Jesus’ life in the Gospels guides us how to pray always with a true conversion of heart, in faith, obedience and awareness. Christ exhorts us to pray without ceasing, with humility, and to always ask the Father in His name.
While the Old Testament has several models of prayer, we find the Blessed Virgin Mary among the first models of prayer in the New Testament. She teaches us important lessons. Let’s have a look…
Using the Psalms, we would be praying as Jesus would have, we would be praying with the entire Church. There are no better prayers that encompass the entire human experience, enabling us to pray with the thoughts of God.
As in the story of Moses, God calls and we must respond freely. We must contemplate the face of the Lord and reflect Him. Interceding for others, a vital aspect of prayer, allows us to grow as children of God, moving away from our self-serving nature.
Abraham is a model of prayer in that he teaches us to remain in God’s presence, allow God to approach us and hear His voice. He is an example of faith in the face of uncertainty and when all the odds seem to be against us. Lastly, he teaches us the need for interceding for others, even when people appear unworthy of compassion.
Not just Catholics, but men of every religion have the innate predisposition to the recognition and awareness of a God and the inspired desire to have a relationship of prayer with Him.
When we adopt the mind of God and follow Him in his ways with all our heart, pour out to Him every need, every problem and allow Him to encompass us with his love – this is prayer.
“‘Christian Prayer,’ summarizes the lex orandi [‘the law of what is to be prayed’], the life of prayer. Following the example of Jesus, the perfect model of one who prays, the Christian too is called to the dialogue with God in prayer. A privileged expression of prayer is the ‘Our Father,’ the prayer that Jesus has taught us.”
To free ourselves from the slavery of possessions, we must follow the 7th and 10th commandments and empty our hearts of attachments to worldly possessions. Let us be sparing with ourselves and avoid unnecessary expenditure on luxuries, leaving everything in the hands of God.
Keeping our hearts pure is an ongoing struggle that requires discipline, self-control, and constant reliance on the grace of God. We can achieve purity of heart through prayer, frequent reception of the sacraments, and by cultivating modesty in our interactions with others.