Prayer of Intercession

Two thousand years of Christianity, yet listen to how we pray those prayers of intercession during masses and other verbose liturgies: we keep someone in mind, mention the predicament or problem to the Listener of our prayers, and then here’s the verbosity – getting into the specific of how we should see the result, on how exactly the Listener must respond to the problem framed according to our human understanding. “Lord, my mother-in-law is terribly sick. She must have been stressed out while meddling with her grandson’s choice of a preschool against her own choice. Help her clear her minds from being too controlling. Ease all her worries, especially from financial ones. Most importantly, may she learn to adjust to the changing culture of the new generation. Amen.” Verbose I believe!

Personally, I’m changing the way I intercede for others thanks to Maggie Ross (see Maggie Ross’s The Space of Prayer here) who taught me to unlearn the many years of my education in praying. It’s as simple as the following pointers:

  • Keep the person/s in mind and despite knowing the problem, avoid framing the specifics within the prayer moment.
  • When you enter a prayer moment, keep in mind that God was ahead in the place and space. Acknowledge that the time and space is already a space of prayer.
  • Fall as freely as you can into silence by avoiding words like asking for specific results. Simply breathe the silence, keeping in mind that God understands better the problem than you do.
  • By simply lifting up the person without getting into the specifics, and by falling into wordless intercession, you actually create a space for God to act, decide, resolve over those needs and problems more complex than we usually thought. God can readily enter into our complex lives and personalities to simplify it beyond our expectations.
  • A prayer of intercession I believe is one way of loving our neighbor unconditionally by simply allowing the person to slip from our mental remembrance into the more silent, loving space of God.

The following is a prayer of intercession I wrote for a grad school of business.

Reader: “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.” Let us offer the following prayers, resting on the assurance that the Father and Mother of us all wants everyone be saved. For every petition, we say:

God who saves all beings, may we find our ultimate security and health in you.

For the urban poor in our midst, those who live under bridges and in sidewalks, karitons and esteros, riverbanks and overcrowded areas (short silence…)

We pray: God who saves all beings, may we find our ultimate security and health in you.

For the Church as institution and unity of believers, those invested with the authority to lead, and the flock being served, for all our weaknesses and brokenness that tend to disrupt the joy and promises of our missions and visions (short silence…)

We pray: God who saves all beings, may we find our ultimate security and health in you.

For all faces of exploitation in our society – of child labor and deprivation of basic social goods, of women in global trafficking, pornography and the trap of domestic violence, of workers paid cheap, of fooled movers of the underworld of narco-politics and gambling (short silence…)

We pray: God who saves all beings, may we find our ultimate security and health in you.

For the government leaders of our country, and for all their human tendency to amass wealth, power, and impressions at the expense of their own peace and of the many (short silence…)

We pray: God who saves all beings, may we find our ultimate security and health in you.

For the intellectually disabled in our midst, living in care centers or in their homes, showing us the way of joyful powerlessness and less complicated living and thinking (short silence…)

We pray: God who saves all beings, may we find our ultimate security and health in you.

For all of us in the academe and higher education, with the resources at our disposal to improve the many  faces of poverty and moral decadence in our midst, and the nagging call for us to respond creatively (short silence…)

We pray: God who saves all beings, may we find our ultimate security and health in you.

For the non-verbal beings in our midst – the soil, the rocks, the trees and many others, often ignored or trampled simply for their not being human (short silence…)

We pray: God who saves all beings, may we find our ultimate security and health in you.

Prayer: God who saves all beings, save us from our belief that we are eternally excluded from your act of salvation, and that others, especially the last, the least, and the lost are in the same situation of damnation. May we embrace more often your love and promise of joy more than we cling to our controlling desire for our own comfort and security. All these we pray through Jesus Christ, the One who trusted you fully. Amen.

3 thoughts on “Prayer of Intercession

  1. Hi! I found your blog while searching for Surigaonon bloggers. We seem to be a rare breed. Hehe! I just wanted to comment about prayers and all. It’s different for each and everyone of us but like you said, most people treat God as ATMs for their problems and needs. But I’ve learned this in all of my 24 years of existence, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” That verse never really had that much impact to me and I never really had a personal relationship with Him anyway so what would I understand if I don’t know the Person. But recently I’ve come to understand that in whatever we do, personal prayers or intercession, we must align ourselves to His will. His pleasing and perfect will. After all, God looks into our hearts more than what we articulate in language. Our faith always pleases Him. And like the Lord’s prayer says, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So when we pray or intercede, we must always seek out His will and ask Him to guide us to the path of His will. ^_^

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