“Why does God, who is love, keep us waiting?
Because He is love, and seeks love. Love that does not know how to wait is not
love. To love is to give ourselves. No only for a fraction of a lifetime, nor
with a part of its strength: love is, and seeks, the total gift of self….
Delays in union [with God] are not time lost; far from it. God sees very far
ahead; He makes wonderful use of what we call evil – of our wanderings, our
hesitations and detours, although He does not love them or want them. It is at these
moments, above all, that we need confidence and perseverance. The prayer,
whether for ourselves or for others, that is not discouraged, which persists
and besieges Heaven, touches God’s heart; and that is why He tells us to
Prayer enables us to discern the events of history in
the light of God’s plan for the spread of his Kingdom. That plan is symbolized
by the book closed with seven seals which only the Lamb, the crucified and
risen Lord, can open. In prayer, we see that Christ’s final victory over sin
and death is the key to all history. While giving thanks for this victory, we
continue to beg God’s grace for our earthly journey. Amid life’s evils, the
Lord hears our prayers, strengthens our weakness, and enables us to trust in
his sovereign power. The Book of Revelation concludes with Jesus’ promise that
he will soon come, and the Church’s ardent prayer “Come, Lord
Jesus!”. In our own prayer, and especially in our celebration of the
Eucharist, may we grow in the hope of Christ’s coming in glory, experience the
transforming power of his grace, and learn to discern all things in the light
In our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now consider Saint Peter’s miraculous liberation from imprisonment on the eve of his trial in Jerusalem. Saint Luke tells us that as “the Church prayed fervently to God for him” (Acts 12:5), Peter was led forth from the prison by an Angel of light. The account of Peter’s rescue recalls both Israel’s hasty exodus from bondage in Egypt and the glory of Christ’s resurrection. Peter was sleeping, a sign of his surrender to the Lord and his trust in the prayers of the Christian community. The fulfillment of this prayer is accompanied by immense joy, as Peter rejoins the community and bears witness to the Risen Lord’s saving power. Peter’s liberation reminds us that, especially at moments of trial, our perseverance in prayer, and the prayerful solidarity of all our brothers and sisters in Christ, sustains us in faith. As Peter’s Successor, I thank all of you for the support of your prayers and I pray that, united in constant prayer, we will all draw ever closer to the Lord and to one another.
Pope Benedict XVI
10 May 2012
Do we have perseverance in prayer?
Are we in prayerful solidarity with others?
What really sustains our prayer?
Lent is a perfect time to pray more intensely. It is a seen as a time for greater discipline that may also bear fruit in other times of the year. Yesterday’s reading of Scripture for Mass had us focus on penance. Today, the Church gives us good example of asking God for the things we need. Queen Esther is our liturgical protagonist (aside from God, that is) in interceding for others.
What is prayer of intercession? Well, prayer of intercession is known along side other types of prayer like blessing and adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise.
The Catechism teaches us that Jesus practiced intercessory prayer in praying to His Father for all of us. We believe this is what the Holy Spirit does for us and for the whole world. This type of prayer is practiced by priests especially when they offer the Sacrifice of the Mass and pray the Divine Office. The laity exercise the priesthood of the believers by virtue of the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation by offering a prayer for another. The saints do intercessory prayer in approaching the Throne of Grace when we ask them to.