We conclude our year long series on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. We dedicate this post to praying for the living and the dead. Why is it so important to pray for others, especially the dead, given that they have already received their particular judgment at the time of their passing? Here’s the skinny on the answer, coming directly from Jesus:
“I say to you, if two or three of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father” (Matt 18:19).
Prayer is a powerful tool, used to communicate with God. When we use our prayer time to pray for others, both the living and dead, we demonstrate a self-sacrificial love for our neighbor. We could easily use the time to pray for our own needs and desires; yet when we use the time to pray for the well-being and salvation of others, we please God. We show our love for our fellow man.
Praying Intercessory Prayers
At every Mass, during the prayers of the faithful, I have a litany of over 20 deceased people for whom I pray for their souls. I pray that God has mercy on their souls and that they are in His loving care. Then I have a smaller litany of godchildren to pray for their well-being. Last but not least, I always ask that the Lord meet all of your needs; the needs of all of my followers. This is in addition to praying for my family, friends and my own needs. As you can see, I’m a big proponent of intercessory prayer. I’ve seen the results when others prayed for me, as well as when I prayed for others.
Take some time today, and lift your heart to God in prayer for both the living and the dead. Remember those who have asked for your prayers, those suffering silently, and most of all remember those who have passed on to the next life. Ask God to have mercy on all of these souls. Ask God to have mercy on you.