Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
When we pray, we don’t have to worry about saying all the right words or acting like we’re different than who we really are. I know that I’ve tried to look put together in front of God when praying, instead of just being authentic and real. The first part of this passage tells us that God doesn’t hear our prayers because of how we act or say, but He hears them out of His love for us.
God our Father loves us so much that He already knows what we need before we even ask. Sometimes there are people in our lives you can tell what you are going to say or ask before you actually get the words out. Usually that person will know what you’re about to say because they know and love you. Imagine how much more God knows and loves you! He always knows your needs, joys, sorrows, etc. and He hears you with joy out of His love.
When I was little, I didn’t really get all the hype around the “Our Father” as we see it in today’s gospel. Why did Jesus say that this was the way to pray? It just seemed like a relatively long prayer that was awkwardly worded. Well now I understand more and more why this is the way we are to pray. First, we praise the holy name of God our Father who is in Heaven. He deserves all our love and praise, sounds like a good way to start a prayer, if you ask me. Then we ask for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done- for Heaven to come down to earth (which it is but still yet to come through the Church) and that whatever God’s perfect and loving plan is for the day would be done. There is no need to stress or fear about your life or even just one day when you trust that our Father’s will be done; He takes care of you and He does not make mistakes.
Then we get into the petitions of the prayer as we ask that the Lord provide for our daily needs, for forgiveness from our sins, and to lead us away from all evil. Asking our Father to give us our daily bread means more than just relying on Him for food; He will provide for our physical needs and our spiritual needs, especially through the Eucharist, the Bread of Life. We also ask for mercy. We all sin, we hurt our relationship with God and the people around us. So, we seek God’s mercy and the strength to avoid sin and temptation. We all need forgiveness and this gospel shows us just how vital it is that we forgive like our Heavenly Father does.
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, has given us the great gift of the Lord’s Prayer. Together, let’s pray it often and grow in trust, love, and mercy.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
When you pray, how open and vulnerable are you with God? Do you ever feel like you have to say the right words and act a certain way?
How often do you pray the Lord's Prayer? What is one line of the prayer that pushes you to grow or stands out the most? What is it about that line that challenges you?
Who are you struggling to forgive? How will Jesus' example of mercy and today's reading help lead you to forgive?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"You are my Father."
"I trust in you."
"Have mercy on me."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Before we continue with the prayer we have been praying daily during this pandemic, let us pray for unity. Please click here to pray the Prayer to Overcome Racism. I encourage you to pray this prayer often, or one similar in your own words so that we can begin to strive towards the unity God created us for.
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Mary Griffin, Area Director for Vagabond Missions in Greenville, NC.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.
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