For in this hope we were saved.”
In the end, however, “with sighs too
deep for words” the Holy Spirit “helps us in our weakness; for we do not
know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us
with sighs too deep for words.”
Thefirstmovement of theprayer of petition is
like the tax collector in the parable: “God, be merciful tome a sinner!”
It is a prerequisite for righteous and pure prayer. A trusting humility
brings us back into the light of communion between the Father and his
Son Jesus Christ and with one another, so that “we receive from him
whatever we ask.”
Asking forgiveness is the prerequisite for both the
Eucharistic liturgy and personal prayer.
Christian petition is centered on the desire and
search for the
Kingdom to come,
in keeping with the teaching of Christ.
a hierarchy in these petitions: we pray first for the Kingdom, then
for what is necessary to welcome it and cooperate with its coming.
This collaboration with the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit,
which is now that of the Church, is the object of the prayer of the
It is the prayer of Paul, the apostle par
excellence, which reveals to us how the divine solicitude for all the
churches ought to inspire Christian prayer.
By prayer every
baptized person works for the coming of the Kingdom.
When we share in God’s saving love, we understand that
can become the object of petition. Christ, who assumed
all things in order to redeem all things, is glorified by what we ask
the Father in his name.
It is with this confidence that St. James
and St. Paul exhort us to pray
at all times.
Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray
as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of
all men, especially sinners.
He is “able for all time to save those
who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make
3:22; cf. 1:7-2:2.
1:3-6; 4:3-4, 12.