How do I pray? Jesus said that when we pray not to use many words like the pagans do but pray like this. He gives us the words we know as “The Our Father”
Often in the Sacrament of Reconciliation for a penance I would suggest “say one Our Father. Say it slowly thinking about the words.” I sometimes think that it is so much part of our liturgy and vocal prayer that we need to take time to ponder these words of Jesus. It is not a prayer to be repeated mechanically.
It is good to meditate on the seven petitions. Tertullian, an early father of the church, says that the Lord’s Prayer “is truly the summary of the whole gospel.” “Since the Lord … after handing over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, ‘Ask and you will receive,’ and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer [the Lord’s Prayer] is said first, as the foundation of further desires.”
St Thomas Aquinas says: “The Lord’s Prayer is the most perfect of prayers.… In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.
Perhaps today let the Holy Spirit lead you in praying these words that we find in today’s Gospel from St Matthew.Say them slowly. Ponder them. Take your time with them.