Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Our Father”

The readings this week are an invitation to reflect on our prayer, especially intercessory prayer. Abraham seems to haggle with God, negotiating the price down for the destruction of Sodom. Jesus invites us into his own prayer to God, helping us know that his Father is our Father too.

When you think about it, probably most of our prayer is taken up with intercession, for our family, our friends, our concerns. Jesus teaches us that persistence and faith are vital elements to our pleading with God. So is a right attitude towards God: Our Father isn’t a despot to be treated with, but a God who is loving and caring for us as his beloved children.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant/child is listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

 

Sunday.

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of the disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’ (Luke 11:1)

  • Where do you pray?
  • Who taught you how to pray?
  • What different kinds of praying do you do?
  • Join with Jesus, listen to him praying.

 

Monday.

Father, may you name be held holy, your kingdom come; give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test. (Luke 11:2-4)

  • Reflect on the differences between this and the one you have memorised.
  • Reflect on each line as if hearing it for the first time.
  • Reflect on the connection between being forgiven and forgiving.
  • Listen as the Lord teaches you how to pray.

 

Tuesday.

So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who seeks always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. (Luke 11:9-10)

  • What you ask and search for just now?
  • Do you really believe you will receive and find?
  • What doors does the Lord invites you to knock on today?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about faith and confidence.

 

Wednesday.

You have been buried with Christ, when you were baptised; and by baptism, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:12)

  • How does baptism bury us and raise us up again?
  • Reflect on your belief in the power of God.
  • Thank God for the gift of being baptised.
  • Listen to the Lord inviting you to be raised up.

 

Thursday.

I thank you for your faithfulness and love which excel all we ever knew of you. On the day I called, you answered; you increased the strength of my soul. (Psalm 137:2-3)

  • Recall the way the Lord has shown you his faithfulness.
  • When has the Lord answered you?
  • When has the Lord strengthened your soul?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his love for you.

 

Friday

Though I walk in the midst of affliction you give me life and frustrate my foes. You stretch out your hand and save me, your hand will do all things for me. Your love, O Lord, is eternal, discard not the work of your hands. (Psalm 137:7-8)

  • What afflicts your life?
  • How does the Lord give your life and save you?
  • Spend a moment reflecting on the eternal love of God.
  • Let the Lord remind your heart of how he has shown his hand in your life.

 

Saturday

Approaching him Abraham said, ‘Are you really going to destroy the just man with the sinner? Perhaps there are fifty just men in the town. Will you really overwhelm them, will you not spare the place for the fifty just men in it? Do not think of doing such a thing.  (Genesis 18:23-25)

  • Do you ever feel like reproving God in prayer?
  • Can prayer change God’s mind?
  • Have you ever haggled with God?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about prayer.
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