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Christian Prayer

657

How is our prayer?

2738

The revelation of prayer in the economy of salvation

teaches us that faith rests on God’s action in history. Our filial trust

is enkindled by his supreme act

:

the Passion and Resurrection of

his Son. Christian prayer is cooperation with his providence, his

plan of love for men.

2739

For St. Paul, this trust is bold, founded on the prayer of

the Spirit in us and on the faithful love of the Father who has given

us his only Son.

31

Transformation of the praying heart is the first

response to our petition.

2740

The prayer of Jesus makes Christian prayer an efficacious

petition. He is its model, he prays in us and with us. Since the heart of

the Son seeks only what pleases the Father, how could the prayer of

the children of adoption be centered on the gifts rather than the

Giver?

2741

Jesus also prays for us—in our place and on our behalf. All

our petitions were gathered up, once for all, in his cry on the Cross

and, in his Resurrection, heard by the Father. This is why he never

ceases to intercede for us with the Father.

32

If our prayer is reso­

lutely united with that of Jesus, in trust and boldness as children,

we obtain all that we ask in his name, evenmore than any particular

thing: the Holy Spirit himself, who contains all gifts.

IV.

P

ersevering

in

L

ove

2742

“Pray constantly . . . always and for everything giving

thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.”

33

St. Paul adds, “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and

supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance making

supplication for all the saints.”

34

For “we have not been com­

manded to work, to keep watch and to fast constantly, but it has

been laid down that we are to pray without ceasing.”

35

This tireless

fervor can come only from love. Against our dullness and laziness,

the battle of prayer is that of humble, trusting, and persevering

love.

This love opens our hearts to three enlightening and life-giving

facts of faith about prayer.

31 Cf.

Rom

10:12-13; 8:26-39.

32 Cf.

Heb

5:7; 7:25; 9:24.

33

1 Thess

5:17;

Eph

5:20.

34

Eph

6:18.

35 Evagrius Ponticus,

Pract.

49: PG 40, 1245C.

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