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660

Part Four

2751

Finally, in this prayer Jesus reveals and gives to us the

“knowledge,” inseparably one, of the Father and of the Son,

51

which is the very mystery of the life of prayer.

IN BRIEF

2752

Prayer presupposes an effort, a fight against ourselves

and the wiles of the Tempter. The battle of prayer is

inseparable from the necessary “spiritual battle” to act

habitually according to the Spirit of Christ: we pray as

we live, because we live as we pray.

2753

In the battle of prayer we must confront erroneous

conceptions of prayer, various currents of thought,

and our own experience of failure. We must respond

with humility, trust, and perseverance to these temp­

tations which cast doubt on the usefulness or even

the possibility of prayer.

2754

The principal difficulties in the practice of prayer are

distraction and dryness. The remedy lies in faith, con­

version, and vigilance of heart.

2755

Two frequent temptations threaten prayer: lack of

faith and acedia—a form of depression stemming

from lax ascetical practice that leads to

discouragement.

2756

Filial trust is put to the test when we feel that our

prayer is not always heard. The Gospel invites us to

ask ourselves about the conformity of our prayer to

the desire of the Spirit.

2757

“Pray constantly” (

1 Thess

5:17). It is always possible

to pray. It is even a vital necessity. Prayer and Chris­

tian life are inseparable.

2758

The prayer of the hour of Jesus, rightly called the

“priestly prayer” (cf.

Jn

17), sums up the whole econ­

omy of creation and salvation. It fulfills the great

petitions of the Our Father.

51 Cf.

Jn

17:3, 6-10, 25.

240