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Sunday, July 26, 1998

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17th Sunday Ordinary Time

Genesis 18:20-32
Colossians 2:12-14
Psalm 138
Luke 11:1-13

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prayer changes _________?

"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 had problems with impatience and anger. 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.

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:  Praise the risen Jesus! You have been "raised to life with Him because you believed in the power of God Who raised Him from the dead" (Col 2:12). Alleluia forever!

Reference:  (We offer a number of prayer booklets, Rosary guides, and Scriptural prayer guides, as well as our forty-week prayer book, Conversion-Conversations. See the list of publications in the back of this booklet for more information.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997