Statement issued by Halifa Sallah in response to Omar Jallow, Has OJ lost focus?
Dec 19, 2011, 12:49 PM
Christians do not hesitate to pray the "Our father" otherwise known as The Lord's Prayer. This prayer was given to Christians by Jesus Christ Himself. He was praying at a certain place, and when he ceased, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.
In response to this request the Lord entrusts to His disciples and to His Church the fundamental Christian prayer. Christians in today's society make the prayer as their own. In most cases those who cannot pray for long or those who may be too tired to pray for that night or morning or when one is in trouble or wants to avoid trouble would just say it aloud or in secret. It has become the Christians' guiding prayer as was requested by Jesus Christ. Panorama wants you to read closely and see why the need for the "Our Father."
Jesus demanded for His followers to go into their inner rooms and say the "Our Father" in sincerity of heart. He says:
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 trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
The Lord's Prayer is truly the summary of the whole Gospel Since the Lord after handing over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, ask and you will receive and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to His circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer (the Lord's Prayer) is said first, as the foundation of further desires.
The prayer calls for forgiveness from God and for one another. It is deeply rooted within man but does man think of God's forgiveness? And does he or she think of the reciprocity of the forgiveness they seek for? Man shows power on the weak without forgiveness of any sort. Man has fallen short of the real love and the hallowed name God posses. Man certainly needs deep reflection to know that God has given man all it takes to go to Heaven and live with his Father who sees in secret.
The life man lives deviates from its intended purpose as God had put all animals and the world at large to care for it. God created happiness for man, but the same man would turn round to make the other man unhappy, by talking about them wrongly, slandering them, hating them and pretending to be on their side or a times killing them in diverse ways, rejoicing within them when things go wrong. Others would have the required help but would fail to help positively. Others would be helping others to do the wrong thing, or putting others to shame. Then they sit in street corners to say, Our Father who art in Heaven... , a contradiction in action and prayer.
At the centre of the scriptures, after showing how the Psalms are the principal food of Christian prayer and flow together in the petitions of the Our Father, Saint Augustine concludes:
"Run through all the words of the holy prayers (in scripture), and I do not think that you will find anything in them that is not contained and included in the Lord's Prayer."
All scriptures, the Laws, the Prophets and the Psalms are fulfilled in Christ. The Gospel is this Good News.
St. Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount summarized its first proclamation. The prayer of "Our Father" is at the center of this proclamation. It is in this context that each petition bequeathed to us by the Lord is illuminated.
The Lord's Prayer is the most perfect of prayers. In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.
The Sermon on the Mount is teaching for life, the "Our Father" is a prayer, but in both the one and the other the Spirit of the Lord gives new form to our desires, those inner movements that animate our lives. Jesus teaches us this new life by His words. He teaches us to ask for it by our prayers. The rightness of our life in Him will depend on the rightness of our prayers.
The traditional expression the Lord's Prayer's means that the prayer to Our Father is taught and given to us by the Lord Jesus. The prayer that comes to us from Jesus is truly unique: It is of the Lord. On the one hand, in the words of this prayer the only Son gives us the words the Father gave him: He is the master of our prayers. On the other, as word incarnate, He knows in His human heart the needs of His human brothers and sisters and reveals them to us. He is the model of our prayers.
Jesus did not give us a formula to repeat mechanically. As in every vocal prayer, it is through the word of God that the Holy Spirit teaches the children of God to pray to their Father. Jesus not only gives us the words of our filial prayer; at the same time he gives us the Spirit by whom these words become in us spirit and life.
The prayer of Our Father is inserted into the mysterious mission of the Son and of the Spirit. The Lord's Prayer is the quintessential prayer of the Church. It is an integral part of the major hours of the Divine Office and of the sacraments of Christian initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. It is called the Lord's Prayer because it comes to us from the Lord Jesus, the master and model of our prayer.