Prayer unleashes Gods's power so that he is able to work in our behalf. Prayer opens the channels of God's blessing. Prayer is how God accomplishes the things that he wants to see happen in our lives. Prayer opens new doors of opportunity for God to move. In fact you can view prayer like a door. You are on one side of a closed door and on the other side is God. But standing with God is all this incredible and unimaginable power. When you pray, it is you turning that doorknob and swinging that door wide open. For it is at that moment when all that power can step through that doorway and work for God's good, and for your good.
- How to Pray
- The Gift of Prayer
- Taught by the Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit: Teacher of Prayer
- Praying through the Old Testament Scriptures: Patriarchs and Prophets
- Cherishing Creation
- Welcoming God's Presence Day by Day
- Wrestling with God, Praying for Others, Praying for our World
- Jesus Prayed
- Jesus Prayed
- True Prayer Should Come From the Heart
- Prayer is fed by Faith
- Prayer Should be Steady and Persevering
- The Prayer Jesus Taught Us
- The Hail Mary and the Rosary
- Praying in words and signs: The Sign of the Cross
- Real Prayer, Virtual Retreat: Introduction to Morning Prayer
- Real Prayer, Virtual Retreat: Introduction to Evening Prayer
- How to Pray to God Worthily
- The words of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ on teaching us about Praying
- How to Pray (Video)
Do you pray? Do you pray often, or only occasionally? Is prayer important to you?
I ask you these questions because prayer and praying are essential for your life of faith. Like breath to the human body, prayer makes the spirit live. Without it, faith dies. On the other hand, a person who prays grows in spirit and life.
Let me tell you some things that may encourage you to pray.
To begin with, prayer is a gift of God. "Gift" is a good word to describe prayer, because praying is not something we can do of ourselves. "We do not know how to pray as we ought" (Romans 8:26), scripture says. Prayer is a gift God must give.
And God gives that gift generously, without consideration of our worthiness or our unworthiness. Sinners as well as saints can pray. People of every religious tradition receive the gift. In fact, every human being is able to pray.
Yes, all are called to pray. All receive the gift. And, surprisingly, sometimes those thought to be "ungifted" pray best and are graciously heard. That's the lesson Jesus taught in his parable about the Pharisee and the Publican who together went up to the temple to pray. The Publican, an outsider who thought himself unworthy of approaching God in prayer, was found more pleasing by God than the Pharisee, a professionally religious person, who prayed so effortlessly.
Prayer, then, is God's gift to the strong and the weak, to the smallest child and frailest of the old. It's given to those who say, "I'm not really religious; prayer is beyond me." It's given to everyone, no matter who you are.
That's not to say we can't refuse to pray or we can't neglect it. Like any gift, prayer must be received. If someone gives you a beautiful piece of clothing, you may use it or not. You may take it and wear it. Or, you can throw it in the back of your closet and never look at it again. The piece of clothing becomes a gift unused. "If you knew the gift of God" (John 4:10), Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well. A Gift was there before her eyes, but she was blind to it.
How tragic to go through life leaving the gift of prayer unused!
Why does God give the gift of prayer? The main reason is because of love for us. God looks for intimacy with us. How strange that sounds! God all-sufficient, all-powerful, all-knowing, wishes to draw close, to communicate, to speak to us, to seek our response, to hear our prayer. It may seem unbelievable, but it is true.
At the same time, by praying we fulfill the desire we have as human beings to know God. After all, we are made in God's image. Something in in our being thirsts for intimacy with God. That thirst is described in the psalms, "O God, you are my God, for you I long. For you my soul is thirsting. Like a dry weary land without water... so my soul longs for you, my God" (Psalm 62). Something in us cannot be satisfied unless we are draw near to God. "Our hearts are restless," St. Augustine says, "until they rest in you." By praying, we rest in God.
The church in her formal prayers often humbly acknowledges that prayer is God's gift and asks God to give and strengthen that gift in us. At the beginning of her daily prayers, the liturgy of the hours, the church prays two verses of the psalms.
