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Holy Spirit, fire of love, come rest over each of us, make
our tongue ready to confess our sins, that in revealing everything
and concealing nothing, we may attain heavenly life to sing
eternal praise with the angels. With your help, you who live
and reign through all ages.
Amen.

St. Anthony


Intercession

Intercession is powerful and Scripture invites us to this way of praying when Jesus says, "Ask and you shall receive" 27. We are usually fairly good at the 'asking' type of prayer - it comes naturally to us when things go wrong or we are out of our depth. God is our loving Father who is anxious to provide for us and loves when we turn to Him in prayer. However He also wants us to come to know Him and the fullness of His love for us. So, we may need to 'mature' in this way of praying and change our outlook a bit, so that the promises which are made for intercession can be fulfilled for us.

We are told many other things about this type of prayer. For example, "If you find your delight in the Lord, He will grant you your heart's desire" 28. This is very similar to what Jesus tells us, "Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well" 29. This means that when we come to intercede, we should look to the Lord and His righteousness first, to delight in His company and then, to ask for what we need. It means that we do not take God for granted and this makes sense, when we remember that the Lord wants us to enter into relationship with Him.

We should take the intercession of Jesus as our example. We often find that before He performs a miracle, He blesses God first. For example, before He raised Lazarus from the dead, He turned in thanksgiving to the Father. 30 We also find Him blessing the bread before the multiplication of the loaves. 31 The "Our Father" is a perfect example of this type of prayer. Here, the first three petitions are devoted to praise of the Father and praying for His will: only then do we move on to intercession as such.

Scripture also tells us, "If two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven" 32. This is another important thing to bear in mind when it comes to intercession: there is great power in unity of hearts. God is the source of all unity and when we can be united in a common aim, it is as a result of His grace. Somehow, because of this promise there is great intercessory power when two or three agree to come before the Lord in prayer.

"The more we enter into communion with Jesus,the stronger will be our desire to become part of his dialogue withthe Father in the Holy Spirit. Thus human prayer comes to share insome way in the very power of intercession that is proper to the Son".

Pope John Paul II

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