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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

More Than Intercession...

Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012.

When most people think of prayer, they think of only one specific kind of prayer: intercession.  It seems to me that the vast majority of prayer involves asking God to provide us with something specific, whether it’s something big, like healing for a loved one, or something small, like the strength to get through the stresses of a day.  This isn’t at all a bad thing—intercessory prayer helps us connect with both God and the people for whom we pray. It can even make miracles happen.  It’s important for us to pray for specific things, but I often feel that people put so much emphasis on intercessory prayer, that we forget prayer is so much more than asking God for things.

The power of prayer stretches far beyond God giving us things that we need or want. Prayer allows us to connect with God, to bring His holy presence into our lives, no matter where we are.  Prayer is a spiritual transporter that brings us into the presence of the creator of the universe and the savior of the world.

As important as intercession is, that connection is what makes prayer truly miraculous.  I think a lot of us forget that beautiful connection when we focus so much on intercessory prayer.  We get so caught up in asking God for different things that we forget to pause and take the advice of Psalm 46:11: “Be still and know that I am God!”  Sometimes, we ought to consider not only what we need to remember to ask or tell God, but what God needs to hear from us.  We need to offer our praises to God, to thank Him for all that He’s done for us, and to tell Him that we love Him.  Sometimes, even just repeating the name “Jesus” is all we need to connect with the Lord.  No matter how we do it, though, we need to emphasize communicating with God as much as we emphasize praying for specific things.

Intercessory prayer is important, even necessary, to living a Christian life. But we need to remember that it’s not the only way to pray.  We need to remember that sometimes we need to enter into prayer with no intention except to grow closer to God.

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Photo: Carlos Santa Maria/PhotoXpress

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."