“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Lk 11:1)
Although we live in a very secular culture, there is still a hunger for spirituality in many people.
Through creation, God called every being into existence. According to the Christian doctrine, men and women, made in the image of God, have an ongoing desire for their creator. This longing for God is part of human nature, because humankind has been created by God for God. Therefore, men and women feel the need of an answer in order to make sense of their life.
Many people are aware that this answer cannot be found in themselves or in their own culture, they believe they cannot be self-sufficient in their quest for meaning and truth but they need to get out of themselves towards the One who can fulfill the depths of their desire. This feeling of being incomplete, the desire for something more beyond the materialistic limits of our life is a common experience among believers and non-believers alike. Every human being is thirsty for beauty, love and truth and this desire leads them to look towards the Absolute, which Christian people call God. Christians believe that they were born with this longing for God impressed in their own flesh.
The most basic expression of this desire is prayer. It is this attraction towards God the root and source of all prayers. The prayer has been part of every human culture and religion across the centuries. From a Christian viewpoint, it is a response to God’s love and the main path to a personal relationship with God. It is the answer to the calling from God, who is revealing himself to us but also ourselves to us. When we enter in this dialogue, we are plunged into the depths of our own existence and we can get a glimpse of that absolute that we are all looking for.
However, God is not a distant deity but a living presence in our midst. If the humankind’s deepest desire is God, the Scripture teaches us that God’s desire for us is compassion, love and salvation. The rejection of God’s love from men and women is already a punishment in itself. Jeremiah says to his rebellious people that “Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. (Jer 2:19).
God wants to rescue the humankind from this bitterness, from this sadness, this lack of purpose, this sense of despair and failure. In order to do this, a transformation from within the human heart is necessary. However, it is necessary that this seed of good may grow and bear fruit in our own society too. Only one just person is necessary to save Jerusalem, according to Jeremiah “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city. (jer 5:1).
But what if there is no person like this? In a world plagued by violence, corruption and poverty of any sort, where is the just one to save us from a self-destruction?
If there is no one just, then God will become one. Here we have the mystery of the incarnation. A just one will always be amongst us because God has become one for us in Jesus Christ. The Son of Man is the righteous, the perfect innocent who can forgive and intercede for us and make his own prayer to the Father our prayer too. Let us also be ready to pray and intercede for one another with faith and perseverance.