Saturday, September 06, 2008

When asked for prayers: Stop! Listen! Pray!

How many times have you been the recipient of this request:

"Pray for me!"


"Please pray for [insert vague intention here]."


"Remember me in your prayers."

Of course you promise to pray. And you mean it. And maybe more often than not, you remember, and you do pray. That's good.

Maybe this way is even better?

Stop, and ask the person about his or her intention. It needn't be all that specific, but if at all possible, get the gist of it.

Listen to what the person has to say.

Pray together!

Nobody's so busy that a minute or two can't be spared for a prayer together! It could be a simple "Hail Mary in the middle of a shopping mall." It could be another traditional prayer between sips of coffee. It could be, if you're up for it (and the more you do this, the better you'll get at it) a spontaneous plea to God, to One of the Three Persons, to Mary, and/or to any of the saints on this person's a bus stop.

From Sunday's Gospel, Matthew 18:19-20:

"Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it shall be done for them by my Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I in the midst of them."

The next time someone requests your prayers, stop, listen...and pray together!