468 • Part IV. Prayer: The Faith Prayed
The first movement of the prayer of petition is asking forgiveness of
our sins as did the tax collector in the parable where he was compared
to the Pharisee whose prayer lacked humility (cf. CCC, no. 2631). The
tax collector begins his prayer with the words, “O God, be merciful to
me a sinner” (Lk 18:13). Humility and repentance characterize a prayer
that returns us to communion with Christ.
This is the prayer that we make on behalf of the needs of others. Jesus
Christ himself, our great High Priest, incessantly intercedes for us.
God calls us also to intercede for each other and even for our enemies.
Intercessions for others’ needs are part of the Mass and the Liturgy of
This form of prayer flows from the Church’s greatest prayer, the cele-
bration of the Eucharist. Every moment or event can become a thanks-
giving offering. We are called to thank God for all the gifts we have
received, including our joys and sorrows, all of which, through love,
work towards our benefit.
“Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that
God is God. . . . It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart
who love God in faith before seeing him in glory” (CCC, no. 2639).
Scripture is filled with outpourings of praise for God. When we exult in
him with simplicity and an open heart, we obtain a glimpse of the joy of
the angels and saints who glory in the ways of God.
THE SOURCES AND MANNER OF PRAYING
We must do more than rely on an impulse for our prayer life. St. Paul
calls us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17). The will to pray in