I have long appreciated intercessory prayer in my own prayer life. I love praying for other's intentions; I find it brings my own prayer life closer to God, helping me to remember to pray more often over the course of my day or offer up difficulties for someone's special intention. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer, that it truly effects and changes our lives and that there is so much power in praying for each other as the Body of Christ on Earth.
But I do struggle with bringing my own difficulties before Jesus. For some reason, I still have a hard time taking my small difficulties and problems to the Lord in prayer. I often forget to offer big issues in my life that I am confused about or genuinely anguishing over at Mass. I don't often seek out prayer support from others even though I feel so blessed and honoured by praying for others and their needs.
In today's Gospel as the centurion boldly asks Christ to heal his servant, what struck me was his use of the word "subject." (Luke 7:8) To become a subject of someone else implies a submission to that person. A giving up of our own will and control. Submitting myself before Jesus, being unaware of how He will answer my prayer is so difficult.
I truly struggle with this humble act of prayer because in the asking of Christ to change something in my life, I am giving up my control over it. I'm asking Christ for something, but at the same time, opening my heart to the possibility that His answer to my prayer may not be the answer I want. But this is fundamental in what prayer is and the role it plays in our relationship with God.
Jesus emphasizes this fact today, saying that the centurion has faith He has not even seen in Israel. Honest prayer, humbly seeking Christ's power to change situations in our lives requires great faith, and I'll only get there by praying more.
What can you offer Christ in prayer today that you haven't already? Is there an area in your life where you don't want to relinquish control? Holy Spirit, help us grow in faith as you help us pray.
Christy Isinger is a wife and mom to five lovely, loud children and lives in northern Canada. When not homeschooling, she is a devoted reader of English literature from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie. She writes about the beauty of faith, life, and the home at her blog and is the co-host of the Fountains of Carrots Podcast. You can find out more about her here.