of the many times you have been asked or moved to pray for
someone, or to pray for peace throughout the world. Or to
pray for those who are dying. Or to pray for the ones who
have no helper. Or to pray for those who are alone. Or to
pray for the weak and hungry. Or to pray for our country,
or the countries of the world. Or, how often have you been
in a struggle with life yourself, and felt like you needed
the prayers of others to see you through? Prayer for ourselves
and others can become an overwhelming task. Not because we
lack the compassion or even motivation, but because there
are simply so many needs.
a Cree word referring to that moment at the end of a storm
when the dark clouds are breaking and the blue sky and sun
are beginning to seep through. This is an image we can easily
identify with because we have all been present at such awe-filled
times. We’ve known the gathering of the clouds that
warned us of the coming storm; we’ve felt the overshadowing
darkness as the storm was unleashed; we’ve witnessed
the quiet that settles as the storm abates; and we’ve
felt the lightness of seeing slivers of blue and finally
the sun peeking through bulbous clouds, casting its warmth
on the moistened ground. Life is much like ‘waseskun.’ We
see the storms gathering in our own or others’ lives,
and are keenly aware of the pain, suffering, sadness, grief,
and worry that seem to overshadow the joy of life. At such
times of darkness, our natural response is prayer. We ask
the Holy One to intervene and halt the storm, part the clouds,
and let the light shine through. Yet, because the needs are
so great, we feel helpless to pray for all those who have
asked for our prayers, much less all those who are in need
of prayer, and we wonder if others will offer their prayers
they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will
hear.” (Isaiah 65:24). God reads the prayers of our
heart even before they have been formed into words or vocalized
by our mouth. Prayer becomes not so much trying to remember
the names and needs of each person or group. Rather the task
of intercessory and petitionary prayer becomes opening our
heart to receive all the needs and then asking the Holy One
to read what is there. In some ways, it is more difficult
than simply naming names and asking for God’s assistance,
because it requires the full opening of the heart and soul
to our own pain and the pain of the world. But, the God of
love takes our offering and blesses our love. The God of
love hears our heart and blesses those we love. The God of
love lifts the needs from our heart and takes them into the
heart of heaven. And we, we stand amazed, at the miracles
A Process for Praying for Others
Sit quietly and center yourself in the present moment.
2. Slowly read each name listed.
3. As you read imagine the name floating into your heart.
4. Bring your awareness to being in the presence of God.
5. Open your heart and ask God to read the names that are written there.
6. Thank God for the time you’ve spent together and for listening and
answering you in your prayers.
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