During the General Audience, Pope Francis began his new series of catechesis on the Lord's prayer 'Our Father.'
He observed that Jesus in teaching everyone this prayer he leads one into an 'intimate relationship with the Father.'
The pope said that although prayer rises up 'naturally in human hearts' everyone can still learn how to pray more fruitfully.
He referred to the parable of the Pharisee and publican to show that the prayer most pleasing to God is one that comes from 'a humble and loving heart.'
He concluded by encouraging everyone with great trust to personally plea for what the disciples also asked for from God:'Lord, teach me to pray!'
SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS
Dear brothers and sisters,
This week we begin a new series of catechesis devoted to the Lord’s Prayer. The “Our Father” is rooted in Jesus’ own life of prayer.
From the first day of his public ministry to the night before he died, Jesus always took time to withdraw from the pressing demands of his mission and to pray in silence.
He took part in the public liturgical prayer of his people, yet he also prayed alone and with such mysterious intensity that his disciples, inspired by his example, begged him: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1).
Jesus responded to their request by giving them, and us, the words of the “Our Father”. In teaching us this prayer, he draws us into his own intimate relationship with the Father.
Although prayer rises up naturally in human hearts, we can all learn how to pray more fruitfully. As the parable of the Pharisee and the publican shows us, the prayer most pleasing to God arises from a humble and loving heart.
In these coming weeks, as we reflect on the prayer of Jesus, may each of us, personally, echo the plea of the disciples and ask, with great trust: “Lord, teach me to pray!”