Prayer is so important! Not because I am trying to tell God what to do, or to manipulate his will – I have to remind myself of this from time to time. The wording of my prayers has to be a bit more intentional, to make me double-check my motive – my will or God’s will? But I have seen prayer affect outcomes in unexpected ways - cancer disappearing in ways that make doctors scratch their heads; an incredibly peaceful attitude in the face of overwhelming realities; my own husband’s huge growth, blocking 75% of his duodenum as well as the bile duct (95% of the time cancerous) miraculously NOT cancerous! And he came off of the surgery without any of the complications that cause two-thirds of the Whipple Surgery patients to have to go back into surgery. Such prayers! And I thank you from the bottom of my heart, all you who were praying for my husband.
So I know first hand how precious and important those prayers are for peace of mind and positive outcome for a loved one. I understand how important it is to you to have your loved ones mentioned in the Prayers of the Faithful at Masses, and in the “Prayers Requested” section of the bulletin. I know of people whose whole family prays for those names as part of their nightly prayers! Having said this, I do want to remind everyone that God does know what we most need. So often my prayers for other people ask for God to bless them with whatever that person most needs (because He knows, I don’t). So even when, after two weeks of being mentioned, a name no longer is voiced in the Prayers of the Faithful, people can keep praying for those folks, and God does take care of each person’s need according to his will, no matter what. And when, after three months, a name is taken out of the “Prayers Requested” in the bulletin, remember they are still in God’s good care, and people will still be praying for them. It’s hard, sometimes, to remember that we need to be sure to make room for new names that our folks bring forth to be prayed for, and cannot keep repeating a name over and, or make the list so incredibly long that people just tune out. When a name is taken off the Prayers of the Faithful or Prayers Requested, it will go into the Book of Prayer by the votive candles at the back of church. Thank God that we have so many ways to have people pray for ours or our loved ones needs! And thank goodness that we have such a loving and caring God who knows what we need – even better than we do!
thank you for listening and responding to our prayers,
even when sometimes your ways may seem mysterious to us.
Help me to trust that you KNOW what your children need –
any one of us – whether we pray it or not.
Yet thank you for giving us a means to express our needs,
our hurts, our joys – through prayer.
Bless all those who truly PRAY for people when someone asks them to do so.
Thank you for the many miracles – small and great that come as the answers to our prayers.
Be with us; guide us; help us to make room to bring many different people’s needs before you,
as our parishioners request our prayers.
You have shown us that a community that prays for one another is stronger.
May we accept your will in all circumstances.