Thinking about what’s really important
Before we get to praying for what’s really important let’s look at what is really important to us.
First, there is no really right or wrong answer! The question is what is important to me… at this time in my life.
A single person looking for a life-partner, a newly married person, a teen-ager, or a senior citizen will value and pray for different things.
Who we are greatly influences the answer to what is really important… and therefore, what we “pray” for. But is there anything that cuts across all stages and situations of life?
What was really important for Jesus?
We know that life-long the most important thing for Jesus was his mission to bring ‘good news” to a confused and suffering humanity. He concretized his message in the image of God’s kingdom where all were welcome and how all live in God’s kingdom (Mt. 25) He was all about Gods’ kingdom.
He described how those who understood the kingdom would treat one another as sisters and brothers (Mt 25) as what was important to God. The first followers asked how they should pray. He taught them above all pray “Our Father” and that God’s kingdom come. (Like 11:24, Mt 25:31)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Now wonder the Catechism of the Church says that what we pray for should be centered on the praying “thy kingdom come”.
- Christian petition is centered on the desire and search for the Kingdom to come, in keeping with the teaching of Christ.
- There is a hierarchy in these petitions: we pray first for the Kingdom, then for what is necessary to welcome it and cooperate with its coming.
- This collaboration with the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit, which is now that of the Church, is the object of the prayer of the apostolic community. … By prayer, every baptized person works for the coming of the Kingdom.
- This gives us a context for everything else we pray for. 2632
- When we share in God’s saving love, we understand that every need can become the object of petition. 2633
Praying for the kingdom as praying a systemic change.
I must admit I never thought of the Our Father as a prayer for systemic change. Often, without realizing it, I have tended to think of the kingdom in terms of the future. Yet, Jesus himself said, For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” Luke 17:21
But as I reflect now on what was important to Jesus in the here and now of our lives, I realize how much I am praying for a systemic change in my consciousness. The kingdom is waking up to who we are as sons and daughters and brothers and sisters.
What could be a more radical change in my consciousness and how I live into that reality
Praying for what is really important.
- Apart from the Our Father, do I pray for the coming of the kingdom as Jesus asked?
- Do I realize that praying “thy kingdom come” is praying for the greatest systemic change of all times and persons.
- Does praying for the kingdom to come rule out praying for the things we more frequently ask God for?
Click below for an audio version of this Vincentian Mindwalk