Okay. Maybe it’s not quite the Meaning of Life, but I have discovered something that will definitely change your life…forever. Have you ever wondered why good things always seem to happen to other people and, maybe they’re not always bad, but nothing good seems to happen to you or others? Well, the answer may be simple. Active Prayer. But this isn’t just your standard, customary, ordinary, falling down on your knees praying…I’m talking about intercessory prayer.
Intercessory Prayer is unlike being a Christian. In fact, intercessory prayer is all about spirituality. And it is your belief that truly makes intercessory prayer work. Sure, we can pray to God or our personal Lord and Savior – whoever or whomever that may be, but it doesn’t hurt to have someone add a little something on our behalf. I can remember a time when I felt that my outlook after college wasn’t so rosy. My grandmother could feel my anguish and somehow assured me that things would be alright. To my surprise, as I flowed through life, I forgot all about any hard times. Could my grandmother have been closer to God than I was? Or, did I need her energy to work along with mine to help the stars line up? Isn’t this how Hollywood celebrities are made? I mean, they’re just in a different environment. Aren’t they?
So, I was on a direct path of righteousness. Or so I thought. Life was going great. I had everything I could ever and did ever dream of having. Then, my divine intervention died. And then, I felt my energy die too. My drive left. I felt like I had no control over anything. I would pray and feel nothing. I would hear others say how prayers aren’t answered right away or God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle. Really? Well, that’s not how I felt. How long did I have to keep asking for the same thing? Maybe if I change the words, I could manipulate God into hearing me. What if He was ignoring me because someone closer t Him was no longer with me? What if, what if I cheated?
I can’t remember how or exactly when a new intercessor came into my life, but it did. For the longest time, I think I folded it up or inserted it between the pages of one of my favorite books or something. However it was, I seemed to have lost interest in many of my earlier activities. One day, as I searched for my daily affirmations, I saw “Illuminata” by Marianne Williamson just resting on my coffee table. Yes, “Illuminata” encompasses a woman’s prayers, thoughts, and rites of passage – ultimately asking God for help to get home. Maybe this was my way of reconnecting or even just connecting with my grandmother again. But as I opened the book, “PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH” stood out. The thing that I had put away because I didn’t want to invest any time into it had found me, again. This time, I had time. I needed time. I needed a change. I needed to belong. I began to read:
Oh St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so
strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I
place in you all my interests and desires. Oh,
St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful
intercession and obtain for me from your divine
Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ
Our Lord. So that, having engaged here below
Your heavenly power, I may offer my thanks
giving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you
and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach
while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in
my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him
to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls – Pray for me.
There you have it. I read those words and I must be honest with you – I wanted to test it. I wanted to see if this really worked, so I asked for something I thought was ridiculous…something I would never get. To be honest, I can’t remember what it was I asked for before I realized the prayer was folded up and hid the instructions:
This prayer was found in the fiftieth year of Our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505, it was sent
from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was
going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer
or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never
die a sudden death, or be drowned, or shall poison
take effect on them; neither shall they fall into the
hands of the enemy, or shall be burned in any fire
or shall be overpowered in battle.
Say for nine mornings for anything you may desire.
It has never been known to fail, so be sure you really
want what you ask for.
I know I said the prayer for nine days because I wanted to prove to myself that it didn’t work. I wanted to prove that some mystical or mysterious power had put this piece of paper in my life to make me crazier than I already was. At some point in my day or night, I would feel tingles all over my body. It wasn’t a bad feeling, but a feeling like I had just taken some medicine or something (even though I hadn’t). Had I just had a metaphysical experience? Little did I know that as I went about my daily duties in life, my prayer had been answered. I wanted more. I needed to protect this prayer. It was mine…all mine and I didn’t want anyone to know that I had the power to get anything I ever wanted. And as I got greedy, I started asking for foolish things (as the prayer did say “…so be sure you really want what you ask for). I wasn’t careful with quite a few of my wishes and felt a sense of sorrow, not regret, for asking for something that I received. Then, to redeem myself of the selfishness I had acquired, I gave the prayer to someone else. I felt I had to be careful as to not ask them how the prayer was working for them – as I did not want to envy their blessings since I had made wrong and costly decisions.
As a learning tool, I felt a sense of responsibility to this intercessor. Many times we pray, we can do something for ourselves. Pastors in churches have always been heard to say that prayer or faith without works mean nothing. In other words, just asking for something isn’t good enough. I have learned to seek intercessory prayer only when I feel I have no other alternative. I can’t say that I always have the most comfortable of days, but I try to do my best every day. I don’t always wish for money, although I have had minor wealth bestowed upon me. I have even heard people say they wish for Peace, Love, and Happiness or Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Are these things too broad to wish for or are they just right?
I am not trying to say that any one person, or someone other than ourselves, is closer to a more divine power than we are. But, maybe if more than one person thinks or put out into the universe the same thought for us as we do, it helps the stars align a little quicker for us. Also, as long as the thoughts remain in our favor, our blessings then stay with us. Now I did say earlier that I felt I needed to release my selfishness by sharing this prayer with someone else. The great Michael Jackson once said that “The greatest sin in the world is to have a talent, a true gift from God, and not cultivate it and make it grow.” To me, praying is a talent. Sharing is a talent. And to hone in on your talents to perfect them generates the energy to keep the stars aligned for the greater good. We can all pray, though we may not know exactly if our prayers are working until we see results. Maybe with our constant and excessive, positive energy, we can help our cause. With a little help from someone else, we might be able to get there and hang on a little longer.
I miss my grandmother and I thank her for showing her love for me and for showing me how not to be selfish.