Intercessory Prayer

Br. John Raymond

	Intercessory prayer is very important. This may seem to be an
 obvious statement but this form of prayer can develop into a
 beautiful spirituality of constant charity toward others.
	In order to form a habitual attitude of intercessory prayer it is
 very important to realize that prayer is doing something. Our modern
 world likes to see immediate and obvious results to gauge its
 success. The hidden apostolate of prayer does bear fruit - sometimes
 visible but other times it is not. But the thing to remember is that
 praying for someone always helps them. 
	This brings me to another important point. As Christians we are
 all are called to help each other. With work, family, etc. it is at
 times difficult to engage in external works of charity. Prayer is
 the best thing we can do for people. When we do help people in other
 ways we should pray for them also. 
	Intercessory prayer is charity. By praying for others we are
 being charitable toward them. It's a Spiritual Work of Mercy and one
 that's easy to do. We can pray anytime and anywhere. We can pray
 right now for someone we know who is in need.
	There are more frequent opportunities for prayer than for the
 Corporal Works of Mercy. Everyone needs prayer. Everyone needs to be
 prayed for. It's consoling to people when they know them we are
 praying for them. People love to be prayed for. They are encouraged
 just hearing that someone is praying for them. They are touched to
 know that they are loved and cared for by their friend who is
 praying for them. Non-Catholics love to be prayed for, too. Even an
 atheist once told me, "I'm an atheist but I feel good when people
 say they'll pray for me."
	There are many opportunities for intercessry prayer. We can show
 compassion for those in difficult situations as seen while driving 
 - a policeman directing traffic, a car accident, prisons, hospitals,
 funeral homes, etc. As we see people or hear about people in need we
 can pray for them immediately and really help them. This is
 especially true when we hear about someone who is dying. We can pray
 and ask God's Mercy.
	No prayer is wasted. Believe in the power of prayer. No prayer
 goes un-heard. We need to have confident trust in the power of
 prayer. Edel Quinn, the great Irish Legion of Mary Missionary to
 Africa stated, "More than anything else I believe in the power of
	 People need prayer more than criticism. When people seem to be
 doing wrong; then they need prayer and not criticism and certainly
 not detraction (telling other people someone's faults.)
	Also Prayer is a constant need of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
 They really depend on our prayers. We should try to remember to pray
 for the Holy Souls several times each day.
	 We should make our intercessary prayer universal. If we start
 with a specific intention we should then expand it to include all
 those with that need. If we start out praying for, say, someone who
 is sick we should then pray for all the sick in the world.
	Since prayer is so important we should really pray for people
 when we say that we will. One way not to forget is to pray for them
 right away.
    As Catholics we should be continually interceding for others and
 the whole world. It's a wonderful vocation: to be an intercessor.
 Start or increase your intercessory praying today. It will help us