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478 • Part IV. Prayer: The Faith Prayed


1. Why do you pray? When do you pray? How do you pray?

2. If you practice some form of meditation regularly, how would you

describe it? What means have you taken to persevere in meditation?

How have you maintained a bond between prayer and an active

Christian mission to others?

3. What are you doing to deepen your prayer life? What are you learn-

ing from spiritual reading to help you with your prayer? If you have

a spiritual director, how has this been effective for your prayer?


• Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God and the request-

ing of good things from him. It is an act by which one enters into

awareness of a loving communion with God. “Prayer is the response

of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love

to the thirst of the only Son of God” (CCC, no. 2561).

• Scripture reveals the relationship between God and people as a dia-

logue of prayer. God constantly searches for us. Our restless hearts

seek him, though sin often masks and frustrates this desire. God

always begins the process. The point where his call and our response

intersect is prayer. The event is always a grace and a gift.

• Jesus taught his disciples “to pray with a purified heart, with lively

and persevering faith, with filial boldness.” He called them to vigi-

lance and invited them “to present their petitions to God in his

name” (CCC, no. 2621).

• The infant Church was born in prayer, lived in prayer, thrived in

prayer. The Holy Spirit taught the community the life of prayer and

led them to deeper insights into basic ways of praying: adoration,

petition, repentance, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.

• “The Word of God, the liturgy of the Church, and the virtues of

faith, hope, and charity are the sources of prayer” (CCC, no. 2662).

• Christian prayer is always Trinitarian. The sweep of our prayer

moves us toward the Father. But access to the Father is through Jesus

Christ. Therefore we also address our prayer to Christ. Yet it is the