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Tuesday, February 19, 2002

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Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 34
Matthew 6:7-15

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the spirit teaches us the "our father"

"This is how you are to pray." —Matthew 6:9

Prayer is to communicate with the infinite, perfect, all-holy God, Who is Love (1 Jn 4:16). Therefore, prayer is one of the most important aspects of being a human being. Prayer is an awesome privilege and power. In prayer, we are necessarily "in way over our heads." Because of this, "we do not know how to pray as we ought" (Rm 8:26). But the Holy Spirit "helps us in our weakness" (Rm 8:26).

The Holy Spirit begins to help us pray by crying out in our hearts "Abba" ("Father") (Gal 4:6). It is shockingly true that the all-holy God of infinite mystery has adopted the baptized as His own sons and daughters. Thus, prayer means communicating with our own Father (see Mt 6:9).

The Holy Spirit makes us holy. Thus, we can pray that through our holiness God's name be hallowed, that is, holy (Mt 6:9).

The Holy Spirit convicts us regarding the sinfulness of building our own kingdoms and doing our own wills (Jn 16:8). Thus, we can pray in the Spirit: "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt 6:10).

In the Nicene Creed, the Church calls the Holy Spirit, "the Lord, the Giver of life." This means that the Spirit gives us "our daily bread" (Mt 6:11), life-giving forgiveness (see Mt 6:12), victory over temptation (see Mt 6:13), and deliverance from the evil one (see Mt 6:13).

In the Spirit, pray always to Abba as Jesus taught us.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to help me learn from Jesus how to pray as never before. May I break new ground in prayer.

Promise:  "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but shall do My will, achieving the end for which I sent it." —Is 55:11

Praise:  Sam, a college student, would not begin taking a test until he had prayed long enough to feel God's peace. Only then would he turn over the paper and take the test. He always had plenty of time to finish the test once he had received God's strength.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001