17th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): How To Pray

(Adults, you could begin by reading the Gospel aloud to the child. Alternatively, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)


Luke 11.1-13


Already we know that prayer is listening to God and talking to God.

Already we know how to listen and we know how to talk.

So already we know something about how to pray!

In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus' friends want to know even more about prayer.

Jesus was praying in a certain place

Jesus listens and talks to God.

Jesus prays.

We wonder what Jesus hears when he prays.

and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray

The disciples wonder what Jesus says when he prays.

Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.

Jesus begins prayer with "Father." This is what he calls God.

Jesus tells us that we may call God "Father," too.

Even if we already have a father, Jesus shares God with us.


Then Jesus says to God, "hallowed be your name." "Hallowed" means to keep something holy,

to keep it so special,

to remember that it belongs to God.

Jesus keeps God's name most holy. He knows God so well.

Holy! Holier! Holiest!

Then Jesus prays, "Your kingdom come." What does this mean?


Jesus talks a lot about the Kingdom of God. He says,


The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed

that someone took and sowed in his field;

it is the smallest of all the seeds,

but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree,

so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.

The smallest of all the seeds.

But it becomes so big.

How can it do that?

Inside that teeny tiny seed lies all the strength it needs to become that great tree, that home for birds.

We wonder…whose strength could this be?


Jesus knows.

He prays, "Your kingdom come."

He really wants the strength of God to fill the seed, to make it grow and change.

He really wants that seed to become that tree.

He really wants God.

So Jesus invites God to come.

Jesus tells us that we can join him in this prayer.

We can invite God to come, too.

We can invite the strength of God to fill EVERYTHING, to make EVERYTHING grow and change.

We can invite the strength of God to fill us, to make us grow and change.

We can invite Jesus to come.

Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

23 views0 comments