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All Issues > Volume 32, Issue 4

<< Sunday, July 24, 2016 >> 17th Sunday Ordinary Time
Genesis 18:20-32
Colossians 2:12-14

View Readings
Psalm 138:1-3, 6-8
Luke 11:1-13

Similar Reflections


"One of His disciples asked Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray.' " —Luke 11:1

Sometimes our prayer is a projection of our own self-hatred rather than a communication with God. For instance, Abraham began interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah by saying: "See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes!" (Gn 18:27) Later in his prayer, Abraham begged God not to become impatient (Gn 18:30) or angry (Gn 18:32) with him, as if God could be impatient or angry. Abraham projected his own problems onto God. Eventually, Abraham quit interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah. He may have thought these cities didn't deserve to be saved or that God wouldn't save them, although God had repeatedly said He would. Abraham was impatient with God's timing.

When we pray, may we not project our self-hatred, problems, and limitations onto God. Rather, may we let God project His love, holiness, and power onto us. We pray not in order to change God but to allow Him to change us. Praying is not God-changing; rather, it is "us-changing," which makes it life-changing. "Lord, teach us to pray" (Lk 11:1).

Prayer: Father, change me, then my prayer, and then change me more.
Promise: "He pardoned all our sins. He canceled the bond that stood against us with all its claims, snatching it up and nailing it to the cross." —Col 2:13-14
Praise: Mighty, omnipotent Lord, we lay our lives before You in homage. All glory be to You, Alleluia!
(For a related teaching on Lord Teach Us to Pray, listen to or download our CD 57-3 or DVD 57-CH. 3 at or order our tape on audio AV 57-3 or video V 57.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2016 through July 31, 2016.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 20, 2016.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 32, Issue 4
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