22ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
They interceded with him about her.
“Interceded.” Doesn’t that seem like a strange word to describe the disciples asking Jesus to heal Simon’s mother-in-law? They were right there, standing next to Jesus, when they made the request. There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly “prayerful” about it. Isn’t intercession supposed to involve a great struggle to be effective?
Actually, intercessory prayer doesn’t require kneeling for hours or expending a lot of emotional energy. We learn from Scripture that our prayers depend not on how much work we put into them, but on the Lord and our relationship with him. That’s not to deny that it takes effort to pray. But we should realize that we have been given privileged status. Just as Simon and the other disciples had direct access to Jesus and brought their needs to him, we, too, can come directly to Jesus with our needs.
That’s because, through his death and resurrection, Jesus has made it possible for us to be closer to God than ever. God has “seated us . . . in the heavens in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). Through Baptism, we have been made sons and daughters of God. And our heavenly Father loves it when his children come to him to pray for the people and situations on their hearts.
So intercede with Jesus for those you love! If it helps you, imagine that Jesus is right there next to you, the way he was with Simon and the disciples. Talk directly to him about the needs that concern you. Or imagine you have entered God’s throne room. You can confidently tell Jesus what you need because he is merciful and compassionate; he will turn a sympathetic ear to your prayers (Hebrews 4:16).
Remember, you are God’s beloved child, and he has poured out his Holy Spirit on you. Your prayers are more powerful than you might think! They could make the difference for someone who is poor, lonely, or suffering from illness. You can’t be certain of exactly how God will answer your prayers, of course. But you can be assured that no prayer is ever wasted.
“Lord, help me to approach you with faith and confidence and to know in my heart that you hear my every prayer!”