Grace to you!
In today’s reflection, I share a few thoughts on the role of intercession and how it is a privilege for one to carry the prayer burden of others. I draw inspiration from Genesis 18:16-33.
One of the things I have observed about those who grow in the interior (spiritual) life, is a keen interest to be concerned for the welfare of others. Faith in the Lord matures in charity. It wells up to a life of service for others.
Charity, the Christ-centered love, manifests in many ways. They include affectionate, pure love for one another, kindness and various other attributes spoken of by Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It also includes selfless actions, such as offering of sacrifices and gifts for the good of others. Prayerful intercession for the needs of others is an expression of charity too.
Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus (the Little Flower) was well regarded as blessed with the grace of heroic charity. As she wrote in her autobiography, Story of a Soul, her vocation was to love. Indeed, she lived her life in pure love. One of the ways she did so was carrying prayer burdens for others.
One case was a condemned criminal. Her love for the human race stirred in her heart a deep prayer burden for the criminal for his repentance. Sure, God granted the criminal the grace of repentance.
You may have your own stories to tell also. When you have a prayer burden for somebody or a group of people, God is granting you a privilege to know certain things that require prayerful consideration. Take such thoughts seriously. Be on your knees, lifting them to the Lord in prayer.
Read the Book of Genesis18:16-33. You will see a classic case of one who had the privilege of being granted access to information about sinful Sodom and Gomorrah. We read that the Lord, having chosen Abraham to be the father of his people (Gn 18:17)—one justified in faith (Gn 15:6)—gave him a privileged information concerning His plan to destroy the two cities.
In response, Abraham resorted to prayerful intercession for the cities. He had a strong prayer burden, asking God to spare the cities if righteous people are found there. Notice in that prayerful negotiation how the Lord patiently dialogued with Abraham. Perhaps, Abraham’s prayerful intercession was instrumental to saving the life of his nephew, Lot, from destruction (see Gn 19).
When you have a prayerful burden for something, for somebody or for some group of people, the Lord wants you to pray about it. It means the Lord has invited you to have a unique intuition into things around you. Count it a blessing. Leverage it. It’s a practice of charity.
Praying that we be attentive to those thoughts and prayer burdens put in our hearts by the Lord to respond in prayerful intercession. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday Week 13. Readings: Gn 18:16-33; Mt 8:18-22]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.