The monks at St Benedict’s Abbey, Ealing, London are happy to undertake prayer requests that you send in.
ealingmonk AT aol DOT com
Intercessory prayer is an important dimension of our monastic vocation. We will display your intentions and prayer requests in a community area, and take them with us to Liturgy of the Hours and Mass. Every good action a person undertakes makes a difference to the world.
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Introduction. Just before he died, Jesus offered up a series of prayers to his Father on his behalf, on behalf of his disciples, and on our behalf. First he asked his Father to “glorify” him so that he could in turn bring glory to his Father. Then he asked his Father to guide and protect his disciples. Finally, he prayed that all of us would become one with the Father, with Jesus, and with each other (John 17). An hour or two later, when he was in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus interceded again, saying, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39). And again, just before he died, he prayed: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
The Mystery of God’s Will. There is still one question we need to answer as we look at the call to intercessory prayer: What about prayers that never seem to get answered? Related to this is the age-old question that even shows up at various points in the Bible: Why is there so much suffering-especially among those who are trying to obey the Lord? Why does God let good people die young? Why does he not intervene and stop all the abortions or put an end to war and genocide? We can look at passages like Psalm 13 and Habakkuk 1:1-3 for examples of how even the holiest of people-prophets and psalmists-puzzled over these questions.
Intercessory prayer is not the same as prayers for yourself, or for ‘enlightenment’, or for spiritual gifts, or for guidance, or any personal matter, or any glittering generality. Intercession is not just praying for someone else’s needs. Intercession is praying with the real hope and real intent that God would step in and act for the positive advancement of some specific other person(s) or other entity. It is trusting God to act, even if it’s not in the manner or timing we seek. God wants us to ask, even urgently. It is casting our weakness before God’s strength, and (at its best) having a bit of God’s passion burn in us.
© Ealing Abbey, copyright 9 June 2014