"O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise." (Psalm 50:17)
"O God, come to my assistance.
O Lord, make haste to help me." (Psalm 69:2)
Simple, truthful words. I cannot open my lips in prayer unless God give me the gift. O God, come and assist me; help me that I may approach you.
And God does give this beautiful gift. In prayer God comes and helps; God invites us into the divine presence where we can open our lips and our hearts. There God welcomes our slightest word or cry, our smallest effort.
Delighting to give us the gift of prayer, God wishes that we come near to share our hearts and minds, our very life with One who loves us. Prayer is God's precious gift; cherish it always.
God gives everybody the gift of prayer. Of course, you have to accept this gift and use it faithfully. And you have to keep learning how to pray.
How do we keep learning to pray? Through the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the great teacher of prayer. At Pentecost, according to the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit gathered the first followers of Jesus together in prayer. The Spirit taught them to remember Jesus, to recall the Jewish Scriptures, to break the bread of the Eucharist, to recognize a new creation in the waters of baptism. "The Spirit helps us in our weakness," St. Paul says, "for we do not know how to pray as we ought" (Romans 8:26).
Today the Holy Spirit fulfills that role in us, too. The Spirit is "the interior Master of Christian prayer", our guide and instructor. We learn to pray from the Spirit's inspiration.
One way the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray is through the Old Testament which, along with the New Testament, is the Holy Spirit's book of prayer. The patriarchs and the prophets, the history of Israel, the great prayers we call the psalms, instruct us in prayer. Jesus himself learned to pray through them and his own prayer reflects that tradition.
Look at the early patriarchs, great figures like Abel and Noah, who were inspired by the Spirit. How did they pray? Living close to the soil and the creatures of earth, they saw God's gifts in their flocks, the crops in their fields, the heavens that sent rain. For them creation was a gift, not just to be used, but to be admired for its beauty. By cherishing the created world they learned about God and praised the Creator.
Didn't Noah cherish creation when he built the ark? He built the ark not just to save himself but to save the creatures of the earth who were threatened with destruction. Noah's prayer was typical of the prayers of the patriarchs; he deeply appreciated God's creation. In the Jewish scriptures you can still hear echoes of their reverent prayer rooted in creation's blessings: "Sun and moon, stars of heaven, fire and heat, all you birds of the air, all you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord" (Daniel 3:57 ff).
It is still true that we can know our Maker from what he made. If you keep your eye on God's creation, and care for it, and admire its beauty, you will prepare yourself for praying well. The created world, so varied, so charming in its many-splendored beauty, will lift your heart to the Source of all beauty.
Through Abraham the Spirit teaches us another lesson of prayer. God invited the patriarch to leave his own land and go to the place God would show him. His life was a journey day by day. At certain points Abraham would set up an altar, as a reminder that God accompanied him on his path to the unknown. Day by day he prayed and welcomed what God sent.
One day, the scriptures say, Abraham welcomed three mysterious guests who came in the heat of the day to his tent (Genesis 18, 1-16). Welcoming them, he welcomed God, the story says, and received a blessing. Does not the Spirit teach in the example of Abraham that we should prayerfully welcome God's presence in life day by day, even though that presence is not always clear?
Daily faithful prayer to God is constantly promoted in the Jewish scriptures. Listen to the psalms:
"I will bless you day by day
and praise your name for ever." (Psalm 145)
"On the day I called you answered me;
you increased the strength of my soul." (Psalm 138)
The figures of scripture offer us other lessons in prayer. Jacob wrestles in the dark with a mysterious stranger. Our prayer can sometimes be a time of wrestling with God as we question and doubt (Genesis 32, 22-32).
Moses' prayer was a prayer of intercession. Climbing the mountain he pleaded with God for his people who wander astray, who are hungry and lose heart. And God heard his prayers. Like him, we should pray in solidarity with those around us.
"Who is like you among the gods, O Lord...
