I’m not sure if this is the proper place for this thread, but here goes. During the Intercessorry Prayers, I just can’t force myself to give my assenting response to those prayers that I believe are unattainable. Why pray for peace in our world, when that will never happen? Why pray for our world leaders when they will do what they are going to do? Why pray for healing for the sick when they will either get better or will get worse anyway? Why pray for the safe return of our troops when some will obviously die or be injured anyway? I understand that prayer changes us, but how can prayer change what happens to others especially when we are not in control of what happens in their lives?
Well, if you really don’t understand then it cannot be explained to you I guess, but prayer , has, does and will continue to influence things. As to whether or not things will or will not change really isn’t for you to say or think. That is all in the hands of God One of the reasons, I believe anyway, that the world is spinning more and more out of control is that we neglect prayers Very simple. We neglect, things get worse and worse and worse.
Spiritual warfare of the highest order is going on in the world these days. Prayer is really necessary and always has been.
Our prayer does affect others, even if they’re unaware of it.
St Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower) prayed for a conversion of spirit for an irreligious and hardened criminal who was due to be executed. And it worked! Shortly before his execution he made a good confession and received the Last Rites. She never met him, he never knew she was praying for him, but it worked!
So never believe that anyone or any cause is beyond being affected by prayer.
perhaps rather than saying “Lord, hear our prayer.” you could respond silently “Thy will be done.” That too is a prayer, and one I suspect you could be part of with integrity.
I have often felt the way you describe, feeling inadequate to discern what the best outcome of a situation would be, or what would fit into God’s plans. When feeling that way, I defer to The will be done. I know the Divine is in every situation, though not always in the way I would expect.
When my brother was 21 he was in an accident. He lost his eyesight. Everyone said “pray for restoration of his sight”, but I could not bring myself to. Indeed he received a miraculous healing of soul, he will be the first to tell you that accident was the best thing that happened to him.He is completely blind.
Usually, I pray that we might not be so proud or scared that our efforts hinder the will and purpose of the Divine, that we might be trusting enough to allow His work to be done in every situation.
I believe that some people are inspired, in certain situations, to pray for a specific outcome.But if you are not feeling that, prayers of trust and confidence in the Lord are always available to us.
Do not start praying another prayer besides Lord hear our prayer. All this will lead to is a breaking of the rubrics in other parts of the Mass. The Mass is not our private Liturgy, so don’t take that advice. What you need to do is to read your bible and see why the Church has us pray these types of prayers. God can and does intervene in our daily lives. We as humans wouldn’t see any reason to pray that a dead man come back to life, but we know that with God nothing is impossible, remember a guy named Lazarus John 11;43.
Or how about when the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha was decided upon. Everyone in those cities should have died. But God changed his mind because of the intercessions of one man Genesis 18 20-33. Your intercessory prayers can and do make a big difference, please don’t quit praying them. Let me tell you a story about Madison. When Maddy was born I recieved a phone call from my nephew, he said that my niece was fine but the baby was hooked up to life support, the doctors said there was nothing they could do, they were going to unplug the life support, I got into my truck and drove out to the Poor Clare monastery about 10 minutes away. Now the Poor Clares are a cloistered group of Fransican Nuns. Sister Benadette said they would pray for the child, when I returned home 20 minutes later, the phone was ringing, my nephew said the doctors could not understand it, they unpluged Madison fron life support and she is doing fine the doctors said she should have died. Today she is a heathy 9 year old child so full of energy and life, so I know prayer works I have seen it work, so please continue to pray with your Catholic family at Mass and have faith in God because he can and does intervene. Without God our prayers are nothing but with God our prayers can move mountains. Get a book on miracles and read about answered prayers I think this may help you.
May Almighty God bless us always
Perhaps this is too simplistic but one could also ask why sweep the floor or why do the dishes after a meal.
Obviously, because it needs being done just as prayer for the ones in need, needs done.
It is our duty as Catholic christians to do these things.
Amen! Also, it is our duty to try to bring peace to our world, to vote for leaders who most match up with our Catholic faith, to hope for a good outcome when we pray for the sick and other such needs. Hope is a virtue and is the cure for despair, which is what I see in Beno’s lack of ability to trust that there will be peace on earth one day, as well as complete health, utter joy, etc.
For Beno, we may not see our prayers answered as we might wish in our life time, but one day all will be well for God has promised that it will, therefore we are to pray for it. J. R. R. Tolkien wrote that only those who know for certain that all will be lost have the right to despair. But since we know God will triumph in the end, we Christians do not have that right.
You ask “why?”, I ask “why not?”. I trust that God knows what to do with our prayers… there are long ones, short ones, sincere ones, insincere ones, selfish ones, charitable ones… in other words, there are a kazillion different prayers and I leave it all up to God because He knows what’s best. My job is simply to pray, pray and pray some more
How about looking at the prayer of intercesions from this point of view. They are actually prayers of Worship. We we pary for intercession what we are actually doing is acknowledging that we are creatures, created by a loving God. We also, through our prayers, are acknowledging that (and yes you are right) the things we pray for (world peace for example) are not things we can acheive by our own efforts, in the end what we ask for we ask because we know only God can grant them or effect them, we are just His creatures whom He loves.
If you cannot pray for Intercessions, then you cannot pray for anything. You do not know if anything you pray for will be answered. It is God’s will. But by praying for peace in the world, prayers for the sick, etc. we are showing Jesus that we remember His second commandment; to love thy neighbor as thy self. It is our duty as Catholics to help other people. Remember there are people praying for you in your time of need.
You’re not alone. It can feel really overwhelming to pray in such a vague and general manner for such broad intentions as the ones you describe. Still, there was an experience in my life that makes me wonder whether Pope John Paul II once prayed “for peace in the family” … and I was the recipient of a blessing he never imagined, since I was one of those millions of Catholics he never actually met in person (who was not able to even see him on his trips around the world).
Maybe you can personalize these intentions for yourself. When they mention “peace in the world,” choose a country to focus on. When they mention “leaders,” pick one or more to pray for by name. When they mention healing … especially consider the first person or people who come to your mind … family member, friend, co-worker, or someone else you’ve heard about. “Safe return of troops?” There’s a very good organization called “Soldiers Angels” on-line where you can adopt a soldier or two to send cards and letters to, a care package once a month, and offer prayers if you want to be more active on a personal level, especially if you cannot think of a particular soldier to pray for during the intercessory prayer.
What makes me happy is if they include among the intentions such prayers as “that the life of the unborn will be respected.” If you are looking for something like that, I’ve heard that you can approach your priest and ask for that intention to be included, especially if you are in a parish pro-life group.
Hope this helps!
~~ the phoenix