The gift of prayer

I love when people ask me to pray for them or for an intention of theirs. To be able to pray for someone, allows us into their lives in a very unique way. It allows us into a part of their lives that are vulnerable and sometimes fragile. When someone asks you to pray for them, they are trusting you with something that they hold Sacred. We enter into that area of their life and we hold it up for God to glorify. 

Praying for others is a unique gift. I read, “When you pray for someone, you are offering them the most pure kind of love.” To love someone is to wish only the best for them. To offer up their needs or just a prayer of thanksgiving for them, is to love someone so purely. I often listen to K-LOVE and they said something on the radio one day that really stood out to me. They talked about how often when something comes up for someone we think, “Well the least I can do is pray for them.” They said in this clip that this is the wrong way of thinking. That we need to change our mentality to “prayer is the most I can do for them.” 

Prayer is not an insignificant gesture that we do because we feel helpless when our loved ones are in need. Praying for someone else reminds us that we are not the Almighty. Praying for someone else puts their needs and our anxiety in the hands of the One Who created us. Praying for someone often moves us to help others in need. 

Praying for someone else also softens our hearts towards them. I have had moments where I have been hurt by people and I am so angry. The times that I have prayed for them, I have let go of that anger and some of the resentment because when you pray for them you see that, like you, they are a creation of God who desperately needs that Creator. 

But I find praying for someone easy. What I find more difficult is praying with someone. Praying with someone puts both of you in a whole new level of vulnerability.  I recently was blessed to be able to direct the Yes! retreat. The greatest part of this retreat is being able to share in prayer with the other people on the retreat. You are not just praying for their intentions but they are praying for yours as well. As Christians, we get a privilege of sharing in each other’s joys and sorrows. It is easy to see someone having a difficult time and tell them you will pray for them. 

On the other hand, to say to someone, can I pray with you, is so much more personal. It is so much more enriching however, when we do pray with someone. I had an opportunity last week to ask a student if they would like to go to the chapel and pray. I could have gone by myself to pray for them, but the reality of praying with someone is such a blessing for both people involved that we sell ourselves short when we do not try praying together. 

Continue to pray for one another. Pray for your family, for your friends, for those who have no one to pray for them, for your enemies, but when given the opportunity to pray with others, take it! Use that moment to be with the One Whose love knows no boundaries, and walk into that grace hand in hand with someone else. 

Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I. She can be reached at atarantelli@bishopstang.org.


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