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Whenever we pray, we should naturally recognize our own insufficiency and reliance on God. Prayer should put us in a disposition of dependency, acknowledging our role as a creature of this world.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this aspect of prayer when describing supplication:
The vocabulary of supplication in the New Testament is rich in shades of meaning: ask, beseech, plead, invoke, entreat, cry out, even “struggle in prayer.” Its most usual form, because the most spontaneous, is petition: by prayer of petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are creatures who are not our own beginning, not the masters of adversity, not our own last end. We are sinners who as Christians know that we have turned away from our Father. Our petition is already a turning back to him.
This is one of the reasons why prayer is so important to the life of a Christian. Prayer puts us in a disposition to correct our own relationship with God.
Prayers of petition, especially when prayed with faith, highlight this relationship and have the power to bring us back to God when we have gone astray.
If we have been away from God for some time, the first thing we need to do is simply to pray. When we pray, we invite God into our lives and acknowledge him as our Creator.