The Lord's Prayer is an encapsulation of the teachings of Jesus and as such is of primary importance for us to know how our Master Teacher would have us live our lives so that we may know our Loving God, learn to Love our brothers, sisters and ourselves, and find God's peace.
1. The meaning of prayer. The word "prayer" in Aramaic is "slotha," which comes from the root word "sla" meaning "to set a trap." We are to set a trap for God! But why, when God is everywhere? We have allowed so many thoughts that are not of God to come into our minds that we now have to create an empty space to "trap" God's Thoughts. This empty space is created by forgiveness, which is simply letting go of judgments as to how things should be, how others should behave, how God should provide. Pastor Mirkalice gave an example of the time her husband Bob was assaulted and almost killed. When she was notified of what had happened, she immediately cleared her own mind and could feel God's guidance and peace during the chaotic period when decisions had to be made with doctors, hospitals, police, insurance and medical procedures. Everything went smoothly. At the very first opportunity, she asked her husband how he felt about his attacker. He immediately replied that he would forgive him, as he knew nothing else would help the situation. Bob made a miraculous recovery.
2. The purpose of prayer. Once we empty our minds of our own thoughts and "trap" God's Thoughts, we are to listen and contemplate those Thoughts, not ask for things. Jesus made this clear when He followed the Lord's Prayer with statements that we are not to ask for what we should eat or what we should wear as our Father already knows. In times of great loss and pain, we again need to get rid of our own thoughts by giving them to the Holy Spirit so that God's peace may enter and remain in our minds. Pastor Mirkalice told of the miracle of emptying her mind to Jesus when her 17-year old daughter passed away suddenly. She knew that she could have the peace that passes understanding if she would give Jesus her painful thoughts of loss. She did this by going into her prayer room, asking Jesus to be there to hear her out, and then voicing every painful thought and emotion. She cried, she raged, she threw things knowing full well that Jesus already knew what was inside of her and that by relinquishing all to Him, He would heal her. It was nine months after she started doing this process that she recognized she no longer had "a hole" in her heart. This was very symbolic to her as it took nine months to bring her daughter into the world and nine months to let her go. She has not grieved since but has the precious gift of peace instead.
3. The meaning of praying in Jesus' name. The name "Jesus" of itself has no magical powers when said after a prayer, especially since our Lord's name was not Jesus. In Aramaic His name was pronounced "Eshoo." When Jesus said we should pray in His name, He meant we should pray according to His method. His method was understood by the people of His time when He gave what is known as the Lord's Prayer but has since been obscured by the many translations and our being unaware of the culture of His time. That being said, ending a prayer in His name does remind us of Who we are trusting to heal us, so it still can be helpful. In 2004 after a visit to a cardiologist, Pastor Mirkalice was diagnosed with a very weak heart. Sitting in her car with the devastating news, she told Jesus that she trusted Him and that if she were to be healed, she wanted it to be "His way." As time passed, she became weaker and weaker and surrendered to going Home. Then one day a close friend who was praying to the Lord "heard" that Pastor Mirkalice needed to see Padre Pio. Having been Catholic, Pastor Mirkalice knew that Padre Pio had passed away decades before and had been made a Saint. Her (non-Catholic) friend told her that seeing Padre Pio meant that she must go to see a Franciscan Nun who had had a miracle from Padre Pio and had a glove that he wore during Mass because of the stigmata (bleeding like the wounds of Jesus) on his hands. Her friend had already made an appointment and, reluctantly, Pastor Mirkalice went to see the nun with her husband and son. As they were entering the nun's house, they could smell roses even though there were none around. It is said that the presence of a Saint is known by the smell of roses. When she was asked to hold the glove to her heart, Pastor Mirkalice wept but did not feel there had been a healing. As she was leaving, the nun told her, "I pray that the doctor doing your angiogram will tell you what I was told when I had a heart problem: 'You will never die of a heart attack because you have the heart of a 20-year old.'" On the day of the test, still very weak and having said her goodbyes as the procedure could have killed her, she was given sedation and started to smell roses. The nurse motioned to her husband Bob who was by her side that the drugs must be causing that effect. What the nurse didn't know was that Bob smelled the roses, too. The next thing Pastor Mirkalice saw and heard was her doctor, still in his scrubs, telling her exactly what the nun had told her she would pray for: "You will never die of a heart attack because you have the heart of a 20-year old." When she got out of the hospital that day she was completely healed so, of course, she went shopping! Jesus did it His way! To Pastor Mirkalice the message from Jesus was that God works through everyone, in all dimensions of time and space, and we need to be open-minded and not judge how healing is to take place. This was demonstrated by Jesus by the different ways he healed the sick.