I’m so happy to be virtually “popping into” your home today—especially since I haven’t been popping in physically anywhere for quite a few weeks now.
I haven’t been to the office, and I’m not even shopping for my own groceries. I especially miss being able to volunteer on weekends at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women and at the nursing home run by the Missionaries of Charity in Washington, DC.
But God has put it on my heart to be part of another ministry here at home—that of active intercession. The words of Mother Teresa come to mind: “Do something beautiful for God.” So my focus is not on what I can’t do, but on what I can do.
Intercessory prayer is something I can do to help other people during this health crisis. I have time to pray more than once a day for the heroic doctors, nurses, and medical staff, for all essential workers, and for all those who are sick, dying, grieving, or distraught and unable to pray for themselves. Yes, intercession is very much a hidden ministry, but it is so vital.
One of the challenges of intercession is that we don’t always see the results of our prayers. I don’t know about you, but I’m a person who likes to see results! That’s where my faith comes into play. I trust that my loving Father hears every one of my prayers and that he’s always working, even when I don’t see it. As the song goes, God does have “the whole world in his hands.”
I’m confident that God hears my intentions as I place them on the altar during a livestream Mass or mention them during the Chaplet of Mercy. He’s listening as I intercede during my daily walk (with face covering), when I talk to him about what’s on my heart.
What I’m loving about my present ministry is that the Holy Spirit has been actively prompting me to pray for specific groups of people. For example, I’ve been inspired to pray for people in refugee camps, for those who are recovering from addictions, for women about to give birth, and for the people who have died with no one to pray for them. Other needs come to mind through news clips, conversations with family, friends, and coworkers, and the intentions that come into The Word Among Us prayer center. I’m expecting more “promptings” from the Holy Spirit in the coming days.
I’ve also noticed that certain Scripture passages have come alive for me in a new way. When the reality first hit me of how fast COVID-19 was spreading, I prayed Psalm 91: “He will rescue you from the fowler’s snare, from the destroying plague” (verse 3). Now I am praying this verse: “I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
As an intercessor, I’m asking Jesus to pour out his divine life 24/7 on all people affected in any way by this deadly virus. It is Jesus’ life that will bring them protection, healing, wisdom, strength, comfort, peace, and what he alone knows they need.
What a beautiful ministry the Lord is inviting many of us to be part of! Together we can be an army of intercessors, and our prayers can change the world. Together, in spite of all that we can’t do, we can still do something beautiful for God.