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Father Len explores two Bible stories about the purpose of prayer beginning with the time the disciples ask him to teach them how to pray.
Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom
- Father Len shares a fun story about his experience with a Protestant minister and his wife who have a very different idea than Jesus about the purpose of prayer.
- The purpose of prayer is not to ask God for help getting something as if God is the big Santa Claus in the sky.
- We don’t pray to get something. We pray to become something.
- “If your definition of prayer is to get something you want, you better be careful. You may become a very self-absorbed person and then call it religion.” – Father Len
- We pray for the bread of life so that our lives become bread for other people. We hand on the bread of life to other people in the way that we live our lives.
- Becoming the bread of life for other people requires persistent prayer, day after day, year after year.
- The Lord’s Prayer in the Gospel of Luke refers to the forgiveness God gives us when our lives become a force of forgiveness and we free ourselves from all grudges and resentments.
- Becoming a constant force of forgiveness isn’t easy and takes a lifetime of prayer.
- Prayer is a type of hospitality.
- The prayer life of the prophet Abraham, the father of religion and hospitality, was all about welcoming and praying for the life of other people, not for himself.
- True prayer is not being concerned about yourself. True prayer is this hospitality where your prayer life feeds other people.
- “You have a choice. When you offer hospitality to other people, God grants you greater life. When you only care for your own life, God will take away the little life you have.” – Father Len
- Prayer is a constant lifelong dialogue with God about becoming holy.
- Bible stories explored in this episode:
- Book of Genesis 18:20-32
- Gospel According to Luke 11:1-13
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