Creation—source of prayer
Prayer is lived in the first place beginning with the realities
The first nine chapters of Genesis describe this relation
ship with God as an offering of the first-born of Abel’s flock, as the
invocation of the divine name at the time of Enosh, and as “walking
Noah’s offering is pleasing to God, who blesses him
and through him all creation, because his heart was upright and
undivided; Noah, like Enoch before him, “walks with God.”
kind of prayer is lived by many righteous people in all religions.
In his indefectible covenant with every living creature,
has always called people to prayer. But it is above all beginning with
our father Abraham that prayer is revealed in the Old Testament.
God’s promise and the prayer of Faith
When God calls him, Abraham goes forth “as the Lord had
Abraham’s heart is entirely submissive to the Word
and so he obeys. Such attentiveness of the heart, whose decisions
are made according to God’s will, is essential to prayer, while the
words used count only in relation to it. Abraham’s prayer is
expressed first by deeds: a man of silence, he constructs an altar to
the Lord at each stage of his journey. Only later does Abraham’s
first prayer in words appear: a veiled complaint reminding God of
his promises which seem unfulfilled.
Thus one aspect of the
drama of prayer appears from the beginning: the test of faith in the
fidelity of God.
Because Abraham believed in God and walked in his
presence and in covenant with him,
the patriarch is ready to
welcome a mysterious Guest into his tent. Abraham’s remarkable
hospitality at Mamre foreshadows the annunciation of the true Son
of the promise.
After that, once God had confided his plan,
Abraham’s heart is attuned to his Lord’s compassion for men and
he dares to intercede for them with bold confidence.
15:6; 17:1 f.