Jesus teaches us how to pray

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2607 When Jesus prays he is already teaching us how to pray. His

prayer to his Father is the theologal path [the path of faith, hope and charity] of our prayer to God. But the Gospel also gives us Jesus’ explicit teaching on prayer. Like a wise teacher he takes hold of us where we are and leads us progressively toward the Father. Addressing the crowds following him, Jesus builds on what they already know of prayer from the Old Covenant and opens to them the newness of the coming Kingdom. Then he reveals this newness to them in parables. Finally, he will speak openly of the Father and the Holy Spirit to his disciples who will be the teachers of prayer in his Church. 541 2608 From the Sermon on the Mount onwards, Jesus insists on con-

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version of heart: reconciliation with one’s brother before presenting

an offering on the altar, love of enemies and prayer for persecutors, prayer to the Father in secret, not heaping up empty phrases, prayerful forgiveness from the depths of the heart, purity of heart and seeking the Kingdom before all else.6~ This filial conversion is entirely directed to the Father. 2609 Once committed to conversion, the heart learns to pray in

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faith. Faith is a filial adherence to God beyond what we feel and

understand. It is possible because the beloved Son gives us access to the Father. He can ask us to ‘seek’ and to ‘knock’, since he himself is the door and the way.6~ 2610 Just as Jesus prays to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us filial boldness: ‘Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will.’66 Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not doubt: ‘all things are possible to him who believes.’6~ Jesus is as saddened by the ‘lack of

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faith’ of his own neighbours and the ‘little faith’ of his own dis

ciples68 as he is struck with admiration at the great faith of the Roman centurion and the Canaanite woman.6~ 2611 The prayer of faith consists not only in saying ‘Lord, Lord’,

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but in disposing the heart to do the will of the Father.70 Jesus calls

his disciples to bring into their prayer this concern for cooperating with the divine plan.7’