11:1 Nowï»¿ï»¿ Jesusï»¿ï»¿ was praying in a certain place. Whenï»¿ï»¿ he stopped, one of his disciples said to him, â€œLord, teach us to pray, just as Johnï»¿ï»¿ taughtï»¿ his disciples.â€ 11:2 So he said to them, â€œWhen you pray,ï»¿ï»¿ say:
Father,ï»¿ may your name be honored;ï»¿ may your kingdom come.ï»¿
11:3 Give us each day our daily bread,ï»¿
11:4 and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sinsï»¿ï»¿ against us. And do not lead us into temptation.â€ï»¿
As I have meditated on the subject of prayer this week, the passage in Luke keeps coming to mind. I’ve never much thought about canned prayers until my research into the Orthodox Church led me to read many of the prayers they use. Again, raised as I was, it doesn’t make much sense to me – how can a canned prayer be heard? After all, in Matthew 6:7, Jesus tells us not to “babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that by their many words they will be heard.”, which, to me, is what it feels like (repetitious) to recite prayer such as the Trisagion Prayers.
OTOH, is it not repetitious to say before each meal, Father, thank you for providing this food? I think so. Perhaps I am learning that there is a place for tradition in my own spiritual life. At the same time, I must be careful that I don’t fall into the trap of forgetting who Christ is and what He has given me through His sacrifice. For surely He did not come to free men from men only to have them bound up again by Tradition.