THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO PRAYER
Man is in search of God.
In the act of creation, God calls every
being from nothingness into existence. “Crowned with glory and
honor,” man is, after the angels, capable of acknowledging “how
majestic is the name of the Lord in all the earth.”
Even after losing
through his sin his likeness to God, man remains an image of his Cre-
ator, and retains the desire for the onewho calls him into existence.All
religions bear witness to men’s essential search for God.
God calls man first.
Man may forget his Creator or hide far
from his face; he may run after idols or accuse the deity of having
abandoned him; yet the living and true God tirelessly calls each
person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer. In prayer,
the faithful God’s initiative of love always comes first; our own first
step is always a response. As God gradually reveals himself and
reveals man to himself, prayer appears as a reciprocal call, a
covenant drama. Through words and actions, this drama engages
the heart. It unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation.
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
In the Old Testament, the revelation of prayer comes be-
tween the fall and the restoration of man, that is, between God’s
sorrowful call to his first children: “Where are you? . . . What is this
that you have done?”
and the response of God’s only Son on
coming into the world: “Lo, I have come to do your will, O God.”
Prayer is bound up with human history, for it is the relationship
with God in historical events.