The great background theme playing through our Lenten days is the story of the Exodus. Like the children of Israel guided by Moses, we go forward on our desert journey guided by Jesus Christ.
His presence with us is greater than the presence of Moses among the Israelites, however. Like branches on the vine he gathers us to himself.
He is with us when we pray, weak and stumbling as our prayer may be. Remember his presence in prayer, St. Cyprian says in today’s reading. “Let the Son who lives in our hearts, be also on our lips.”
He’s speaking of the Lord’s Prayer, given to us by Jesus. “To ask the Father in words his Son has given us, to let him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in his ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer. Let the Father recognize the words of his Son.”
The Lord’s Prayer is not just a prayer to be said by rote; it’s a “pattern of prayer,” according to the saint. We learn how to pray by considering its words and making them our own. See: http://www.cptryon.org/prayer/teach.html
We recognize the place of Christ in liturgical prayer when we end them with the words, “Though Jesus Christ, your Son…” It’s important to recognize the presence of Jesus as we pray privately and rely on him.
When the disciples were asleep in the Garden of Gethsemani, Jesus prayed a stone’s throw away and his prayer not only strengthened him but strengthened them as well.