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Enroll in PRAYER 101

To be prayed for is wonderful.
To know you are being prayed for is even better.

The saints are wonderful intercessors. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux is the patron saint of missionaries; St. Joseph, of fathers and workers; St. Lucy, of eye disorders; and St. Gerard, of expectant mothers. As each of us has areas of concern and interest, so do the saints. These interests encourage their efforts in interceding for us. The saints themselves have little power. God alone has the authority and ability to answer prayer. As we might ask a friend to pray for us, so we can request the prayers of the saints who are already in God’s presence and find special favor with him.

So many people in the world have no one to pray for them: people with cancer, the grieving, the poor, the hungry, the lonely, and more. I include them in my prayers by extending my request. I might pray for a relative battling cancer: “Dear God, I pray for Cathy and all those who struggle with cancer. Please ease their pain.” Or, “God, please bless Paul—and all the unemployed—with a good job and a fair wage.” And just like that, millions of people are prayed for. Isn’t that amazing?

The power we have with God to be a blessing to the world is incredible and never-ending. It is important to remember that we do not have the power. God does. When we intercede, we ask God to use his power. Our desire to pray for another is an expression of love. It is that love that God responds to. Our participation in that love makes God’s blessings, goodness, and healing go around.

Spiritual bouquets (see are wonderful ways to let others know you are praying for them. A spiritual bouquet is a list of prayers or sacrifices the giver offers on behalf of the recipient. To be prayed for is wonderful. To know you are being prayed for is even better. It gives encouragement and love to the receiver. You can make a special card, use a preprinted one, or any piece of paper to list your offering. One example would be to offer a rosary, a novena, or a fast for that person’s needs. The fast doesn’t have to be extensive. I have fasted one spoon of sugar in my tea for a friend until she received work. These activities, in addition to being beneficial on their own, are expressions of love. The time you put into your bouquet is a precious witness of your love for him or her.

Have you ever become speechless when given a gift from a loved one or friend? Yet, this is only an earthly gift. Have you ever been speechless before God for his abundant gifts to you? What gifts might make you speechless?

Adapted from Prayer 101: Foundation for Faith and Formation by Professor Theresa A. Jones, copyright © 2022, (Liguori Publications #828591).
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Published inReflections