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Christian Prayer

625

2601

“He was praying in a certain place and when he had

ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’”

45

In seeing the Master at prayer the disciple of Christ also wants to

pray. By

contemplating

and hearing the Son, the master of prayer,

the children learn to pray to the Father.

2602

Jesus often draws apart to pray

in solitude,

on a mountain,

preferably at night.

46

He includes all men

in his prayer, for he has

taken on humanity in his incarnation, and he offers them to the

Father when he offers himself. Jesus, the Word who has become

flesh, shares by his human prayer in all that “his brethren” experi­

ence; he sympathizes with their weaknesses in order to free them.

47

It was for this that the Father sent him. His words and works are

the visible manifestation of his prayer in secret.

2603

The evangelists have preserved two more explicit prayers of­

fered by Christ during his public ministry. Each begins with thanks­

giving. In the first, Jesus confesses the Father, acknowledges, and

blesses himbecause he has hidden themysteries of the Kingdom from

those who think themselves learned and has revealed them to infants,

the poor of the Beatitudes.

48

His exclamation, “Yes, Father!” expresses

the depth of his heart, his adherence to the Father’s “good pleasure,”

echoing hismother’s

Fiat

at the time of his conception and prefiguring

what he will say to the Father in his agony. The whole prayer of Jesus

is contained in this loving adherence of his human heart to the

mystery of the will of the Father.

49

2604

The second prayer, before the raising of Lazarus, is re­

corded by St. John.

50

Thanksgiving precedes the event: “Father, I

thank you for having heard me,” which implies that the Father

always hears his petitions. Jesus immediately adds: “I know that

you always hear me,” which implies that Jesus, on his part,

con-

stantly made such petitions.

Jesus’ prayer, characterized by thanks­

giving, reveals to us how to ask:

before

the gift is given, Jesus

commits himself to the One who in giving gives himself. The Giver

is more precious than the gift; he is the “treasure”; in him abides his

Son’s heart; the gift is given “as well.”

51

45

Lk

11:1.

46 Cf.

Mk

1:35; 6:46;

Lk

5:16.

47 Cf.

Heb

2:12, 15; 4:15.

48 Cf.

Mt

11:25-27 and

Lk

10:21-23.

49 Cf.

Eph

1:9.

50 Cf.

Jn

11:41-42.

51

Mt

6:21, 33.

2765

616

2673

2546

494

478