Katie Snipes Lancaster
Spiritual Practice: Intercessory Prayer
We pray for Avah, Benjamin, Carter, Daniel, Elijah, Finn, and Grace. God, hear our prayer for Harper, Isaac, Josephine, and Kayden. We pray for Liam, Mason, Noah and Oliver. God, let your love hover over Penelope, Quinn, Riley and Sebastian. Give your peace to Theodore, Uriel, Victoria and Willow. And be present with Xavier, Yusuf and Zoey this week.
That is what intercessory prayer looks like. True, I pulled all those names from the top baby names A to Z. And yet, as I was writing out each name, it brought up real people who I know, and it probably did for you too. Real people, beloved by God with each of those names. Amazing, right?
That’s the power of intercessory prayer. It brings you directly in touch with the presence of God, while simultaneously drawing you into a state of empathy with those who you know and love. The empathy that you bring is exactly the kind of empathy you hope God will bring into their presence.
Intercessory prayer means praying for those individuals in your life, in the world in which we live. It means lifting up to God all that is precious about their lives, and asking, with tenderness and strength, that God take action. It pushes us to think, too, about what action we might be asking God to undergo: healing? Help? Nearness? Presence? Thoughtfulness? Help in making decisions? Fortitude? Strength? It pushes us to name aloud how we understand God’s action in the world.
God, teach us to pray for one another,
And show us new ways to sense your action in the world.
We lift up our long list of names to you now.