By Fr. Sam Koonamplackil V.C.
All of us ask others to pray for us in our day-to-day lives. People come to us and request ours too. We pray for each other as also for others’ needs and intentions too. Here let us reflect on the power of intercessory prayers. Once we understand the blessing it can bring into our lives, families and church we will never cease to intercede for others.
Holy Spirit and intercession
Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.”
According to this word the Holy Spirit is the one interceding. He is the greatest intercessor. He always intercedes for you and me. So when we start to intercede for others, for the sinners, for the world, for the Church, for the religious and priests, for the needy orphans and others it definitely pleases Him. As what the Holy Spirit is doing is what we are doing also. We are taking part in the ministry of the Holy Spirit – intercession. When we do this the Spirit will come upon us, our families, prayer groups and upon all those who we are praying for.
So we will grow in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We will be worthy and able to receive more gifts, fruits and charisms of the Holy Spirit. For the people who pray selflessly for others and their good have the heart of Christ. They do it for others’ salvation. So heaven will shower blessings and charisms upon us who are interceding to help save souls. So in order to receive mighty anointing of the Spirit intercessory prayers `help us.
Blessings will be doubled when we intercede for others
Job 42:10 “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
Two important things the Lord did in the life of Job. He restores the fortunes of Job and gave him everything twice as much as he had before.
When did God do this? It was when Job prayed for his friends. When did Job pray for his friends? It is very important and here we note that even in the midst of sufferings and pains he was happy and ready to remember to pray for his friends. He had lost almost everything. Physically and mentally he suffered a lot. Even at that time he so selflessly prayed for his friends. It pleased the Lord. So He gave many blessings to this selfless man.
He had a very selfless heart. His love for others was genuine. Otherwise he could not pray for his friends. Even when we pray the Lord is looking into our hearts. If it is clean and genuine more blessings will be given. If we pray for others that they be blessed by God – surely not only they but we too will be blessed by the same Lord.
If there is jealousy we might not be able to pray for others. That means we do not want to see the other person blessed and happy. Then we may not receive what we are supposed to receive from the Lord because there is evil in our hearts.
So the prayer of Job and the blessing showered on him is an eye opener for all of us to be sincere and selfless in our prayers. When we start to pray sincerely for others, the Lord will restore all the fortunes and multiply every thing we need in our lives.
Deliverance and intercession
Acts 12:4-8 “And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”
Here the Church is undergoing a crisis. Adversaries of the Church are trying to bind the leaders of the Church and prevent the ministry of evangelization. The Pope already imprisoned … they were undergoing lot of struggles. With severe persecution being their experience; their Head of the Church bound ….. but what were the people of God doing? – that is very important for us today. Acts 12:5 says, “So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.” Church means all the people of God. They were interceding for Peter and the Church. In the midst of problems they were not hopeless or desperate but they prayed. They interceded continuously and zealously. What is the result? An angel was sent for the assistance of Peter. That angel from God broke the chains and delivered him from the jail. Mighty and miraculous intervention of God could be experienced just because of the intercessory prayers.
My dear brothers and sisters it is high time to change the gear of prayers to intercessory prayers too. That will bring many blessings, anointing and deliverance too. Intercessory prayers will change our hearts, lives and face of the Church too. Let us pray to the Lord to give us the gift of Intercession.