“When you pray, say: ‘Our Father'” Luke 11:2
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss.” James 4:3
Many say the Lord’s Prayer, who do not pray it! They (like Augustine, before his conversion, when he prayed for chastity) are afraid lest God should say, “Amen,” or, “So be it,” though they themselves will say so.
- They say, “Our Father,” but if He is their Father, where is His honor?
- They say, “in Heaven,” but if they believed it, how dare they sin as they do upon earth?
- They say, “Hallowed be Your name,” yet take God’s name in vain.
- They say. “Your kingdom come,” yet oppose the coming of His kingdom.
- They say, “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,” yet will not stand to their words, for “This is the will of God, their sanctification,” but they want none of that.
- They say, “Give us day by day our daily bread,” yet mind not the feeding of their souls with “the bread” (Christ Jesus) “which came down from Heaven.”
- They say, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us,” but, alas! If God should take them at their word, how miserable were they whose hearts burn with malice and revenge!
- They say, “Do not lead us into temptation,” yet run into it, and tempt Satan himself to tempt them.
- They say, “Deliver us from the evil one,” and yet deliver themselves to evil and give up themselves “to fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
Reader, how often have you been guilty of such vain petitions and repetitions? Wonder not, if you pray in such a manner as this, that you receive nothing. Pray for grace, that you may pray sincerely and successfully.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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