in the world, gives us a unique access to God and gathers us together as children of the one Father.
Invoking God as Father overcomes the great distance to God and calls us into a relationship of love and trust. From the first word, prayer establishes a spiritual-familial communion of people with God and with each other. We are children of a common Father!
From that approach to God the Father that the Lord offers us, the words at the beginning of this Gospel passage also become clear: it does not need many words; we do not need to convince God of our concerns, to tell him about them as if they were new to him; it is not the quantity of words, but the inner intimacy with God and the fundamental trust in our Father that make us recognise the open door of God’s heart.
Our Father knows what we need.
What comfort and freedom is given to us with this word! We can overcome any kind of tension in life, any anxious worrying about things and securing our own ego. The Father knows what we need.
Rather, the Lord wants us to ask for the basic and essential things of our existence with this prayer.
“May your name be held holy”.
This is certainly not to be understood only on a personal level, for God’s reign is not intended only for the inner space of the human soul, as some ideological movements would have it, but God’s loving reign extends to all realms. Nothing is exempt, even hell is only conceivable from God’s existence.
The name of God is hallowed when we live for the glorification of God, when the existence of God is also affirmed in public and when one seriously tries to meet the Lord’s demand for a way of life in accordance with His commandments.
The commandments of the Lord are wise and the basis for the success of every human life. This is how God has given it to us humans, and to acknowledge this truth and to act accordingly is to sanctify the name of God!
In the Message of God the Father (“The Father speaks to His children”), which I have mentioned time and again and which was given to Madre Eugenia, it says in one place:
“If all mankind invokes and honours Me, I will bring down upon it the spirit of peace like a benevolent dew. If all nations, as such, invoke and honour Me, there will be no more discord, nor wars, because I am the God of peace and where I am, there no war can be.”
Let these words fall deep into the soul in all their consequence.
There is a way for peoples to live in peace with each other. It is connected with the knowledge and sanctification of the name of God.
We thus see that with the prayer of the Our Father a great dimension is opened up already in the first lines. To recognise and confess God as the Father has consequences. The reign of God is established in us.
With our devotion to the Father we hallow His name, and with our public confession we help the Kingdom of God to unfold publicly. With this service we work for the peace that only God can give. Even though our external field of activity may be limited, every work that glorifies God and thus sanctifies his name is infinitely valuable.
And in prayer we can embrace the whole world!