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3.2 Is praying the same as talking to God?

Personal prayer

Praying is not talking to God, but building a relationship with him. As in any relationship, communication and love play an important role. This goes beyond just telling God what you want for yourself or for others. Somewhere deep within ourselves, every human being longs for God’s love and wants to get to know him better.

God fervently hopes that you want to love him, just as he loves you. Therefore, prayer is not just asking things of God and talking to him, but also (and especially) listening to him. It is in the silence, calm and tranquillity of prayer that you can listen carefully to him.

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Prayer is not only talking but also listening. It is working on your relationship with God, who loves you and desires your love.

The Wisdom of the Church

What are the different forms of the prayer of petition?

It can be a petition for pardon or also a humble and trusting petition for all our needs either spiritual or material. The first thing to ask for, however, is the coming of the Kingdom. [CCCC 553]

Why should we petition God?

God, who knows us through and through, knows what we need. Nevertheless, God wants us to ask, to turn to him in times of need, to cry out, implore, lament, call upon him, indeed, even to struggle with him in prayer.

Certainly God does not need our petitions in order to help us. It is for our own sake that we are supposed to offer prayers of petition. Someone who does not ask and does not want to ask shuts himself up in himself. Only a person who asks opens himself and turns to the Author of all good. Someone who asks goes back home to God. Thus the prayer of petition brings man into the right relationship to God, who respects our freedom. [Youcat 486]

This is what the Popes say

Christ is standing at the door of your heart (cf. Rev. 3:20)... But if you are to open the door so that Christ can shine on you (cf. Eph. 5:14), you must first hear him knocking. This means that every day you must escape from the turmoil of noise and confusion and, for a few minutes, be silent and calm... Even more than speaking, prayer is listening. The Father tells us: "This is my beloved Son, listen to him" (Mk. 9:7). Through prayer you will be enlightened, refreshed and strengthened for life’s journey. [Pope John Paul II, To youth in Uganda, 6 Feb. 1993]