1. Clear the Air.
Begin your time of intercession by clearing the air. Very simply and humbly, confess your sins to the Lord.
Obviously, we are talking about our small sins, those nagging little moments of anger, moodiness, or selfishness. Personal repentance is something we should do at least once a day. It is also an effective way to help prepare us for the times when we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
2. Worship the Lord.
When God’s people lift up his name in worship, God’s power is released (John 4:23-24; Psalm 100:4). It’s not that God rewards our praise. It is that our praising God draws us closer to him. Our worship brings us in touch with his heavenly grace. Focus on the mysteries of our faith: God’s good creation, Jesus’ death on the cross, or the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you’re not sure how to start, choose one of the psalms. Whenever we worship the Lord, we become more convinced that Jesus loves us and wants to work in our lives.
3. List Your Needs.
St. Paul tells us, “Make your requests known to God” (Philippians 4:6). No request is too small. No request is unworthy of your Father’s attention. He loves you. He loves the people you are praying for. He wants to do nothing but good for them. So be like the persistent widow and keep “bothering” God with your requests. If she could wear out a corrupt judge, how much more will our Father, who loves us, be willing to help us!
4. Do It Again.
Commit yourself to making intercessory prayer a regular part of your life. Think about keeping a journal of your prayer requests so that you can record how God is working in these situations. Looking back over your journal can help strengthen your faith and move you to pray for more and more intentions.