Notes from Linda Arnold
We just returned from our annual week at the lake with our children and grandchildren. It was a little wet (we got 7 inches of rain on day 2) but it is always good to be together and to grow deeper relationships with one another as we swim, play bingo (a real highlight for the grandkids!), eat, share stories and dreams, play, and pray together. Several years ago Dylan insisted on praying before meals, and between bites! Dylan has Down Syndrome and this was something he associated with family gatherings at that time. So we would pause between bites and ask God to bless us and our food 3 or 4 times a meal until we convinced him once was enough!
In today’s gospel Jesus’ disciples ask, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Jesus tells them to pray to their ‘abba’ - a very intimate name for father perhaps more closely translated as daddy. The rest of Jesus’ instructions are to honor God’s name, pray to live in such a way as to experience the kingdom of God, ask for our daily needs - both bread and forgiveness, and to protect us from harm. For may of us, our first experience with prayer is within our families. We talk to God together - at mealtime, bedtime, during times of need, and more. We tell God what is in our hearts or on our minds. We share our joys and worries and ask God to help us. As people of God, our heart’s desire is to be close to God.
Sometimes we think we can influence God’s response by making promises or bargains to assure a desired answer to our prayers. Sound familiar? Our prayer doesn’t change.
God. It changes us! Prayer reminds us that we are not in charge, that staying close to God reminds us of who we are meant to be, and that no matter what, God is with us. As we pray for our loved ones, our parish prayer partners, and for peace in our broken and hurting world, we are reminded of God’s love and dream for us all. We are reminded that we are co-creators in this wonderful journey of life!
Blessings on your week.