Friday September 25 (Sergius of Moscow)

Matthew 6:7-15. Do not heap up empty phrases.

In this passage, Jesus teaches us the Lord’s Prayer. It is the model for all prayer. It has no empty phrases; every word is loaded.
This prayer is learned early in childhood. It is also often retained by people at the end of life when everything else has left them. In any gathering, people can recite it by memory.

The Lord’s Prayer is short but contains some vital elements of prayer. We praise God (hallowed be your name). We pray for ourselves and others (give us bread, rescue us). We confess (forgive us our debts).

As with anything so well-known, so familiar, it can become rote. We can say it without thinking as its words roll off our lips-the phrases can in fact become empty. Therefore it is vital to remember what Jesus said when he introduced this prayer: “Do not heap up empty phrases.”

Jesus also reminds us that our Father knows what we need before we ask him. For this reason, we pray not to tell God what we need, but to connect with God. Take some time this day to pray this prayer thoughtfully, meditating on each phrase. It will be time well spent.

PRAY for the Diocese of Springfield (Province V, USA)

Ps 88 * 91, 92; 2 Kings 9:17-37; 1 Corinthians 7:1-9


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