Reaching Out to Jesus in Prayer

Authored by Teresa Hawes in Issue #8.1 of The Catechetical Review

What Is Prayer?

When we hear the word prayer, often we think of vocal prayer, using words either handed down to us burnished by the voices of generations or the words that spring up spontaneously from the heart. Prayer takes many forms, however, and all of them are means to seek God and respond to his love, for, “whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.”[1] This encounter may well happen beyond words, with gestures or in silence.

The Power of Faith

The response to God’s thirst that touches Jesus, which he praises[2] and which establishes a contact that seems to move him or even allow him to act,[3] is faith. To those who turn to him in faith, he grants what they ask.”[4] In contrast, we find that little faith earns a reproach,[5] and lack of it, mysteriously, seems at times to hinder Jesus’ action.[6] Faith is the attitude Jesus awaits: it is what opens the door of our lives to his action and draws it down: “Prayer to Jesus is answered by him already during his ministry, through signs that anticipate the power of his death and Resurrection: Jesus hears the prayer of faith, expressed in words (the leper, Jairus, the Canaanite woman, the good thief) or in silence (the bearers of the paralytic, the woman with a hemorrhage who touches his clothes, the tears and ointment of the sinful woman).”[7] Faith moves Jesus to act.



[1] CCC, 2560.

[2] Matt 8:10; 15:28; Luke 7:9.

[3] Matt 9:2; 9:22; 9:29; Mark 2:5; 10:52; Luke 5:20; 7:50; 8:48; 17:19; 18:42.

[4] CCC, 548.

[5] Matt 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20; Mark 4:40; Luke 8:25; 12:28.

[6] Matt 13:58; Mark 6:5.

[7] CCC, 2616.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!

This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor’s Reflections: On Incarnational Coherence
By Dr. James Pauley
Free Beneath the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth is the place where tradition tells us the Angel appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary. An altar stands in this grotto, inscribed with these words: “verbum caro hic factum est” (the Word became flesh here ). The Incarnation of God’s Son into human flesh is not a myth or fairy tale. It is an... Read more
Finding God in an Unexpected Place
By Sr. Carino Hodder, OP
Free When John Everett Millais’ Christ in the House of His Parents was first displayed at the Royal Academy, the public response was near-universal revulsion. At that time it bore no title but Zechariah 13:6: “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then shall he answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my... Read more
Antiquum Ministerium: Instituting the Ministry of Catechist
By Monsignor John Pollard
On May 10, 2021, Pope Francis formally instituted the ministry of catechist with the apostolic letter Antiquum Ministerium , which he issued motu proprio , or on his own initiative and under his personal signature. An initial reaction to the formal institution of the role of catechist might be to wonder, “So what’s new?” The role of catechist has... Read more


Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now