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How intercessory prayer brings us close to God’s merciful heart

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Zvonimir Atletic | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 02/09/24

Whenever we intercede for someone in prayer, we imitate Jesus Christ and tune our own heart to his merciful heart.

Among the various types of prayer, intercessory prayer is born out of a sincere love for another person.

We desire something good for someone else and that act of intercession brings us closer to God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this concept in its section on prayer:

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…Since Abraham, intercession – asking on behalf of another has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy.

CCC 2634-2635

Intercessory prayer is an important type of prayer for every Christian, as it is not a selfish type of prayer, but one that looks to the needs of another.

This type of prayer can be elevated even more when we pray for our enemies:

In the age of the Church, Christian intercession participates in Christ’s, as an expression of the communion of saints. 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

When we pray in this way, we imitate Jesus’ merciful heart, as he prayed for everyone, without distinction:

The intercession of Christians recognizes no boundaries: “for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions,” for persecutors, for the salvation of those who reject the Gospel.

CCC 2636

If we want to truly imitate Christ, we need to pray for others, not only our friends and family, but also our enemies.

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