VATICAN CITY (CNS): Prayer should not centre just on asking God to fulfil one’s hopes and desires, but must include praise, thanks and trust in God’s plan which may not match one’s own, Pope Benedict XVI said.
The way Jesus prayed to his Father “teaches us that in our own prayers, we must always trust in the Father’s will and strive to see all things in light of his mysterious plan of love”, he said during his weekly general audience on December 14.
In his catechesis to nearly 6000 people in the Vatican audience hall, Pope Benedict continued a series of talks on Christian prayer.
Everyone should seek to understand that when asking something of God in prayer, “we mustn’t expect the immediate fulfilment of what we are asking for, of our will, but rather trust in the will of the Father”, the Pope said.
Requests, praise and thanks must be included in every prayer, “even when it seems to us that God is not living up to our real expectations”, he said.
Prayer was a dialogue with God and entailed “abandoning oneself to God’s love”, he said.
The most important thing to discover, the Pope said, was that the one who answers humanity’s prayers is more important than the actual prayers answered.
Jesus showed that before grace is received, one must “adhere to the giver” of that grace, that is, align oneself and comply with God, the Pope said.
Having God in one’s life, his friendship, his presence, his love are all more important than any concrete thing that he could give in return, he said.
Jesus “is the most precious treasure to ask for and always safeguard”, he said.
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