“He was praying in a certain place and when he had
ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’”
In seeing the Master at prayer the disciple of Christ also wants to
and hearing the Son, the master of prayer,
the children learn to pray to the Father.
Jesus often draws apart to pray
on a mountain,
preferably at night.
He includes all men
in his prayer, for he has
taken on humanity in his incarnation, and he offers them to the
Father when he offers himself. Jesus, the Word who has become
flesh, shares by his human prayer in all that “his brethren” experi
ence; he sympathizes with their weaknesses in order to free them.
It was for this that the Father sent him. His words and works are
the visible manifestation of his prayer in secret.
The evangelists have preserved two more explicit prayers of
fered by Christ during his public ministry. Each begins with thanks
giving. In the first, Jesus confesses the Father, acknowledges, and
blesses himbecause he has hidden themysteries of the Kingdom from
those who think themselves learned and has revealed them to infants,
the poor of the Beatitudes.
His exclamation, “Yes, Father!” expresses
the depth of his heart, his adherence to the Father’s “good pleasure,”
at the time of his conception and prefiguring
what he will say to the Father in his agony. The whole prayer of Jesus
is contained in this loving adherence of his human heart to the
mystery of the will of the Father.
The second prayer, before the raising of Lazarus, is re
corded by St. John.
Thanksgiving precedes the event: “Father, I
thank you for having heard me,” which implies that the Father
always hears his petitions. Jesus immediately adds: “I know that
you always hear me,” which implies that Jesus, on his part,
stantly made such petitions.
Jesus’ prayer, characterized by thanks
giving, reveals to us how to ask:
the gift is given, Jesus
commits himself to the One who in giving gives himself. The Giver
is more precious than the gift; he is the “treasure”; in him abides his
Son’s heart; the gift is given “as well.”
2:12, 15; 4:15.