Christian prayer is:

• elevation of the soul towards God

• God’s gift and man’s action

• conversation, a relationship between God’s sons and their Father, through His Son Jesus, in the Holy Spirit: a living relationship of covenant and loving communion

• participation of the whole man, whatever be his language (gestures and words) and the place of prayer

• humble and trustworthy adherence to the Father’s will

• a vital necessity: the Christian, through his spiritual life, has an absolute and unceasing need for it, just as he needs air and water for his biological life.

It springs forth from the Holy Spirit: “God has placed in our hearts the Spirit of His Son, the Spirit that cries out; Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6). It is the same Spirit that urges and teaches the Christian “what to ask for in prayer” (Romans 8:26).

The man who prays needs to have a humble and repentant heart which is rich in faith, so that he recognizes that he has been created in God’s image, redeemed by Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit: “Everything is possible for the one who believes” (St. Mark 9:23).

It is firstly God who calls every person unceasingly to the mysterious encounter of prayer.

Therefore, prayer has a double dimension:

• descending dimension: here, God the Father addresses and invites man to encounter and dialogue with Him, through Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit

• ascending dimension: man’s response to God the Father, through Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit.

Next - How Does Jesus Behave With Regard to Prayer?

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