What is the role of faith in prayer?

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob witnessed the role of faith in prayer. God’s call came first. These patriarchs responded in faith, but not without a struggle. Essential to their prayer was trust in God’s fidelity to his promises. Centuries later, God called Moses to be his instrument for the salvation of Israel from slavery. Moses dramatized the value of intercessory prayer as he vigorously begged God for mercy and guidance for the people making their journey to the Promised Land.

After the people had settled in the Promised Land, there were many powerful witnesses to the importance of faith in prayer. One example is the holy woman Hannah, who longed for a child. Year after year, she made a pilgrimage to the shrine at Shiloh, where she prayed to the Lord and made him a vow that if he would give her a child, she would dedicate the child to God. The Lord answered her prayer, and she conceived and bore a son, whom she called Samuel. He grew up to be a prophet and a judge, a religious leader of God’s people. Her song of joy at the dedication of her son to God is a canticle of praise.

My heart exults in the Lord, …
The Lord makes poor and makes rich,
he humbles, he also exalts.
He raises the needy from the dust;
from the ash heap he lifts up the poor, …
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s. (1 Sm 2:1, 7-8)

You can read more from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, order your own copy, or read questions about it at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

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