Today’s Gospel (Matthew 6:7-15):
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.
‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’
There it is. The perfect guide to prayer by our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jesus tells us precisely how we should pray and his perfect prayer to the Father continues to be said each and every day by millions of people throughout the world.
Jesus also tells us that we must forgive the failings of others if we are to be forgiven for our own failings. Sometimes it is hard to forgive other people’s failings but isn’t this often down to our pride, because we somehow get it into our heads that we are justified in our criticism of others for their failings and to forgive them is essentially a vindication of their behaviour?
Yes, it is tricky and it is difficult, but if we want to inherit eternal life we cannot allow the faults and failings of our brothers and sisters to subsist in our hearts. We must be prepared to forgive.