The power of prayer for others

Praying for others can sometimes appear to be useless. Nothing “happens” in our eyes and we are easily tempted to give up. However, Saint Monica teaches us that our prayers in fact do much more than we can imagine and patience is the key to seeing any results.

Saint Monica was sorely disappointed at how her son, Augustine, turned out. He was busy following his passions and failed to live up to the Christian life she had hoped for him. Therefore she prayed and prayed, but nothing seemed to be happening.

Then one day she met Saint Ambrose, a bishop she was familiar with and she confided to him her many woes. Saint Ambrose famously said to her, “Surely the son of so many tears will not perish.”

Sure enough, what Ambrose predicted came true and Saint Augustine became one of the greatest saints of all time. It took about nine years before Augustine converted and changed his life around. Many of those years Monica didn’t know if her prayers had any effect. Yet, she persisted and never stopped praying.

As we pray each month for the Pope’s monthly intentions, it can be tempting to think that our prayers have no effect. Nothing seems to change and the world continues to be plagued by many things.

However, Saint Monica reminds us that our prayers do work, maybe not in a visible way and maybe not according to our timeframe. All we must do is have faith and pray to God. He will do the rest and we can be assured that God is always there, answering our prayers, even when we can’t see it.

- Philip Kosloski
Writer and Content Manager
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA)

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