Prayer that Changes Us

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 01-11-2010

People
routinely ask me to pray to God for their particular needs or resolving some of
their problems. Many people send prayer requests through internet blogs,
E-mails and telephone calls. I make it my habit to bring all these prayer
requests to my daily Mass and other prayers. However, I never felt the
intensity of such requests until I myself had a particular need for prayer
support from all my friends and relatives recently. When my sister fell
seriously ill, I sent a heartfelt request for prayer support to hundreds of my
friends and relatives around the world who are in my E-mail and telephone list.
There came a sudden outpouring of prayer support from every corner of the
world. Those who received my message not only prayed for my sister and family,
they also in turn sent out the same request to all those in their contact
lists. Soon there built up a global network of prayer for this one single
person – my sister. I felt overwhelmed by the messages of solidarity and prayer
support from people I had known and not known before, people who live thousands
of miles away from where I am, people of various religious, national and
linguistic backgrounds. It was a feeling of intense affinity, connectedness and
solidarity. 

When
someone requests us to pray for their needs it expresses many things.

1.     
It is an expression of trust in God’s power over human and natural powers and
in his love and care for us humans. He is always faithful’ He knows what is
best for us; He never abandons us; He is near us even when we think He is far
away.

2.     
It is an expression of one’s confidence in human’s power to intercede with God.
God hears the cry of his beloved. Prayer uttered for another person is more
pleasing to God’s ears because he sees the goodness of the one who prays for
others. It is an expression of one’s other-centeredness rather than
self-centeredness; it makes us more humble, trusting and selfless. It changes
and transforms us.

3.     
It brings blessings of rewards to the one who prays in unknown and surprising
ways as every prayer uttered connects us with God and makes us His favorites.

4.     
It brings blessings to the one prayed for, perhaps not always in our own terms
and ways, but definitely in God’s terms and ways. He knows what is best for us.
Even if we do not get what we pray for, he will, by His loving presence, bring
us the grace to accept the situation and surrender to His will and plan for us.

5.     
Our prayers for others connect us with them and build up a world of solidarity,
fraternity and harmony. This is the sign of the kingdom of God. 

More things are wrought by prayer than these world dreams of,
Wherefore, let thy voice rise like a fountain for me night and day.”
(Alfred Tennyson, 1809-1892 , “Morte D'Arthur”)

About The Author

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP is a Catholic priest of the Society of St Paul. He has been engaged in media activities for several years as General Editor of ST PAULS Mumbai. He believes in God's gift of beauty and goodness in every human being, in nature and in every religious tradition, and shares his views and opinions with others.