Lord, teach us to pray

by FLL Editorial Team

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”
Luke 11:1-4

The disciples having seen a new way of life, desire a new form of prayer, since there were several prayers to be found in the Old Testament. Hence it follows, "When he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray'", in order that we might not sin against God in asking for one thing instead of another, or by approaching God in prayer in a manner that we ought not. And that he might point out the kind of teaching, the disciple proceeds, "as John also taught his disciples". Of whom in truth you have told us, that among them that are born of women there had arisen none greater than he. And because you have commanded us to seek things that are great and eternal, whence shall we arrive at the knowledge of these but from You, our God and Savior?

The first word, "Father", how gracious is it? You dare not raise your face to heaven, and suddenly you receive the grace of Christ. From an evil servant you are made a good son. Boast not then of your working, but of the grace of Christ; for therein is no arrogance, but faith. To proclaim what you have received is not pride, but devotion. Therefore raise your eyes to your Father, who begot you by Baptism, redeemed you by His Son. Say "Father" as a son, but claim no especial favor to t yourself. Of Christ alone is He the especial Father, of us the common Father. For Christ alone He begot, but us he created. And therefore according to Matthew when it is said, "Our Father", it is added, "which art in heaven", that is, in those heavens of which it was said, "The heavens declare the glory of God" (Ps. 19:1). Heaven is where sin has ceased, and where there is no sting of death.

Now since Jesus possesses every good in abundance, why does He pray, since He is full, and has altogether need of nothing? To this we answer, that it befits Him, according to the manner of His dispensation in the flesh, to follow human observances at the time convenient for them. For if He eats and drinks, He rightly was used to pray, that He might teach us not to be lukewarm in this duty, but to be the more diligent and earnest in our prayers. For as when a man gazes upon the beauty of the heavens, he says, "Glory be you, O God"; so likewise when He beholds a man's virtuous actions, seeing that the virtue of man glorifies God much more than the heavens.

參考 References:
Catena Aurea (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Commentaries on the Gospels (Titus Bostrensis)
Translatio Homiliarum XXXIX Origenis In Evangelium Lucae (Origen)
Commentary on Luke, Sermon 70 (St. Cyril of Alexandria)
Homily 19 on Matthew (St. John Chrysostom)