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Lent calendar- 20 February

James, a fisherman in Liberia, takes a moment to pray.

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:8

Jesus tells the disciples today that God already knows what we need. What then is the point of prayer?

In my own personal experience, prayer can too often become a shopping list of desires, or an attempt to bargain with God. If God helps me with the problem I’m currently facing, I’ll be good forever.

To counteract this, Jesus teaches the disciples to pray, with words which still resonate with us today.

The Lord’s prayer reminds us to pray for God’s will to be done. Why would we ask for our own desires, when God knows what we really need? God knows what will truly make us happy and fulfilled.

We pray for our daily bread – enough food not just for me, or for you, but for us. All of us together, having our needs met.

We recognise that we are not perfect, that at times we get it wrong, and we ask God for forgiveness. But we also recognise that no one else is perfect either and that God calls us to forgive them.

And we pray for protection from evil and the strength to make the right choices in our lives.

So let us pray this timeless prayer today, putting aside the temptation to focus only on our own needs and wishes, confident that God already knows what is in our hearts, and trusting that our prayers will be answered.


Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and
lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.


Make time to pray the Our Father today, reflecting on the words, as you watch this video of the Our Father spoken in many different languages.