Pentecost 7 – Children’s sermon

– Can you recite the “Our Father”? Do you know it by heart?

“Our Father” is in the Gospel. Jesus taught it to his disciples…(Lord’s Prayer). Twice in the Gospel: Luke and Matthew. 2 different ways of saying it…Luke has “a shorter version” than Matthew.
Is it weird or not really important? The fact that there are two different versions shows us that it is not about the exact sentences. Yet “Teach us how to pray”…became “teach us what to pray” : We end up just reciting the Lord’s prayer w/o thinking about it much / BCP. Nothing wrong w/ those prayers, they’re great prayers, except when we start reading / reciting instead of praying.

– Praying: having a conversation w/ God instead of having something ready made. Like when you receive a Hallmark card and the text is already written and the person just sign or when they took a blank card and made time to write something very special just for you.

Jesus wants us to feel at ease with God. I think this is what Jesus tells his disciples when he tells them to call God their “Father”. Father b/c Mary was his mother / the idea is = there is a relationship of trust between us and God, like should be between parents and children…Trust: not being afraid.

God is close: Version of Luke – not even mention that God “is in heavens”
God close to the children, the little ones, humble (not pretending to be something else) those who open their hearts. Requests are very direct in the Lord’s prayer.

– Which means: be honest w/ God, tell God what’s going on, what we need, ask for good things (even if you can say you’re angry!). We ask for our needs, material or spiritual: Bread or forgiveness, help when we have difficulties.

Prayer is not complicated. When we talk to our parents, or to someone we really trust, we don’t worry about finding the right words…We know we won’t be judged or rejected. (It’s not like when we have to talk to someone who is difficult)

Simple words. Different ways of saying “Hello / I love you / Please / Sorry / Thank you”.
Sometimes we need to say more than that / sometimes we can’t say anything b/c we’re too sad but important to remember that Jesus tells us that his door is always open.

– Sometimes we need to ask Jesus to help us how to pray…he is still willing to do so. We may ask something and then realize we need to ask something else.

We may experience at times that God does not answer but it isn’t b/c God does not give us exactly what we want that God does not answer. Sometimes God just give us the strength, comfort to carry on… (Like a good friend) Need patience to see the results of God’s work – its hard for us!

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you” —Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

– Prayer is meant to transform us. Your will be done: your pleasure, your dream for me. Transforming me in the person you would like me to be. Not somebody perfect who never does any mistake, but somebody full of life, joy and love. Someone happy who wants to make other people happy (=the meaning of love).

God transforms us so we can help others. Look what God did through Paul, Peter or Mary. We give God’s authorization to work through us when we pray…Sometimes we would like to change the world and we can’t…but we can let God change us and that can make a difference.

– Other part in the Gospel we’ve heard today: Prayer is like helping a friend. Giving an egg or a fish to a child / or in the story: giving bread to a friend or for a friend’s friend. In God, even other people’s friends are our friends and we need to help them.

– We often think about the prayers requests we make to God but what about the prayers requests God make to us ?
If we forgive, God forgives. When we give, God gives. People make prayers to us all the time, ask us to help them, and we don’t realize. Yet we could experience that often the response to our prayers come in the help, attention of somebody else. We have a phone call, a hug, a nice meal…

– The question we can ask ourselves is: How can we answer each other prayer? Help them with their needs and their dreams? Our Father: we all are a big family. So we do things for one another.

– This week I had a letter from a friend. Like when Paul wrote letter to other churches, my friend sent me a letter / sent a letter to us at Christ church…Asking me for help / asking me…not for bread but close enough! (read the letter)

Guilène studied with me and became a priest too and now she is in Haiti…

Anyone knows where Haiti is? She has a church and a school…
How can we help her? Money…but also our prayers and our love.
Send cards. Sometimes you just need to know you are seen, you are important.

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