Prayer is a loving conversation between us and God. It comprises of Adoration & praise, Thanksgiving and Petition:
Adoration and Praise:
An act of Adoration and Praise is an essential part of prayer, because it involves our recognition of God’s magnificence and grandeur on account of his love and goodness. Act of adoration in prayer is an act of recognizing our nothingness before God, to whom all angels and Saints pay endless homage. Our consideration of the surrounding in which we live, certainly would provoke us to praise him. For example, the Book of Psalms in the Bible are mostly songs of praise in recognition of what God had performed for his people. The song of praise, “Magnificat” of Our Blessed Mother (Cf. Luke 1:46-55) is a typical song of praise of Mary recalling God’s marvelous deeds. Praise is the form of prayer, which, first of all, glorifies God for his own sake and for his glory, from whom come all things and for whom we exist (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church #2639).
Thanking God in prayer should be another essential part of our prayer. When we recognize all the gifts we have received from God and recall his mercy and generosity of love, we cannot but thank him. It is always good to raise our heart to God in an act of thanksgiving, because he bestows on us various gifts and in everything God works for our good (Cf. Romans 8:28). Prayer of thanksgiving is an expression of our attitude in response to God’s immense love and mercy.
In the Gospel according to St. John (Cf. John 17:1-26), we read that Jesus is praying for various intentions. We can take it as Jesus’ model of prayer. He makes a prayer of petition praying for strengthening the faith of disciples and for their sanctification, for the missionary work they would be fulfilling, for the world, for the protection of his believers from the oppression of the evil. The prayer “Our Father” taught by Jesus is another model of the prayer of petition. Prayer embraces Petitioning God for help. It is a clear recognition of our condition as creatures and our absolute dependence on God: “… by prayer of petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are creatures, who are not our own beginnings, not the masters of adversity, not our own last end…” (CCC #2629).
Adoration & praise, thanksgiving and petition are the fundamental dispositions, required during our prayer.
God bless you
Fr. Arul Joseph V.