In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed;
you guided them by your strength to your holy abode." (Exodus 15, 11-13)
King David, whose prayers are traditionally celebrated in the Book of Psalms, praised and invoked God whom he saw present in the temple, in the Holy City, in the fortunes of the people. Like him we pray to God who sent his Son, Jesus Christ and whose presence we celebrate in his church and society.
"I cry aloud to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy hill.
I lie down and sleep;
I awake again, for the Lord sustains me." (Psalm 3:4-5)
Look to these great witnesses of prayer and what they teach. The Holy Spirit teaches us through them. By imitating them, our own life of prayer can grow stronger.
We Christians learn to pray through Jesus Christ, who not only teaches us to pray, but prayed himself. The Gospels are filled with examples of his prayer.
Yet even in his earliest years, Jesus prayed to God with a distinct intimacy. God was his Father and he was God's son. There was a childlike, filial quality to his prayer.
Jesus prayed regularly, his first disciples recalled. He prayed before decisive moments, beginning with his baptism and as he faced his passion and death. He prayed in times of human weakness and death, as he did at the grave of Lazarus. He frequently prayed to give thanks. His prayer was steady, thankful, and confident that God's will was for his good.
His prayer was heartfelt. Nowhere is that more evident than when he prayed on the cross.
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
"I thirst." (John 19:28)
"Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother." (John 19:26-27)
"My God, my God why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46)
"It is finished." (John 19:30)
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." (Luke 23:46)
They were prayers that came from the heart. They reveal him tender towards those he loved and forgiving to those who wronged him; he is human in weakness and strong in faith. Never did a human heart reach out to God more eloquently than when Jesus prayed on the cross.
He ended his life with a loud cry. Even that last rending cry was a heartfelt prayer to God, issuing from the depths of his being and summing up what could not said.
And his prayer was heard. God raised him up. We Christians believe the prayer of Jesus teaches that prayer is always heard. In his prayer is our hope.
What can we learn from the prayer of Jesus?
First, that true prayer should come from the heart. He prayed from within, not with just words or gestures. His prayer was not based only on feelings or passing emotions. Prayer comes from within, beyond level of feelings, from ourselves. "Go into the inner room," Jesus says, "and there pray to your Father, who hears you" (Matthew 6:6). Sometimes prayer from the heart, from the "inner room" takes the form of words, at other times it may be like his own wordless cry.
Secondly, prayer is fed by faith. Jesus prayed with an unwavering faith in his heavenly Father, a faith that lasted till his death. He taught us to pray also with childlike faith in God, believing that our prayers are heard by One who loves us.
Thirdly, prayer should be steady and persevering as his prayer was, even when no answer comes or when no relief is in sight. "Watch and Pray," he says, "Seek and knock," till the door that reveals God's holy will be opened (Matthew 26:41; Matthew 7:7).
His disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. He did, and he teaches us too. Yet Jesus is more than a teacher. As Christians we believe that Jesus prays for us; he is our intercessor before God. As Savior he gathers our prayers, our needs, the cries of our hearts to make them his own and offers them to God who hears our prayers in the prayer of his Son.
That is why we complete our prayers so often with the beautiful phrase: "Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen." Jesus is our teacher and he is our Savior, who takes our prayers and makes them his own.
"Teach us how to pray," the disciples said to Jesus (Luke 11:1). He answered by teaching them the prayer we call the Our Father or The Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:2-4; Matthew 6:9-13).
The Lord's Prayer is a basic Christian prayer. As a model of prayer, every Christian learns it by heart. It appears everywhere in the church's life: in its liturgy and sacraments, in public and private prayer. It 's a prayer Christians treasure.
Though we memorize it as a set formula, the Lord's Prayer shouldn't be repeated mechanically or without thought. Its purpose is to awaken and stimulate our faith. Through this prayer Jesus invites us to approach God as Father. Indeed, the Lord's Prayer has been called a summary of the gospel.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
When Moses approached God on Mount Sinai, he heard a voice saying, "Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5). An infinite chasm separates us from the transcendent God.
