“Say a Prayer for Me”

“Say a Prayer for Me”

by Sr. Patricia Lanigan MMM                                   Ireland                             02.07.2024

How many times someone has asked that, holding my hand as they say good-bye, emphasising the sincerity of their request.

“Say a prayer… for my son/ daughter, my mother/ father, my relative/ neighbour”.  Someone is sick, in trouble, facing examinations, maybe struggling to find a job, or house.  Every day a list goes up outside the oratory, just where sisters pass, asking for us to remember them to the Lord in their need.  And every day, the sisters carry the requests in their hearts, and aloud at Morning and Evening Prayer.

Today something wonderful happened – a thank-you email came in, accompanied by a lovely photo of a little girl who had a brain tumour successfully removed.  The family said it seemed a miracle that the surgery and treatment were effective, and she seems totally fine now.
Sometimes we hear how people get on, more times our prayer goes into the hand of God and we know nothing more.  Yet for us this daily intercessory prayer is important, a constant reminder that we are all part of God’s family, caring for each other.

As St Paul writes:
“Pray all the time, asking for what you need, praying in the Spirit on every possible occasion. Never get tired of staying awake to pray for all the saints; and pray for me” (Eph 6:18)

“Every time I pray for you, I pray with joy… There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your thoughts and your hearts, in Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:3, 4:6-7)

Do we trust in the power of God, in the compassion of Jesus, who said: “Of course I want to [heal you], be healed” (Mt 8:3) – and the man with leprosy was cured at once.  Do we ask the Holy Spirit to enable the medical staff to work to the full extent of their skill, in diagnosis, surgery and treatment?  Do we pray that the drugs will work fully, with no negative side effects?  Do we pray for the nursing and home care staff, that they may be gentle, patient and effective?  Do we pray in thanksgiving for the GP who noticed something possibly abnormal, and recommended further investigation – and so early treatment for a potentially terminal illness was possible?

Are such specific prayers necessary? Probably not. But do they extend the boundaries of our hearts?  Perhaps.  In the meantime, I’ll just ask for the name of the person in need, and put them in God’s hands.