Intercession

‘The next time some one asks you to pray for them, pray.’
 Does this seem like something is not right? Well, let me look at it this way. So often I hear someone say to me, after sharing some personal information perhaps, “Please pray for me/for this or that”. Very often I will assure the person that I will do so. Yet, I need to ask myself if I always, upon hearing such a request, seriously go down my knees and plead with the Lord on behalf of a needy brother or sister.

This also reminds me of some people who contact me by text messages or email to ask for prayers, and strangely enough, these may be the only times they care to keep in touch. A friend in need is a friend in deed?

I have to thank God for the gift of intercession and for all the times when I have been blessed with opportunities to carry out acts of mercy as such. Our Lord did tell St Faustina that praying for others is an act of mercy. How often Jesus himself prayed for those who came to him, and the word of God tells us that He, our Saviour, continues to intercede for us. How great you are, dearest Lord!
I recall those days when I first started being a part of an intercessory group and there were so many opportunities to fast and to pray. Those were the early years when I was full of fire and there was so much to learn. I still pray. I am still learning. But the years have taught me more and I have come to a better understanding of what it means to pray for others. At a particular retreat, I was told that I was to pray with my life and not just on those times when I would get down on my knees. This took a while for me to absorp and now I see more clearly and understand better that it is only by God’s grace and never by my own efforts that I can do so.
One Saturday at the Church of St Alphonsus, the priest conducting the session of novena to our Lady of Perpetual Help implored all present to have a big heart. He exhorted each one to pray not only for themselves and their own intentions but for all present. If I am not wrong, some ten thousand people can be found each Saturday, everyone present for one reason or another. Praise God!
For myself, whenever I pray, I find that I have to include the universal church. I guess the realisation that our catholic church is universal and that we are all one body in Christ makes this totally relevant. Such is the spirituality of communion. Thank God for that!
In the many opportunities I have had in my years as a Catholic, I am always delighted to be in Eucharistic celebrations wherever they are held, be it in a church in Africa, China, Korea, Indonesia or any other country. 

 ‘The next time some one asks you to pray for them, pray.’

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