In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus invites us to draw near to God who is beyond human understanding, who dwells in mystery, who is all holy. We can call God "our Father".
By calling God "Father" we are rightly describing ourselves and our relationship with God. Jesus teaches that we have a filial relationship with God; God sees us as if we were a daughter or a son. And we, on our part, can approach God in the familiar confident way a child approaches a loving parent. What is more, we approach God through God's only Son, Jesus Christ, who unites us to himself .
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
God's kingdom. Jesus often said that God's power would appear and renew all creation. God like a mighty king would rule over the earth according to a plan that unfolds from the beginning of the world. God's kingdom would be marked by peace and justice. Good would be rewarded and evil punished. The kingdom, according to Jesus, is not far off, but already present in our midst, though not yet revealed.
In the Lord's prayer we pray that God's kingdom come, that God's will, which is for our good, be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
We are God's children. What can be more childlike than this petition in which we pray for our daily bread, a word that describes all those physical, human and spiritual gifts we need to live. With the confidence of children we say: "Give us this day what we need."
Forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
This petition of the Lord's Prayer is a demanding one. Not only do we ask God's forgiveness for our daily offenses, but we link God's forgiveness of us with our forgiveness of others. Forgiving others is not always easy to do. We need God's help to do it. But it must be done or we ourselves cannot receive God's mercy.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Life is not easy. It is a daily battle. Trials like sickness and failure can crush our spirits. False values and easy promises can entice us and even destroy our souls. And so we ask God to keep us from failing when we are tested, to help us to know the right thing to do, to deliver us from the evil which awaits us in life.
The Lord's Prayer sums up the teaching of Jesus. It is also a prayer that offers the grace of Jesus: his reverence for God, his childlike confidence in his Father, and his power to go bravely through life no matter what comes. When we pray his prayer, his spirit becomes our own.
see also: How to Pray the Rosary
The great prayer to Mary in the Catholic tradition is the Hail Mary. The first part of the prayer evolved in medieval times when Mary, the mother of Jesus, appealed to Christians as the great witness to his life, death and resurrection. Its earliest form was the greeting of the angel Gabriel at Nazareth, according to St. Luke's gospel, 1:28:
full of grace,
the Lord is with you.
By those words of the angel God announced a divine favor. God would be with Mary. She would bring Jesus Christ into the world.
Over time the greeting given to Mary by her cousin Elizabeth, recorded in St. Luke 1:42, was added:
Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
Finally by the 15th century, the remainder of the prayer appeared:
Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death.
The prayer calls upon Mary, who is full of grace and close to her Son, to intercede for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. With the disciple to whom Jesus entrusted her on Calvary when he said: "Behold your mother," we share her as mother. Mary will always bring Christ into our life. From the beginning she knew him; she witnessed his life, death and resurrection; will she not help us to know him and the mysteries of his life? We trust her to care for us as she cared for the newly married couple at Cana in Galilee. We can trust her with our needs.
By the end of the 16th century the practice of saying 150 Hail Marys in series or decades of 10 became popular among many ordinary Christian people. During these prayers the mysteries of the life, death and resurrection were remembered. That practice of praying is known now as the Rosary.
Mary has always been a model of faith and a companion for Christian believers. When the angel Gabriel came to her, she believed the words he spoke and she maintained her belief without hesitation even to the dark test of Calvary. She accompanies us too who are the brothers and sisters of her Son, as we journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties.
Through the centuries many ordinary Christians have found that Hail Mary and the Rosary a source of spiritual blessing. A prayer like the rosary is both simple and profound. Not beyond anyone's reach, its repeated words bring peace to the soul. And the mysteries of joy, sorrow and glory recalled from Jesus' life are meant to be repeated in our own. Through these mysteries, we hope to "imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise."
Christian prayer is modeled after the prayer of Jesus. Like his, it should come from the heart. When he prayed Jesus used words and signs and sometimes cries, as expressions of his heart. And so do we when we pray; our hearts too look for an outward voice.
