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Maria Morera Johnson discusses the power of praying with—and for—others, and shares strategies for keeping track of prayer intentions.

The powerful graces from intercessory prayer bless me every day. I have a tight-knit group of friends who are champion prayer warriors, women (and men!) who ask me how they can pray for me and follow through with that faithful promise. I do the same for them because it is in many cases the most loving and charitable act I can do for them. I know that in the saddest or most stressful times in my life those words have brought me great comfort. 

The power of intercessory prayer is so great, we are exhorted time and again to turn to its efficacy in consoling us in our need. Both Scripture and tradition speak to this strong recourse, so we must boldly and confidently put our trust in the power of this prayer.


Pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. (James 5:16) 


We mustn’t suffer alone, fearful of burdening others with this spiritual need, nor should we feel ashamed to reach out in our need.  




We have intercessors all around us

The breadth of our faith amazes me. We can turn to our friends for prayer support, but we can also call upon our friends in heaven, the vast Communion of Saints, those we know to be canonized saints but also dear departed souls who loved us on earth and are now powerful intercessors in heaven. The angels, too, are among us, praying for us, and carrying our prayers to heaven. 

The most powerful saintly intercessor, the Blessed Mother, was given to us by her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. I often seek consolation in the Virgin Mary’s words to St. Juan Diego: 


Listen and understand, my littlest son, let nothing frighten and afflict you or trouble your heart. ... Am I not here, I who am your mother? Are you not by chance held in my mantle?


Ultimately, these prayers from our friends, the angels and saints, and the Blessed Mother are lovingly given to Jesus. The Catechism teaches is that intercessory prayer “is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners.” (CCC 2634) 


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We mustn’t suffer alone, fearful of burdening others with this spiritual need, nor should we feel ashamed to reach out in our need. #CatholicMom



Strategies for praying for others

Let us remember that when we storm heaven with our intercessory petitions we are coming together as the Body of Christ, humble yet confident that our voices are heard. Regrettably, I’ve often struggled with keeping up with prayer requests. It’s not that I have been intentionally lazy when I receive a request, but that I admit it is easy for them to get lost in the shuffle of my day.  Over time, I have developed little strategies to help me with this, and I’d like to share them with you: 

  • Pray for the person immediately. If you’re comfortable with extemporaneous prayer, ask if you can pray right then and there. 

  • Write down the request. I keep a small notebook with me, and usually on the last sheet, I write down those requests. 

  • Keep them all in one place. I have a vase on my desk that holds slips of paper with prayer requests written on them. When the vase fills, I do one more broad prayer for all those intentions, and I burn the paper by my Mary garden (to protect privacy—they don’t deserve to be in a landfill) 

  • Pray your contacts. During Adoration, I take out my phone and pray through my contacts and whatever names pop up in my social media app. This lets me capture any unasked prayers. 


I have taken the responsibility of intercessory prayer seriously in recent years, and it has improved my prayer life in other areas, too. I often take to heart St. Teresa’s advice: prayer brings you in friendship with Jesus.

How can I pray for you? 



Copyright 2023 Maria Morera Johnson
Images: Canva