Prayer as the Best Way to Knowing God: Ben Sirach in its Jewish Context and in Later Christian Literature

The first prayer of Ben Sirach (Sir. 22, 27-23:6) stands out for the request addressed to God to guide his thoughts, words and deeds. Sirach refers to God as a very familiar person, „Lord, father, and sovereign ruler of my life”. The understanding of the divine fatherhood in Sirach 23, 1.4 is enlightened by Sirach 4, 10; 51, 10, and by many other ancient Judaic sapiential texts. This terminology influenced the Liturgy of Early Church and the Fathers of the Church emphasized that the essential way to know God is the prayer.