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
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