I've always found the idea of intercessory prayer a little bit weird. I mean, if God is all-knowing and all good, how can it possibly make sense to try to convince God of anything?
And yet, we're obviously supposed to do just that. Not only are we supposed to directly ask God for what we need--that part makes sense, simply as an expression of trust--but we're also supposed to pray for other people, and ask other people to pray for us.
Which is very, very weird when you think about it. I mean, don't we each have direct access to God, through the one mediator Jesus Christ?
Nonetheless, we're obviously commanded to pray for each other, and to ask for prayer. Make of it what you will.
Yesterday, I was praying for my children, and also asking Mary to pray for them and for me, when the baby woke up from his nap. I could hear his sweet little voice calling out, "Mama? Mama? No Mama. Where Mama?"
And big sister took him by the hand, and brought him to me. The little guy was overjoyed, but before settling in to nurse, he took a moment to celebrate with his big sister, happily pointing me out to her. "Mama. Mama."
Lately, I've been noticing my children intercede for one another quite a bit. It absolutely melts my heart when one of them begs me to bend the rules for a brother or sister.
And it changes what I do.
I won't allow anything dangerous, of course. But I will gladly be more lenient about computer time or sweets when brothers and sisters ask for each other, just because the love between them is so very precious to me.
And I cannot think of anything that makes my heart gladder than watching my children lead one another into my arms.
Michael Symmons Roberts*
14 hours ago