“Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God
or the requesting of good things from God” (St. John
De fide orth.
3, 24: PG 94, 1089C).
God tirelessly calls each person to this mysterious
encounter with Himself. Prayer unfolds throughout
the whole history of salvation as a reciprocal call be
tween God and man.
The prayer of Abraham and Jacob is presented as a bat
tle of faith marked by trust in God’s faithfulness and by
certitude in the victory promised to perseverance.
The prayer of Moses responds to the living God’s
initiative for the salvation of his people. It foreshad
ows the prayer of intercession of the unique
mediator, Christ Jesus.
The prayer of the People of God flourished in the
shadow of the dwelling place of God’s presence on
earth, the ark of the covenant and the Temple, under
the guidance of their shepherds, especially King
David, and of the prophets.
The prophets summoned the people to conversion of
heart and, while zealously seeking the face of God,
like Elijah, they interceded for the people.
The Psalms constitute the masterwork of prayer in
the Old Testament. They present two inseparable
qualities: the personal, and the communal. They ex
tend to all dimensions of history, recalling God’s
promises already fulfilled and looking for the coming
of the Messiah.
Prayed and fulfilled in Christ, the Psalms are an essen
tial and permanent element of the prayer of the Church.
They are suitable for men of every condition and time.