Year of Mercy - Prayer of Intercession

One of the key ways that this Year of Mercy can be observed is to put into practice the Works of Mercy. They are -

CORPORAL WORKS of MERCY: Feed the hungry + Give drink to the thirsty + Clothe the naked + Shelter the homeless + Visit those in prison + Comfort the sick + Bury the dead.

SPIRITUAL WORKS of MERCY: Admonish sinners + Instruct the uninformed + Counsel the doubtful + Comfort the sorrowful + Be patient with those in error + Forgive offenses + Pray for the living and the dead.

Since this blog is devoted to the practice of prayer, this page will be a resource for the Spiritual Work - Praying for the Living and the Dead.


In John's gospel we have a perfect example of the Prayer of Intercession as Jesus prays for his disciples. (...link...)

Key Considerations:
  • speaking directly to the Father - face to face, … as you, Father, are in me and I in you .. vs. 21 
  • the connection is personal, … those whom you gave me out of the world .. vs.6
  • this is prayer of the heart, ... that you loved them even as you loved me .. vs.23
  • this prayer of intercession asked that:
  • ... they truly understood that I came from you, and they  believe that you sent me. 
  •  … that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
  •  … that you keep them from the evil one.
  • … that they may be consecrated in truth.
  • … that they may be brought to perfection as one.
  • … that the love with which you loved me may be in them and Jesus be in them.

St. Ignatius taught that the senses and imagination are important tools to be used in prayer. Not only do we say our prayer, we see our prayer, we feel our prayer, affecting us as it intensifies and unfolds. He would tells us to go and stand beside the merciful father as he stood looking down the long road leading from his home; the long road which carried off his beloved son. 

Imagine you are there, the day when he sees, far off in the distance, his son, a broken man, struggling to return home as a beggar. See, hear, feel the emotion in the words spoken between father and son. Reflect on how you are now being affected by what you see and hear.

This is how we should pray when we are interceding for another. Form a picture of your prayer. See yourself leading, supporting, even carrying your loved one, through the Holy Doors, back into the arms of the Father. For some, this approach to prayer comes easily, for others it will take some practice.

The following is a model for your Intercessory Prayer taken from Jesus' prayer of intercession in John 17:

Intercessory Prayer of Mercy
Time and Place
Have it clear in your mind, I am going to speak directly to the Father.
Remote Preparation
Review carefully the notes above from Jesus’ prayer in John 17:
Subject of Your Prayer
Bring to mind and heart the one you are about to bring before the Father.
Speak as Jesus spoke as beloved of the Father, recalling how the Father’s merciful love has brought you to this trusting faith.
Speak to the Father
the Desire of Your Heart
Express your concerns, plainly, simply, in words from the heart – that they come to know the love you now share with the Father.
Listen for insights into ways you can employ the other Spiritual Works of Mercy to benefit your dear one.
Conclude your prayer with this image in your mind – your dear one safe in the arms of the Father.

I Have created a pocket prayer card you could use as you pray and intercede for a particular someone placed in your heart. ( THE LINK )


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