On Christian Prayer

Carl Larsson – Uppenbarelse

The following is an answer to an assignment for an online course I am taking through the ND STEP program. One of the things I especially like about the reflections and assignments given for each unit is the word length of answers (150-200 words). It requires really thinking about what you want to say in a succinct manner – a particularly good exercise for someone such as myself who is rather loquacious.

“Prayer is Christian insofar as it is communion with Christ and extends throughout the Church, which is his Body. Its dimensions are those of Christ’s love.” (CCC 2565) This statement sums up the whole of Christian prayer. At the root is a person – Jesus Christ – and an event – the Paschal Mystery. Christian prayer is a movement of Incarnation and sacrament, of God’s condescension and our ascension. Therefore, the life of prayer is sacramental. It has a daily rhythm, a seasonal rhythm, an annual rhythm, and a course through the stages of life. The things of prayer – objects, gestures, words, postures, etc. – are not routines and practices for the sake of psychological balancing. The things of prayer (being sacramental) enable us to be a companion of Christ and live in Him in every aspect of our lives, so that everything we do is a prayer, everything we do is infused with grace and becomes unceasing prayer.

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