“Please pray for me.” As I walked out of the convenient store, the man behind me said his name was John and that he was diagnosed with cancer. As a single dad alone with a daughter he needed prayers and asked me to add him to my prayer list.
We request prayers form friends and family but it took courage for John to stop someone he randomly encountered and ask for that kind of help. He had no doubt in the power of prayer. He was in need and reached out to the people God placed in his path.
Scripture tells us to solicit prayers from holy people (See Thessalonians 2 3:1-2, James 5:14-16). It also notes repeatedly that our prayers will be answered. “So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24). How much clearer or simpler can that be? (See also Psalms 107:28-30; Matthew 7:7-8; 21:22; Mark 9:29; John 14:13-14; Philippians 4:6-7).
As noted in her diaries and letters, Saint Theodora often asked people to pray for her and she prayed for her students, teachers, friends, and family. Especially toward the end of her life, many recognized her unusual goodness and counted on her prayers in acquiring the fulfillment of their needs. And now that she is recognized as a saint, we are learning of miraculous responses to these prayers.
Studies have shown that people who are prayed for do indeed heal quicker than those who are not. Sometimes we may not feel as if our prayer is answered, but the answer may come in a way we do not expect or initially want. Even a “No” is an answer to a prayer. If we trust in God, we also must trust the response to be in our best interest.
We are never alone. In addition to praying for ourselves, let’ ask others, both living and deceased, to add our needs to their prayers. And maybe we can reach out to a stranger, as John did, to pray for us as well.
©2014, Mary K. Doyle