“Prayer is the key that opens the merciful heart of God” (Pope Francis). For a Catholic to pray means to communicate consciously with God – our Father – through Christ, whether individually or in group. S. Paul wrote: “Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (1The 5:17-18). These verses remind us about our identity… “A Christian who does not pray is not a Christian!”
Our prayer has Jesus as model. During his life, Jesus communicated with the Father through prayer, and even taught us how to pray: “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come…” (Lk 11:2), and encouraged his disciples “about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” (Lk 18:1) And reminded them: “Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt 26:41)
Some people will say: “I understand the importance of prayer, but I don’t know how to pray!” or “I don’t know which prayer book I should use to pray!” S. John says that he doesn’t know how to pray e asks Jesus to teach him… John needs to learn, and Jesus’ teaching was “Our Father…” At the same time let’s not forget that keeping the commandments and living the Gospel values is already a form of prayer. About the prayer book: the best book is the Bible because it is God’s Word. To pray we just need to listen and meditate. May we sanctify our lives through prayer making our lives more beautiful and meaningful!