Have you ever prayed for someone or something, only to feel thwarted? Have you begged God so hard and long about something that you’re too weary to even try again? Have you even wondered if your prayer is not “answered” because you’re not “praying it right”? The prayer of petition is a mysterious prayer – mysterious because its value and purpose are not readily seen. Why the prayer of petition?
First: Pray for yourself and others, not because you think God is unaware of the situation, but because you need to remember that the source of all healing and life is the Lord.
Second: Pray for others, not because they are “weak” and you are “strong”, but because you need to continually deepen your own capacity for compassion – this helps you keep your world larger than yourself.
Third: Pray for others, not to “change God’s mind”, but to change your own mind about what you can do in the situation. You can send positive energy to the ones you are holding in prayer. Thoughts and positive energy have no time/space limits, nor are they limited to email, snail mail or phone calls. Send positive energy to others from where you are. When you do this, you also rejuvenate the energy in your own space and environment.
Fourth: Pray for others because you have much to learn from them. For example, you can be inspired by their endurance, and thus “tackle” something you’ve been procrastinating over, or gather new courage to continue a current project.
Fifth: Pray for others daily as directly as possible, and then let go, and let the Lord take over. This is the difficult part of the prayer of petition. Learning to be the Christ-light-carrier of compassion takes practice. Compassion does not mean becoming so worried, so concerned, so engrossed in the “life struggle” of others that you can’t focus on your own daily responsibilities. It does not mean trying to live someone else’s life for them. Learning compassion - learning the Way of Jesus - is an on-going venture!
Blessings as you move forward in your Journey – as you grow in your capacity to be the Light-bearer - as you grow in your capacity to follow Jesus up the Road. (Mark 10:46-52)