Intercessory Prayer Ministry and Matthew 25:31-46


I am searching for a ministry to join in my parish, but being pulled in what seems to be two different directions; thus, I’m seeking the opinion of others.

Matt 25:31-46, regarding the Last Judgment, mentions how we should give food and drink, clothe, provide shelter, and visit the needy. In other words–hands on in the trenches: soup kitchens, shelters, hospital and home visits, and other active charity.

My joy, energy and inclination is toward an intercessory prayer group/chain which is a ministry in my parish. I have signed to join in this work, and I also belong to another similar prayer group.

Yet, Scripture (e.g., Matt 25; Luke 10:25-37) gives me the impression that Christ wants “hands on” love (feed and water the flock) rather than sitting in a chapel praying for others.

Thank you for your opinions.


Something to consider.

The following is a post written by jollyoki on July 21st, post # 80, from a thread in the Prayer Intentions section of CAF. The thread is called “Almost Homeless” and can be viewed in its entirety here:

I just got out of the hospital with major heart failure. I am staying at a strangers house but I have to be gone by august. The doctor said this is because I am in crisis and once I get settled my heart should be better.
My daughter left in the middle of the night and took some of my things too and left her cat. and disconnect my phone and internet. UNREAL!
I have had suffering in life but this is the most ever.
please keep praying I get an apt for handicap. I wrote the Bishop of OK and he passed it on to catholic charities…and they said “We can find you spiritual help” well,frankly I can get that at any church. I NEED a home. And I can not go to shelters because I am mostly bedridden and they are not equiped for that. A social worker at the hospital tried everywhere. NO luck.
You know, I never realized how so many Catholics do not help people like me. Everyone pushes you off to someone else because either they don’t want to help or they think there is help out there somewhere. well there is not help out there somewhere. Maybe in the 1950’s there was but not now.
I really appreciate prayers though. Please keep praying for me. God Bless you!

She still needs help and prayers.

~~ the phoenix


Hi, I happen to attend intercessory prayer group right now, I was invited once and I just stayed, and I do not have that kind of doubts you do.

I have needed prayers of others now and again, and I do again, and I know what it is like to have someone who is interceding for me with God - just like Mary did in Cana. We all need the grace of God and see - in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to pray "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done’- this seems that these should be in the interest of God himself, yet he is asking us to pray for His Kingdom to come, as if he was relying on our prayers!

Also, nobody is saying that you cannot do the acts of mercy because you are in intercessory group, and those acts of mercy might be towards the people you meet every day and your family- it is not only clothes, food, but friendship, support, listening to and making time for others. Acts of mercy, according to st Faustina are the ones that you mentioned, but also a kind word as well as prayer.

If your reasoning was correct, do you think that God made a mistake calling so many men and women to life in convents, where they do not leave the walls of their convents, but spend the time in prayer in contemplation (well, physical work as well, but some do not go out or talk to others at all)

I suggest that you read the diary of St Faustina, one of the lessons you can learn from her is that there is nothing more pleasing to God than doing His will - if he wants you to pray for others, than do that- and since you feel drawn to that group, it might just as well be the case that God is calling you to this ministry.

And lastly, even Mother Theresa spent lots of time in prayer, she who spent so much time helping the poor and sick - because she knew that we all rely on the grace of God, and we need prayers to be able to love others.


“…those acts of mercy might be towards the people you meet every day and your family- it is not only clothes, food, but friendship, support, listening to and making time for others.”

I think this is a very good point that I’ve missed. I know a woman who has been very involved for 35+ years in active ministry to her parish and diocese, spending weekdays and weekends helping others in all kinds of programs. Meanwhile, her two daughters have had children out of wedlock and married men who have been in and out of prison several times. Her two sons have both been in prison. Her husband has many times felt abandoned, and now has cancer.

Ministry does not always mean hands-on help with missionaries in Uganda or building shelters in Venezuela or passing out blankets to the homeless. Christ asks us to minister to those closest to us also. And of course, vowed religious in contemplative orders not only minister with their prayers, but they show charity to each other (which is not always easy, even for so-called “religious”) in their cloistered community, just as we married people do to those closest to us.



Both are necessary for Christian living. It is a matter of balancing them out. But I will say, If you feel particularly called to one more than the other, and you feel more at peace in that situation, then maybe put more time there for a while. God calls each of us to different things and at different times in our lives. Some people find it hard to pray. Others are given a gift of deep spiritual prayer and not only find it easy but actually crave it. If you feel the craving to sit with Jesus in prayer, by all means, DO IT! Maybe He is calling you because someone else is having a hard time praying. The Church needs our prayers. We are all one body. We are each needed for our specific vocations.
But please don’t think that I am saying that “hands on” helping in the Church is any less of a need. It is also needed just as much. We are called to both corporal works of mercy and spiritual works of mercy. My only suggestion is that if you feeled called to one more than the other, then just add extra time in that area but don’t neglect the others.

Just my humble opinion.

Peace! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

closed #6

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