56. God calls us to prayer
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   The last part of this catechism course is dedicated to prayer. Prayer should be like breathing, like the beating of your heart and pulse. It other words, it should be a normal thing, inherent in the life of everyone. In fact, the first reaction of the human being when he discovers about his creator, such as when he discovers about his father and mother during infancy, is to call, talk, communicate and interact with them. And that is what prayer is: talking to God, whom we recognize as our Lord, to whom we owe everything and to whom, therefore, we have to show our reverence and gratitude, while we expose our needs and we apologize if we miss to reciprocate his merciful and provident love.

    It has been said that man is greatest when he is on his knees. This means that prayer is an obligation of the human being, and raises us to the dignity of individuals who can dialogue with God, the Creator of the universe and source all good.

  A. Answer by choosing one of these options: heart, lung, friends, God, sitting or kneeling.

 Prayer should be like the beating of our


 Prayer is talking to


 Man is greatest when


  Main ideas

1. What is prayer?

    Prayer is such a big matter that it is risky to come up with a solemn and amazing definition. The old catechism said it quite simply, that prayer is the act of talking with God. And indeed, if someone starts talking to God, with words or without words, moved by faith, humility and trust, he is praying. St. John of Damascus said that prayer is the elevation of the soul to God. Saint Teresa of Avila explained what prayer is through this beautiful sentence: praying means being on terms of friendship with God frequently conversing in secret with him who, we know, loves us. Therefore, let us remember this idea: Prayer is talking with God; or if you prefer, a dialogue with God, a dialogue of confidence and love, as John Paul II himself used to worship Him, thank Him, seek forgiveness and ask Him for what was needed. It is talking to God, who is our Creator and Father, just like we talk with our parents and friends.

2. Prayer is essential for humans

   Prayer is the result of knowledge and recognition of God the Creator, and the knowledge and recognition of us as creatures.

    Knowledge of God is acquired - even if in a confusing manner - as we start to develop our knowledge, a process which warns us that we depend on others. Man did not give himself life, he was given life by another, and the same applies to everything we need. Even if parents and the school do not teach much about God, a child will discover God easily. That is why children pray so well; those who do not pray or pray less are older ones, who become selfish and proud and just demand God for reasons. Just like we do with our parents - call them, ask them what we need, and kiss and hug them - we must also manifest this with God. Since we cannot see God, our expressions of affection towards him are done through prayer.

    Moreover, and sequentially, as we come to know ourselves, we human creatures get to know our own limitations and needs, which we share with God during prayer so that He may solve or help us solve them.

3. Prayer in the Old Testament

   The Old Testament gives the example of the great patriarchs, who were men of prayer: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David and the prophets. They spoke with God as with a friend. The Psalms are masterpieces of prayer of the Old Testament and are still a cornerstone of the prayer of the Church. In these prayers, their needs and hopes were present, which mainly focused on the return of the Savior that was longed for and pleaded.

  B. Answer by choosing one of the following options: trust, prudence, Maria Teresa, loves us, hates us, animals, humans, give Him, ask Him, friend, enemy, Gospels or Psalms.

 We must pray with faith, humility and

 She said that praying was like having a friendship with God
 Conversing in secret with him who, we know
 Prayer is essential for
 We pray to adore, thank, implore for forgiveness and
 The patriarchs spoke with God as they did to a  
 Masterpieces of prayer are the

4. The prayer of Jesus

   The incarnate Word, the only Son of God, made his disciples enter in the intimacy that the Father has with the Holy Spirit, which is a perfect model of prayer. He teaches us to treat God with the example and pedagogy of a precise order: “Our Father...”.

    a) Jesus prays. The Gospel says that Jesus often gave himself to prayer, and sometimes alone in secret. Through prayer, Jesus identified with his Father’s will up until the cross and had the absolute certainty of being heard.

    b) Jesus teaches us to pray. Jesus taught his disciples to pray the Our Father. To recite it well we need a clean heart, lively and persevering faith and filial boldness. Christians pray as children of God and strengthen their requests through the intercession of Christ, in whose name he shares with the Father.

    c) Jesus answers our prayers. Although Jesus often took the lead and was ahead of the need, the miracles of the Gospel repeatedly responded to the requests of the people who approached him in many occasions. Jesus listened and responded to those prayers.

5. The prayer of the Church

   Over the years, the Christian person becomes more convinced that praying is important; and with that experience he knows, if he did not know before, that the Church lives in prayer and exists to pray. That is how the importance of prayer is learnt, through the priceless help of those souls who pray, as well as the need to intensify the relationship with God. Moreover, the Holy Spirit guides Christians into a life of prayer, so rich and varied: prayer of adoration, blessing, praise, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, according to the feelings that the soul feels when talking to God. The Holy Spirit is the teacher of Christian prayer.

6. The prayer of St. Mary

   The Virgin helps us To find and walk the path of the prayer that pleases God. She kept events in her heart, says Saint Lucas, in a continuous inner dialogue with God. She taught us how to pray with that fundamental fiat (may it be realized) and the magnificat (the hymn of humility and recognition). She teaches us to relate with Jesus, as when in Cana: “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5); and she also opened way for prayer in the Church after the departure of her Son to heaven, gathered with the Apostles in the Upper Room, while in prayer with some of the women, with Mary the Mother of Jesus (Acts 1:14) . We must follow her example, because she is also our Mother.

Catechism course. Don Jaime Pujol Balcells and Don Jesus Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. With the permission of the authors.

  C. Answer by choosing one of these options: our Father, your Father, alone, forgets, in company, responds, human, Christian, say, listen, sister or Mother.

 Jesus taught us to pray the

 Sometimes Jesus prayed while
 Our prayer, Jesus always
 The Holy Spirit is the master of this type of prayer
 Mary said, ‘Do whatever he will’

 We must follow the example of the Virgin because she is our


  Questions catechisms

1. What is prayer?  Prayer is an act of raising our hearts to God so as to talk to Him.

2. What type of prayer is there? A prayer can be of various types: adoration, praise, petition, thanksgiving...

3. Does God call us to prayer?  God ceaselessly calls everyone to meet Him, because, whether we know it or not, he wants to satisfy our thirst for Him.

  D. Choose the correct answer (A, B or C). Below are the possible answers:



 What is prayer?
 What type of prayer is there?
 Does God call us to prayer?



 God ceaselessly calls everyone to meet Him, because, whether we know it or not, he wants to satisfy our thirst for Him.


 An act that lifts the heart to God so we can talk to Him.


 Of various types: adoration, praise, petition, thanksgiving...

  Purposes of Christian life

- Have faith with the aims of improving our life of prayer.

- Reserve a few minutes a day to talk with God, especially when you get up and finish the day.

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