A little boy was standing on the banks of the Mississippi River waving and shouting at a steamboat that was going by. He was beckoning the steamboat to come to shore.

A stranger came by and said, “That’s foolish young man. The boat will never come ashore because of your request. The captain is too busy to notice your waving and shouting.” Just then the boat turned and headed for shore. The little boy grinned and said to the stranger, “The captain is my daddy.”

The captain of the universe is our Abba. He pays attention to our petitions because he loves us. The first words in the Lord’s Prayer encourage us to believe in the affectionate intimacy of the Lord of the universe, but that doesn’t mean we should take God for granted.

Bishop Sheen has this comment on prayer:

“The man who thinks only of himself says prayers of petition. He who thinks of his neighbor says prayers of intercession. He who thinks only of loving and serving God says prayers of abandonment to God’s will, and that is the prayer of the saints.”

To pray is not to impose our will on God but to ask God to make us open to His will; in other words, we pray not to change God’s mind but for God to change ours. The Our Father is the “summary of the whole Gospel”

Fr. Joseph Dovari