The attributes of God are revealed to us in particular by its different names. It is by his name that we know in part his character.
However, there is an attribute, a title or a name, rarely used in the OT except as an image (Ps103, 13) that Jesus Christ reveals to his disciples. It was an innovation, worrying for some and good for others. Jesus spoke to God calling him Father, ABBA.
“But when you pray, enter your room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is there in the secret place; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6: 6)
“Here is how you should pray: Our Father who is in heaven! Hallowed be thy name; may your kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6: 9-10) »
In the teaching of Sunday prayer in the Church, Jesus brings out two important moments: The one where we are alone before God in verse six, and the one where we are many, in verse nine.
- In the first case, that is, prayer alone. Jesus will say go to your room. He speaks to someone who prays or who is in the habit of praying. Go to the place where the veil is removed. In the place where one is released from the eyes of others, where one is not heard from the neighbor. Jesus puts this type of prayer in opposition to that of the Pharisees who pushed the appearance to the extreme. An appearance that was detached from reality, that is, their conception of prayer was distorted. Jesus calls them hypocrites, this term literally means “actors”. They used the prayer meant to be addressed to God to address men.
- In the second case Jesus teaches community prayer. It is certainly a model but it means that we must also pray in community, by addressing together with our Father. This implies that it frees us from ourselves to put ourselves at the service of the body and thus say amen having understood the need of the other. I am therefore invited to pay attention to others and accept that we take care of myself. To hear the needs of each other and gave mine. To rub myself with others and accept the sparks that emerge and therefore the glow.
Two important things:
- Prayer alone or in community is a recommendation of the Lord. It is not the position of Jesus that deprived him of praying to the Father. If for him it was important how much more we must pray.
- Almighty God is our Father, and we can call him Father ABBA.
By praying we do not let God know about our desires, but we live in a relationship with those who know our real needs. We do not make him change his mind, but ask that his will be fulfilled in our lives.
As we approach him, we can ask him: Teach us how to pray