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Christian Prayer




“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.