by Fr. Ignatius
By Fr. Ignatius L. Madya Utama, SJ

A friend of mine, who died more than a year ago because of cancer, used to tell me that praying actually is not difficult. We just need to say the prayer Jesus taught us – Our Father – seriously and it is already done, because everything is already in that prayer. His advice sounds ridiculous, but if we look at the Lord’s Prayer carefully, what he said is really true. Why?

A Divine Word theologian, John Fuellenbach, in his book Throw Fire, says that the
Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of those who already experience the Kingdom of GOD becoming actualized in their present lives and who, in the power of the Kingdom present, cry out for its final consummation. They pray that what they now experience dimly may soon be theirs in fullness.

He also quotes a saying of Jesus, which is not written in the Gospels, preserved by Clement of Alexandria: “Ask ye for the great things, so will GOD add to you the little things. You are praying falsely, says the Lord. Your prayers are always moving in a circle around your own small “I,” your own needs and troubles and desires. Ask for the great things – for GOD’s almighty glory and kingdom, and that GOD’s great gifts, the bread of life and the endless mercy of GOD, may be granted to you – even here, even now, already today. That does not mean that you may not bring your small personal needs before GOD, but they must not govern your prayer, for you are praying to your Father. He knows all. He knows what things his children need of before they ask Him, and He adds them to His great gifts. Jesus says: Ask ye for the great things, so GOD will grant you all the little things. The
Lord’s Prayer teaches us how to ask for the great things.”

From there He gives us an example how to pray using the pattern of the
Lord’s Prayer:


Our Father who are in heaven,
we are Your people, the work of Your hands,
we praise Your greatness,
we celebrate Your goodness,
we remember the story of Your love.
We pray that Your Kingdom may come,
so that it may free us from fear and darkness.
We pray that Your will be done,
so that it may heal our brokenness, and bring peace in Your creation.
Give us wisdom to understand Your will and Your presence
especially when we are hurt by the unexpected,
when we are confused by what’s happening to us,
when we search for meaning in the midst of our losses,
when we are trapped by our emotions.
Give us confidence to thank You for Your daily gifts we often take for granted,
the gift of food that provides nourishment for our bodies,
the gift of beauty that provides nourishment for our minds,

the gift of love that provides nourishment for our spirits,
the gift of faith that sustains us,
the gift of friends that comforts us,
the gift of every color in Your creation that brightens our day.
Help us to forgive each other as You forgive us,
You cleanse away our resistance
and bring Your light into our sleepy soul.
Help us to reach out to others,
to become healing instruments in Your world,
to build bridges rather than walls in Your creation.