In Every Season
Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.
One day, some years ago, I asked one of our newer members what it means to pray for another person. Without hesitation, she responded: “For me, to pray for another person means to present that person to God.” I have never forgotten that response. Since then, I find myself praying for another person in words something like: “Dear God, I bring this person, my friend, before you. He/she has need of you. Take care of this person in ways you know best and give him/her peace and comfort. Allow this person, dear God, to experience the nearness of your presence. Truly, I place all my trust in you.”
Spiritual writers feel that the efficacy of our prayer for others comes from the sincerity and the love we bring to the prayer for the other person. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin has a related approach to the subject. He tells us that when we come to understand, and experience in depth, what it means to love another, we will have discovered fire for the second time. Love is powerful.
I Presented This Person To God
Recently, I felt called to pray for a person who lives some distance from where I am. I presented this person to God and prayed that God would take care of her needs. While doing this, I experienced a sense that there was much energy in this prayer and that the energy could travel miles to where she was. Later, when I shared that I had been praying for her, she responded by saying that, although she experienced concern because of what was upon her, she also experienced peace.
At times, it seems good to pray before we pray, asking God what approach to take. Whether we are praying for the other or wrestling with our own needs, we often forget that it is God who inspires the prayer and gives us words with which to pray. Sometimes, when praying, it is good simply to be quiet and allow God, oh so gently, to come to where we are, instead of going to God and telling God exactly what we would like.
In What Way Has God Come To Me
We know, too, that God comes to us, not only in prayer but also in our daily happenings as well. Formerly, there was a common practice among Sisterhoods, and which, in some places, is still the custom. Twice a day, at noon and in the evening, the Sisters would ask themselves, “In what way has God come to me this day?”
Regardless of the season, spring, summer, autumn, or winter, within or without, ours is a God who wants to be with us, and who is nearer to us than we can even imagine. In heaven, we will be surprised. Ours is also a God who writes messages on our hearts, sayings things like “In every age, I shall be your God and you shall be my people.” In other words, no matter what happens, we belong to God, who will never let us down. When we are unable to pray, the Spirit of God prays within us, getting us ready for what God wants to give us.
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