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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC
"I dwell with the crushed and the dejected“ (Is 57:15)

- Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Divine Call Archives

IS MY PRAYER POWERFUL? - Rev. Fr. Michael Payyappilly V.C.

Over the past year and a half here in Divine I have had a number of prayer requests coming in by telephone and by emails. They come in at different times of the day and night. I have had people call up at 2:00 a.m. in the morning requesting for urgent prayers. The one thought I always get after every call is, "My Lord, is my prayer strong enough that they call me and ask for prayers?" Whenever people around us are faced with problems or tough situations, they do very sincerely ask us for prayers. When we promise them our prayers, do we actually believe that our prayers are going to make an impact in their life? Does my prayer have the power to bring about a change in the other’s life?

A few years back as a seminarian studying theology, I was asked by someone to pray for their child who was suffering from a near fatal disease. I promised the mother my prayers and sent her off. I did pray for the child. A few months later, the mother came and told me that the child was healed and was doing very well. Very graciously she thanked me for the prayers. But the reply I gave her was something I am ashamed of even today. I told her, "My prayers were nothing, the Lord did it." It was true that the Lord had worked but calling my prayers as ‘nothing’ was definitely wrong. The Lord did use my prayers as a means in working for that child. By putting down the power of prayer, I was putting down the instrument of God.

Many of us find it hard to believe that our prayer for another is what God uses. Praying for the other is one of the strongest methods of prayer. Praying for one’s own needs does have a tinge of selfishness to it. But praying for someone else is a selfless act and the Lord appreciates a selfless prayer the most. We do see this in the Gospel of St. Mark chapter 2. A paralytic is brought to Jesus by a group of people. They came there with a lot of hope. This person was important to them and they believed that Jesus could heal him. When they reached the place, the house was crowded. It seemed like a never-ending line. They could have so easily gone back and thought that coming back another day would have been a good option. But they were adamant to make a difference in this man’s life. They climbed up the roof, pulled the man up and then very carefully lowered him down in front of Jesus. A surprised Jesus looked at the paralyzed man and then looking at the faith of the people who brought him there said, "Your sins are forgiven, you are healed". It was because of the faith of the people and not the paralyzed man’s faith that Jesus said you are healed. What the people actually did was a prayer. That whole act of theirs was a beautiful prayer. And the Lord by healing this man was telling the people that their prayer was heard, it was answered! The strength of their prayer was used by the Lord as an instrument of healing. Those people believed in their prayer!

Do we believe in the prayers that we make for others? Are we aware that it is the strongest weapon the Lord has given us? People who have family problems, or when someone is sick do come and ask me, "What should we do?" When I give them the simple answer about the power of prayer, many seem to get disappointed. Sometimes we are people who think that our physical and intellectual efforts will help others rather than something as simple yet powerful as prayer. In the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 12, we read of an incident where Peter is held in prison and he is tied with chains. In verse 5 we read, "While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him." From verse 6,we read that the very same night of their prayers, an angel comes and releases Peter from prison. But the amusing thing is that from verse 12 onwards, we find the released Peter going to the house where the Church is praying for him. When he knocks on the door the maid comes to open it. She sees Peter at the door and is so excited that she goes upstairs to tell the people praying that Peter has been released. But the people accuse her of being ‘out of her mind’. They, though in prayer, did not believe in the power of their prayer! This is what happens with many of us - we do not believe in the power of our prayer, especially the prayer we make for others. We have to believe in what we do for it to work. When we lift up unto the Lord intercessions for others, we have to believe that it will be heard!

There is no greater gift that we can give another than the prayers we lift up for them. It is good enough that we use our talents, energy, finances for others but the prayer that we say for them is much greater. It has a divine touch to it. It can make a big difference. In the Gospel of St. Luke chapter 7,we read about the healing of the Centurion’s servant. We do see a beautiful intercessory prayer in that incident. The Jewish elders intercede for the Centurion’s cause with Jesus. In verse 4 we read, "When they came to Jesus they appealed to him earnestly." It was a beautiful prayer that was heard by Jesus. Maybe we can argue and say that even without their prayer Jesus would have answered. But the fact remains that their prayers became an instrument. Our prayers are instruments. We have to use it. We live in a modern day society that is filled with violence and hatred. When we see the sufferings going on around us, we fail to understand.

In a recent incident in Canada, a man continuously stabbed a fellow passenger in a bus, cut him up, and severed his head when all around him were watching. The incidents of school shootouts are growing. Small children are killing their fellow students. A father keeps his daughter locked up and rapes her for 25 years. The world is bleeding! Is this the earth Jesus walked on? The world needs prayers today. We have to believe that our prayers can bring about a change in the present scenario. We do not pray just for the fun of it. We pray because we believe that the prayers we are lifting up are going to be instruments through which the Lord is going to bring about a change. There are not many who believe enough to pray. The Lord said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few." We are ‘the few’. We have to get down on our knees and pray for all around us. Believe in miracles that will take place through your prayers!

A silent onlooker is equally culpable of the crimes committed. