The usefulness of intercessory prayer

Do you remember, a while I ago, I wrote about the point of monasticism and the power and efficacy of their focused and concentrated prayers, on behalf of the world. At the time I linked to many religious communities of monastic men and women who are happy to storm heaven for the benefit of others.

I’ve always felt strongly that what blesses us and the whole world is when we pray for others rather than ourselves. In terms of economy and government, these are worrisome times for all of us, and most of us have something going on in our personal lives that is creating anxiety, as well. If you’re feeling fretful today, or a little overwrought, consider using that energy to pray for someone else. The anxiety is not doing you any good, and the chances are there is nothing you can do about a particular issue in this very instant, so…try praying for someone else; it’s something constructive and real you can do, in real time.

And in case you don’t know anyone to pray for, here are a few folks who could use your prayers:

David G; he’s 19 years old and suffered a cerebral hemorrhage before Thanksgiving. He is heading to surgery as I write this, and seems to be in a lot of trouble.
Will H, age 20; undergoing additional surgery on his hand after a terrible accident with a circular saw.
Lily; 7 years old and in chemo for Leukemia.
Eric & Kelley; on the loss of their days-old infant, Beau
V’s daughter; age 9, suddenly became violently ill after oral surgery and is currently being looked at.
D’s son; around David’s age – recently diagnosed as bi-polar.
Mandy, age 20, she is – with two other young women – entering the convent today.
“Beloved” – injured in service and critical but – thankfully – making slow progress.
Sr. Elizabeth, OSB, who is making her first profession of vows, today
Giselle, who will hopefully be invested with her Poor Clares habit, today.

Without sounding all preachy, I can guarantee you that if you take the energy you normally spend “worrying and fretting” about your own issues and use it to pray for others, you will see a difference in your own life, and you will be helping others – powerfully, and in ways you cannot know until you meet God – at the same time.

Mother Teresa once listened to a man pitch his tale of woe to her, about his personal and professional life. She told him, “if you were praying, your life would be going better.” I believe she meant prayer as in praising and listening to God. But I also think she meant, “praying for others.”

I got an email from a blood sisters of one of the Benedictines of Mary (they have a fascinating website), urging me to listen to these snippets of their recording, and…the recordings blew me away. Gorgeous. Truly like angelsong. Give a listen!

These Benedictines – whose community is growing quickly – are real “old school” Benedictines, sticklers to the Rule of St. Benedict, and they’re attracting a lot of young vocations. To fit them all, they need to build, and the CD is one of their efforts to raise capital. It would make a nice stocking-stuffer, I think.

Speaking of stocking stuffers, the monks over at Mystic Monk Coffee (I swear, it’s gotten to the point where I can smell the coffee when I click the site!) have created samples of the Cowboy Blend and the Royal Rum Pecan, if you’ve been wondering about trying them. They’ve put together 6 & 9 “sample sets” so you can taste and see…the goodness of the java. My husband has gotten hooked on the Jingle Bell Java. My neighbor stopped by last night, had a cup of the 2008 Christmas blend and took some home for her husband. It’s pretty great, but the Christmas Blend is a limited time only.

I told my Li’l Bro Thom he should be generous and take a bag of it into work to share, for the season.

I think the sharing part left him a bit cold.

So…okay, we don’t have to share our coffees. But let us share our time in prayer for others. It brings healing to ourselves. I promise, it does.

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