The words and signs that Jesus used when he prayed often came from his own Jewish tradition. As for ourselves, we turn to our Christian tradition for guidance in prayer. We believe it is a tradition inspired by the Holy Spirit, and it is also an outgrowth of the Jewish tradition of prayer that nourished Jesus himself.
The Christian tradition of prayer has a wisdom all its own, with many different forms and expressions. Some basic prayers of our Christian tradition, however, have a special place. The Sign of the Cross is one example.
In the Catholic church and other Christian churches the Sign of the Cross is an important part of personal and public prayer. It originated in the earliest days of Christianity and so it is centuries old. It is the first sign made on us at Baptism and the last sign made as we pass to our future life. It's a vital part of liturgical prayer and the sacraments. With the Sign of the Cross we begin and end our prayers.
We call it a blessing. We say we "bless ourselves." Tracing with our hand the figure of the cross on our forehead, our breast, our shoulders, we bless ourselves:
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
The Sign of the Cross expresses blessing. It symbolizes God blessing us, God embracing us with blessings. And in this same sign we express our belief in God from whom all our blessings flow. In the Sign of the Cross we embrace our good God with mind and heart and all of our strength.
God blesses. The Jewish scriptures describe God as, above all, the One who blesses. God blessed Noah and saved the world from the flood. God blessed Abraham and Sara with blessings more than the stars in the sky. God blessed the Jewish people, redeeming them from the slavery of Egypt. Life itself and all creation are God's gifts.
And so the Jewish tradition of prayer always approaches God as One who blesses. "I will bless the Lord at all times" (Psalm 34:1), the psalmist prays. As we are blessed by God, so we bless the Lord in return.
The Christian tradition of prayer follows this same pattern, but in addition it praises the One who blesses for another incomparable blessing: the blessing of Jesus Christ. "Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing" ( Eph 1:3). He is "the Word who made the universe, the Savior sent to redeem us." In Jesus Christ God appears as our Friend and Brother. With the Father he sends the Holy Spirit upon us "to complete his work on earth and bring us the fullness of grace." In Jesus, God has revealed to us the source of all blessings.
When we bless ourselves with the Sign of the Cross we remember the One who blesses us: the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
With the Sign of the Cross we recall in particular the blessing of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We trace a cross on ourselves, the cross of Jesus. His death on the Cross was an outpouring of love for us. The Sign of the Cross is a reminder of his love, a love found not only in the past, but here and now, as we make this sign upon ourselves; for the love of Jesus Christ abides forever.
The Sign of the Cross is a wonderful daily expression of our relationship with God. God is the One who blesses. This prayer reminds us that each day, in good times and bad, in danger and sorrow, God's care and blessings are never far from us.
Tracing this holy sign on our forehead, our hearts and our shoulders, we remember we are blessed in mind and heart and all our being. We can approach God with confidence through Jesus Christ whose ever present love this holy sign recalls. "Come to me," God says through this prayer, "do not be afraid. Before you take one step, I reach to embrace you with blessings in my hands."
"Pray always," St. Paul says in his letter to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
At the very least, Paul wants prayer to be part of our daily life. But that's not easy.
As soon as our eyes open in the morning we're often in a rush. Get ready! Go! And we're off to work or school or the chores of the day.
Morning prayer gets us ready for what the day brings. St Basil, a wise 4th century saint from Asia Minor, said:
"We pray in the morning to give the first stirrings of our minds to God. Before anything else, let the thought of God gladden you."
Begin the day by seeking God's blessing, the saint advises. God meets us in the morning not as a taskmaster, but as a loving presence who strengthens and gladdens us for the day.
"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." (Psalm 22)
Prayer - and it may be just a short prayer - enables us to begin the day, not alone, but with God. It raises and gladdens our tired spirits that so easily lose their appetite for life. It provides a strengthening grace so that we enter the day, not groaning, but hoping in our Savior and our God.
