PRAYING FOR ONE ANOTHER
The prayers of other people
bring us blessings ONLY if we live in virtue. God said to the
prophet: "Pray not for this people, for I will not hear
you. Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, I would not receive
their supplication for these men. Even if the Patriarch Abraham
supplicates for them, if you change not, God will leave and go His way that
He may not receive his cry in their behalf."
The prayers of others, specially of holy
persons, have the greatest power ON CONDITION, however, there is repentance
and amendment of life in us. Moses was heard when he prayed for his
brother and for 600,000 men from the wrath of God. . .yet had no power to
deliver his sister. Moses, who could plead for the Chosen People,
could not plead for himself to be allowed to enter the Promised Land
even if he toiled, suffered and worked assiduously for 40 years.
Samuel could not save Saul from the wrath of God though he oftentimes saved
the Israelites as a nation. Daniel saved a huge barbarian nation but
could not save the Jews, the chosen people.
Look at the unforgiving servant. God
listened to his prayer when he owed 10,000 talents, but God would not listen
to him when he owed 10 talents because he was unforgiving of others.
He who is careless shall not be able to obtain salvation -- NO, not even
with the prayers of others. If, on the other hand, we are careful, we
shall be able to work out our salvation by ourselves rather than by
God is more willing to give graces to us by
our asking than by others asking for us. Because we are more grateful
if we receive the graces by our asking rather than others asking; just
as in the world, the money you worked for is of greater value than the money
you inherited, the orange you planted is sweeter than the orange received as
a gift. Our gratitude for things received by our own efforts engenders
confidence towards God and we become better men. Look at the Canaanite
woman, the harlot, the good thief, they needed no one to pray for them and
all were most pleasing to Christ.
We must ask holy people to pray for us; but
let us not think we can be careless with our souls. Better still, let
us pray for ourselves. And, best, let us agree, being one mind and one
heart, with another to pray in accord. And let us pray for the right
things: not merely for luxuries and comforts, and never ask for mercy
for unrepented sins.
But if what you ask is needed by your soul,
and you contribute all your part, and you exhibit an apostolic life and you
have accord and love towards thy neighbor. . ."thou shalt receive thy
entreaties." OR he who truly loves his neighbor and is a virtuous
man in other respects shall be heard when he prays.
St. John Chrysostom, "On Thes."