draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”3 The Holy Spirit ‘himself intercedes for us. . . and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”4


2635 Since Abraham, intercession — asking on behalf of another —

has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy. In the age of the Church, Christian intercession participates in Christ’s, as an expression of the communion of saints. In intercession, he who


prays looks ‘not only to his own interests, but also to the interests

of others’, even to the point of praying for those who do him harm.”5 2636 The first Christian communities lived this form of fellowship intensely.”6 Thus the apostle Paul gives them a share in his ministry of preaching the Gospel”7 but also intercedes for them.”8 The intercession of Christians recognizes no boundaries:


‘for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions’, for


persecutors, for the salvation of those who reject the Gospel.”9


Prayer of Thanksgiving


2637 Thanksgiving characterizes the prayer of the Church which,


in celebrating the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully what

she is. Indeed, in the work of salvation, Christ sets creation free from sin and death to consecrate it anew and make it return to the


Father, for his glory. The thanksgiving of the members of the

Body participates in that of their Head.
2638 As in the prayer of petition, every event and need can become an offering of thanksgiving. The letters of St Paul often begin and end with thanksgiving, and the Lord Jesus is always present in it: ‘Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in ChristJesus for you’; ‘Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”20


Prayer of Praise

2639 Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most imme diately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives


him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE Is. It

shares in the blessed happiness of the pure ofheart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory. By praise, the Spirit is joined to