Deacon’s Corner – Praying for others
Why do we pray for others? Fr Bill Ashbaugh wrote in Faith Magazine that prayer has power, and it feels good to hear someone say “I am praying for you.” We know Jesus prayed during his ministry (Mark 6:36). He spent all night in prayer (Luke 6:12; Mark 14:32; Matthew 26:36). He prayed for the sick (Luke 4:40), for the possessed (Luke 4:41); for his disciples (John 17); for Peter in a special way and all who would believe (Luke 22:31-32). Jesus prayed for himself (Matthew 26:39); and to intercede with his Father for you and me (John 17:20, Hebrews 7:25, 1 John 2:1). Like Jesus, God wants us to pray on behalf of others. Doing so not only helps them, but also helps us grow less selfish and become more like Jesus. We grow in awareness of how the human family is connected because of the mercy and goodness of God.
So, how do we pray for others? It’s like asking God for help on behalf of the person you are praying for. Ask for him to give them strength, courage, and wisdom for the problems they face. Ask him to give them hope, peace, and comfort in their suffering. Ask for everyone involved in their situation to do their best and love the person as Jesus loves them. Ask for them to be ever mindful of God’s presence in their life and stay focused on doing his will. Ask God to look favorably on them, and if our prayers are seemingly not answered, ask for them (and us) to have the grace to accept the outcome he has planned. Even if they don’t understand “why” at this time. But most of all, let’s not forget to pray in thanksgiving and honor to Him, especially when our prayers are answered. And, yes, we can even pray for a miracle. But, no matter how we pray, we should always ask the Holy Spirit to connect our heart to theirs and give us the empathy to pray well.
Beginning this Sunday, our weekly bulletin will have a section devoted to praying for the needs of others. For now, the names of people listed will be parishioners or very close family. Names will remain on the list for one month, unless requested to remain longer. For reasons of confidentiality, the reasons for prayer will not be listed. This list of names in the bulletin is in addition to the names in the prayer line emails, although many names may be the same. Also, included in this bulletin space will be a special prayer intention, or a short prayer, for a special need that affects everyone. If you are interested in placing yourself or someone on the bulletin prayer list or prayer line emails, please contact Linda Higgins at email@example.com.
St. Ignatius said praying is like talking to Jesus as a friend. Ask for forgiveness. Ask for protection and help. Ask for wisdom. Do all this in the spirit of gratitude to receive the grace of peace in your heart that comes through prayer. May you have a Blessed week praying for others with our Lord.