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616

Part Four

C

hapter

O

ne

T

he

R

evelation of

P

rayer

THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO PRAYER

2566

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.”

1

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.

2

2567

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.

A

rticle

1

IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

2568

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?”

3

and the response of God’s only Son on

coming into the world: “Lo, I have come to do your will, O God.”

4

Prayer is bound up with human history, for it is the relationship

with God in historical events.

1

Ps

8:5; 8:1.

2 Cf.

Acts

17:27.

3

Gen

3:9, 13.

4

Heb

10:5-7.

296

35528

30

142

410

1736

2738