It occurred to me that of all the things the apostles
could of have asked Jesus, to do, they asked him to teach them how to pray. They were with him all the time; they saw him curing the sick, feeding the masses and his compassion for the poor. I'm sure Jesus would have granted them almost anything they may have asked, but they chose to ask him to teach them to pray.
I imagine that like many of us, the apostles had some sort of prayer life already. They were
after all, like Jesus, "good" Jews. So what was it about Jesus' prayer life that made them sit up and take notice? We know Jesus often withdrew from the crowds to pray. What was his demeanor when he returned? Was he calmer, more rested, more animated? Whatever it was that led the apostles
to ask, I'm glad they did and I'm glad he taught them.
When I reflect on that prayer, one thing that stands out is Praise God. It was the first thing he did. I am not discounting the other elements of the prayer, but this is one that stands out to me. Praising God can be challenging because we often think of God as a granter of gifts or wants. Oh yes, we have no problem praising him when our prayers are answered, especially if they are favorably answered. But how often do we praise God, just because? Not the old standard saying, "I praise him because he woke me up this morning". When we say that are we earnest in our prayer as Jesus was. or is it just "a matter of fact", something we say, like "excuse me"?
True praise of God requires one thing from us. That we use our whole heart, our whole mind and our whole soul to praise him. We just praise him, no thank yous, no requests, just pure unadulterated praise (love). It can be challenging because we must make a conscious decision to offer prayers of praise. Can we do it?
Reflect: How many times a day do I praise God? Take a moment and offer a simple prayer of
praise right now.
Prayer: God of all, you have created everything out of love, I praise you.
You have created me in your own image, I praise you
You are my help and salvation, I praise you.
I praise you, I praise you, I praise you. Amen