Catechism On Line

Jesus, our model of prayer

Book, Chapter 24, 25  (Faith First)
Book, Chapter 24 (Be My Disciples)

In these chapters we discuss the following topics: 

God wants us to trust in Him

How do we communicate with God?

God wants us to trust in Him

God always wants us to hope and trust in Him. In order to show Him that we trust Him, and that we need His guidance, we pray to Him. This is why He has chosen Abraham, because he put all his trust in God. So did Isaac, so did Jacob, so did king David and others. The lives of these men are described in the Bible in quite a detail, because they trusted God. God get quite upset when someone doubts His words or decisions. Zacharias learned the hard way when he questioned God's ability to have his wife to conceive his son John.

So the communication with God and our trust in Him is important and He does listen.

How do we communicate with God?

Through prayer. Read about the different kinds of prayer in your books on page 219. There are two main types:
  • Personal prayer
  • Communal prayer
I am not a big fan of communal prayer. I pray to God the same way Jesus did. Jesus always prayed all alone at a secluded place. During your prayers you need to concentrate. You speak to God through your mind. It is your mind He understands, so it is better for you to be all alone. Collect your thoughts and put all your concentration to it. Your concentration is extremely important. Without it God can not "hear" you.

I talk to Him any time; whenever I can relax my mind so I can get the necessary concentration. It may be in the church, at home, when I am all alone. But it may also be when I am sitting on a bus, train, or even while walking. He responds to my prayers through events in my life.

Sometimes people get discouraged when their prayer is not answered. Part of the problem is that sometimes people do not know what to ask, and often ask for things God is not willing to give. For example do not ask God to become rich, or to pass an exam when you did not study for it. God will NOT  respond to such prayers. Other times, God may be restricted by someone else's free will. For example, if Wilfred had crush on Nancy in his class, so he would pray to God for Nancy to become his girlfriend. His prayer might not be answered if Nancy does not like Wilfred, but she likes Jimmy instead. Perhaps she is also praying to God to marry Jimmy. God will not impose on her His will. Besides, it is also her prayer He has to deal with. God may answer Wilfred's prayer by sending Genifer in his life instead.

If we feel that God does not want to listen to us, we may want to pray to a known saint to intercede for us before God. Typically, Catholics pray  to Mary, mother of Jesus through an "itercessory prayer" - the Rosary.

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