Praying for others

Friends in Christ, in the gospel today, Our Lord slips away to a deserted place as was his habit, to pray. In today’s Epistle of St. Paul says: ‘We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you.’ 1 Timothy 2:1 – I urge that supplications, prayers, and intercessions be made for all people, St. James says in his Epistle: ‘Pray for one another.’
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So in these and in many other places in the scriptures, we see that it was typical of the early Christians to pray for each other. Praying for others is an essential part of charity, the most important virtue of a Christian life. If we really love our neighbor, if we really are striving to have charity, even toward our enemies, we must pray for them.
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St. Augustine would likely never have even been saved, much less become a great saint, had his mother not prayed for him every day. 
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We teach little children to kneel down and say their bedtime prayers, thanking God, asking help from their angel, to Mary; and inevitably they go through a list of each family member asking God to bless and help them.
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Now we find this to be edifying and even charming, but that is exactly what we are still supposed to be doing: praying for our family members, children, parents, grandparents, the sick, those who have died – by name.
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The great tragedy of our time is that many today, I dare say the majority of people, have no one praying for them. Can we imagine? To have no one at all praying for you? So many of our teens and people out there – not a single person praying for them.
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St. Anthony once prayed for a little girl who had died, she returned to life – because of his prayers. But even greater than praying for such things as physical healing, is to pray for the spiritual welfare and the salvation of those we know and love – and even those who are against us. Praying for others is an essential aspect of true Christian charity.

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