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It’s typically easy for us to pray prayers of petition, asking God to help us in our time of need.
Even praying prayers of thanksgiving can be easy, as we might thank God for responding to one of our requests.
Prayers of praise, however, are not usually on our to-do list. We don’t always think about praising God for his goodness.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us of this type of prayer in its section on prayer:
Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE IS. It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory.CCC 2639
The most perfect form of praise is to simply praise God for “his own sake,” not in response to a favor granted, but simply because he is God and we love him.
Praise can also encapsulate all of our prayers and further bring them to God:
By praise, the Spirit is joined to our spirits to bear witness that we are children of God, testifying to the only Son in whom we are adopted and by whom we glorify the Father. Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries them toward him who is its source and goal: the “one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.”CCC 2639
Do we ever praise God? If we do, how often do we praise God for simply being God?
As we examine our own prayer life, we should consider what role praise has in it.