Friday, March 31, 2006

Intercessory Prayer

Every so often, I spend some time checking up on people for whom we are praying. Today, we received good news about a husband and wife who were both diagnosed with cancer but have since received a clean bill of health. Blessed be God.

Reading prayer requests and making intercession for others has some things in common with being a confessor: you spend a lot of time with people's weaknesses and sufferings. This is a great grace in so many ways, not because we are happy that there is suffering, but that in the midst of suffering is a merciful God who wills to share it with us, to carry it with us and finally to free us from our sin and suffering.

Were I to venture a guess, the most common prayer requests are for health (especially for those with cancer), for a return to the faith of a loved one, for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (often accompanied by a prayer for the civilian populations there), and for couples who are struggling to have children.

Please pray for me and for the Monastery! I will remember each of the readers in my own prayers. God's blessings to you.

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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