Matthew 6:7-15 Reflection: Jesus Teaches How to Pray

A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 6:7-15:

Jesus said to his disciples:
7 “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
8 Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This is how you are to pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,
10 thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread;
12 and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us;
13 and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
14 “If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Reflection: Our Father

What is prayer? Try to search it using Google and most definitions use two verbs namely: talking and listening. So it is a two-way traffic, just like when we communicate with one another. It is as simple as that. We talk to God and we listen to Him. Yet many people do not pray for the main reason that they do not know how to do it.

In the gospel reading above, Jesus teaches us how to pray and so the “Our Father” has become the most famous prayer although sometimes, it has become too formulaic. It is actually a beautiful prayer and a very convenient one. When we pray and we are at a lost on how to do it, we can recite it slowly, pausing at every word or phrase, and letting it speak for us and to us.

To call God, our Father, is a radical teaching of Jesus. Although in the Old Testament God was presented as the Father of the Israelites, the Jews were reluctant or hesitant to call Yahweh as their father. That is why, the religious leaders of His time were angry at Him for casually calling God His father and teaching His disciples to do the same. Yet that is the central message of His mission: God is our common Father and we can call it that way. What a closer relationship we can have with God than a father-child relationship! Also, the pronoun “our” is used so that we will always be reminded that we all belong to one family – a relationship with one another.

Yet God is different from an ordinary mortal parent. Jesus tells us that He is in heaven, meaning above us. So this Father of ours deserves the utmost respect by all. His name is hallowed or holy so He ought to be worshiped above everything. He is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords and that His Will prevails everywhere be it in heaven or on earth.

God as our Father provides our daily needs including the forgiveness of our sins. Yet just as our Father forgives us so we too need to forgive others. Finally, as a Father, He will lead us away from temptation and He will deliver us from evil.

Obviously, the Our Father as a prayer is complete. It allows us to adore Him, to be contrite for our sins, to thank Him for being a Father to us and to supplicate for our needs which include our material necessities and guidance to always walk in His path.


In the gospel reading above, Jesus is teaching us to pray not with too many words but with a few sentences. No need to inform God of all our needs because He already knows them. In fact, He knows what truly makes us happy, healthy, and even wealthy. Moreover, He is our omniscient Father. He knows everything about us and about the universe.

Let us pray instead that His will be done because His will is always good. All the time our Father in heaven is good. His plans are good for us though at times we are not sure or even afraid of what the future might be. Therefore let us pray with full trust because He is our Father and He loves us all.

Yet, Jesus also tells us to ask anything in His name and God the Father will give us (John 14:14). At another time, He asked a blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark10:51). As if He did not know.

There is no contradiction here. God knows our needs but He wants us to be in constant contact with Him. Moreover, He wants us to depend on Him. Because He is our Father, we can ask anything from Him. However, as human beings, many times we ourselves really do not know for sure what is good for us. By verbalizing our desires, we come to some kinds of realization of what we truly need. Also by telling God what is in our minds such as our secrets, we show our intimacy with Him.

What Jesus is warning us are useless or meaningless words. That is why He gave a simple yet powerful and complete prayer, the “Our Father”. For some reasons, we do not know how to pray. The “Our Father” comes in handy. It is a beautiful prayer. Let us use it more often, digesting the meaning of every word as we utter them.

Gospel Reading and Reflection
Gospel Reading and Reflection


  1. The Lord’s Prayer is always Timely, Perfect, and Sufficient! Thanks For Reminding Us, Roy!💕

Any comment?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.