Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 24 September |
The Blessed Virgin Mary—Our Lady of Walsingham
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Praying for others benefits our own soul

PRAYER

Es5669 - Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 10/30/19

Intercessory prayer not only aids others in need, but can also bear fruit in our own lives.

One of the most common types of prayer is intercessory prayer. In it, we intercede for another person, praying to God for their particular situation. We might be praying for the healing of a loved one, or the conversion of a wayward child. Whatever the case may be, intercessory prayer benefits all parties involved.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that intercession “is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners” (CCC 2634).

This type of prayer is fundamentally other-centered, focused entirely on the good of another person. It is for this reason that intercessory prayer has at its core the “characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy” (CCC 2635).

Furthermore, “In intercession, he who prays looks ‘not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,’ even to the point of praying for those who do him harm” (CCC 2635).

Praying for one’s enemies is an example of intercessory prayer at its perfection. This type of concern for others, especially those we don’t like, reveals a “heart attuned to God’s mercy,” desiring God’s graces to fall upon everyone. It might be difficult to pray for our enemies, but by doing so we cut down our pride and learn how to love according to the Gospel.

Jesus showed us by his life and death the ultimate example of intercessory prayer, giving up his life for the sake of us all. If we desire to grow in prayer, we need to intercede for others, both those we love and those we hate. In this way we imitate Jesus’ prayer and show to God how our lives are other-centered, instead of self-centered.


FAITH

Read more:
Can certain prayers be more powerful than others?


WOMAN PRAYING

Read more:
How to pray for your enemies

Tags:
PrayerSpiritual Life
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
2
OUR LADY
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
3
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
4
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
5
Tolkien
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
6
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
7
CHILDREN, PRAY, ROSARY
Aid to the Church in Need
What happens when a million children pray the Rosary?
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.