By Benedict Kauteka
Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has taken the opportunity of the blessing of St Martin’s (Fulirwa) Catholic Church to deliver catechesis on the Lord’s Prayer.
In his reflection on the prayer, which is commonly referred to as prayer to Our Father, the Bishop said Jesus that in the prayer, Jesus did not only give us the words to use when praying, but also taught us how to pray.
The Bishop then isolated five themes contained in the Lord’s prayer which are; relating to God in an intimate way as Our Father; praying for the will of God to be done always; praying for our needs as represented by “our daily bread”; asking for forgiveness of our sins and finally asking God to deliver us from evil.
According to the Bishop, the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer are about the establishment of our deep and intimate relationship with our God who is our Creator, and giving him the total respect he deserves as God, the source of our being.
In addition, he pointed out that when praying to God we need to ask for the will of God, and not our will, to be done. He said Jesus set a good example on this one as he asked his Father, in prayer, that his will be done; and God’s will was indeed done to Jesus, his Son.
He also indicated that when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we also pray for the food that we need to be taking as we move on towards our destiny as Christians. This food, according to the Bishop, is not limited to bread alone but extends to the Word of God, as it is our spiritual food, which we need to be taking as we journey towards God in heaven.
He also emphasized that in the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to forgive us the sins that we commit in our everyday life as imperfect beings and at the same time we ask God to protect us from the evils of this world.
Finally, he said there are so many principles and ideologies in this world that contradict the values of the kingdom of God and so in this prayer we ask God to protect us from such evil ideologies and principles of this world.