Do you ever get the feeling that you have too much to pray for? I sure do. When I see what is happening in the world and hear of the problems of people I know, I feel overwhelmed. I know that I should pray but sometimes I feel paralyzed and helpless.
When our hearts are burdened, that is the Holy Spirit calling us to intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer, praying to God on behalf of another, is important, and it fulfills a New Testament command. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1). The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that intercessory prayer is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did (CCC 2634) and it has no boundaries (CCC 2636).
Intercessory prayer is not about getting God to follow our plans nor is it about telling God what to do. We do not need to feel saddled by the need to figure things out. There is no need to take on the problems ourselves. We do not need perfect words. It is enough to hold our intentions in loving care and offer them to God. It may seem that there is too much to pray for, and that is true if we think we are doing this on our own. We are not asking God to turn our worry into prayer. Praying means that we are letting go and letting God help. We never know how God is going to answer our prayers, but we can be sure he is listening.
Time spent in prayer before God on behalf of others and the world is never wasted. There’s no such thing as a wasted prayer. Every prayer we make is powerful and heard by God. When you pray, you make a difference in eternity!
“In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” (Romans 8:26-27)