Gireesh Gupta: Why we should pray for others
Prayer is the essence of our spirituality. Prayer brings us closer to God, our Father, with whom we want ultimately to unite with in eternal life.
A prayer from the heart is beneficial and elevates our piety. Prayer cleanses the mind from prejudice and negative thoughts and instills justice and tolerance. Prayer is the bright and shining light that illumines our sojourn on earth.
The purpose of prayer is to cultivate a personal relationship with God. When we praise and adore our Father in prayers, our mutual bond and love becomes stronger. Daily prayer from a true and pure heart pleases the Father so deeply that He blesses us and reveals His radiant beauty in our hearts.
Meditative prayer is meditation on the Scriptures. During meditative prayer, we can also meditate on the divine beauty, to feel the presence of God within us, and to quietly repeat the Lord's name while focusing on His love for us.
Intercessory prayer is praying on behalf of others. It is powerful and it produces results, and it is very pleasing to the Almighty Father.
When we pray for our own well-being, God is indeed with us. However, intercessory prayer is not about us; it is about others. When we pray for others, we are praying that God's presence and blessings will be with them and that God will work in His mysterious ways to help them.
Praying for others with a sincere heart can take away the feeling of loneliness. Being in the company of God and the ones we are praying for gives us a strong sense of security and nurtures love and friendship. Praying for others is the key to peaceful communities.
We can pray for the welfare of others, such as for their recovery from an illness or a misfortune. We can pray for those who have harmed us, implore divine forgiveness for their mistakes, and ask God to grant us and them the wisdom and strength to forgive one another. We can intercede for our adversaries and pray for their love and friendship. We can pray for our churches, temples, friends and loved ones.
When we invoke God to bless others, to give them strength, courage, success or happiness, and to look at them with loving eyes in their time of need, the love and care for them fosters in our minds and hearts. The intercessory prayers generate invisible, powerful and effective waves which touch and soften our hearts and souls and nurture fondness, friendship, harmony and peace.
Gireesh Gupta is an associate professor of computer information systems at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont.