Since I have a long commute, I have a long time to think about things in the morning. This morning, intercessory prayer was on my mind. Specifically, I had asked a friend of mine to pray for a different friend of mine and was thinking about this.
See, I ask this particular friend of mine to pray for others on a fairly regular basis. And, when I have a intention that really needs prayer, I always ask this particular friend.
He happens to be a priest, but this is not why I ask him to pray for others.
I’m sure he gets many prayer requests due to his line of work, but I go to him for who he is. Of course, this gets a bit complicated because ordination changes you, and you are ontologically conformed to Christ, so being a priest *is* a part of what it means to be him in a way that my job is not and will never be a part of who I am.
What I mean, then, is that I go to him because I recognize him to be a man of integrity. And I don’t just mean that he does what he says he will do (although this is part of it), but an all-encompassing integrity that colors everything.
So, when I ask him to pray and he says he will, I know that he isn’t praying in an empty fashion, but is putting something of himself into the effort. Which is how we are all supposed to pray, right?
Prayer is an encounter with God. So it really shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. Happily, joyfully, frequently — of course! But with gravity, reverence and sincerity, also. In a way, prayer is an offering of myself to God. Hopefully, I would do this to benefit others much more than I do so to benefit myself.
And because prayer is an encounter with our Lord, the God who made us, and because it necessarily involves all of me (and not some sort of superficiality), prayer is at once incredibly important and the best gift you could possibly give another person.
So, I do not take this lightly. If you ask me to pray for you, I will do so with as much integrity as I can. And if I ask you to pray for something or someone for me, it is because I trust you and believe you to be a person of integrity.
And I don’t ask lightly, because I know of what I am asking of you.
With all my heart, Thank You and God Bless!