"Why are you cast down my soul, why groan within me? Hope in God. I will praise him still, my Savior and my God." (Psalm 42)
And what about living our day wisely? We need wisdom in our words, thoughts, and in the choices we make. Why not ask for the wisdom of God?
"Lord, teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart." (Psalm 90)
Before going into the day, let's pray.
Evening is another traditional time to pray. And for good reason. Whether we know it or not, we review our day in the evening.
Usually it's an uneven picture, isn't it? There are good experiences. And there are hurts, disappointments, and failures. Evening is a natural time to review them all.
Unfortunately some of us lose evening's reflective opportunities by working day and night. We don't slow down. Or we become addicted to television (or the Internet). Trapped in someone else's world, we don't see our own. And so an opportunity for reflection goes unused.
The evening is a good time for dialogue with God. For the end of the day quietly raises questions, though we may hardly be aware of them. "Have I accomplished anything?" we ask. " What have I done? There's so much still to do. Is it worth it?" we ask.
And sleep, the sister of death, reminds us that this life ends. What comes next?
The God of the evening is a wise counselor and confidant who, like a mother holding her child, calms our fears and offers us hope.
"O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great things too sublime for me. Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother's lap, so is my soul within me." (Psalm 131)
Like pilgrims after one day's journey, we stop to rest. And as we do, God promises life, not death.
"The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? The Lord is my life's refuge, of whom should I be afraid? One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple." (Psalm 27)
The evening hours are a good time for prayer.
We recommend you read the Word of God at least one to two hours every day until the moment of your death if it is possible. Watch out if you don't read enough everyday, because your prayer can easy become empty, since an ignorant person does not know what to ask and pray for in virtues and spiritual blessings. If you are unable to accomplish this right away, you should slowly but surely take steps to move to this point by making a resolution in your heart to never read or pray less than you have decided. Then when you have grown accustomed to maybe one hour reading and one hour praying per day, you can slowly try to add to this until you have reached your goal. It is much wiser to do it in this way and the goal will be reached much easier. For spiritual exercises are like most activities of the world: the more practice you have, the better you get.
The best time for prayer is in the morning, since the mind is more clear from the thoughts and discussions of the world, so we advise you to always dedicate time in the morning for the prayer, especially the Rosary. The Rosary is the most powerful weapon in existence against the devil and those who neglect it will most likely be eternally sorry for refusing to honor our Lady as she deserves! Think and reflect upon what greatness it is to be able to speak with the God of the whole creation and His Mother whenever we want. It is almost impossible for a man to be able to speak with a king or queen of this world, and yet the King of kings and his beloved Mother hear your every word. In truth, I tell you, that even one good word of prayer has more worth than all gold and jewels and an infinite amount of universes, for they will all perish, but God's words will never perish.
Think about how much you would concentrate and fight against distracting thoughts if someone were to tell you that you could have 10,000 dollars or a new car if you prayed with full concentration and without yielding to distracting thoughts. This example should shame us all since we humans are, by our very nature, wicked at heart and are inclined to search for filth rather than gold (worldly things rather than heavenly ones). Everyone should try to remember this example, and then we will all be able to pray better which will bring us an everlasting, heavenly reward! The devils concentrate exceedingly much on getting a person to despise prayer in many ways: either they try to make you bored by it, or to have a difficulty in concentrating when praying, or to pray a little; for they know that prayer is the only way to salvation. The devices the devils use to distract you and lead you to hell in this age are obviously worldly and ungodly media and video games and the like, but sins like the lust of the flesh, vanity, immodest clothing, gluttony, greed and pride among others also give them more power over the mind since the person searches for earthly comforts instead of heavenly ones.
From the Gospel of Matthew (Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible)
Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone? Or if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent? If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him? Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me. And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and he saith to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me? Watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh weak. Again the second time, he went and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done. And he cometh again and findeth them sleeping: for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, he went again: and he prayed the third time, saying the selfsame word.
But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.
And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee. And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard. Be not you therefore like to them, for your Father knoweth what is needful for you, before you ask him. Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen. For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences. But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.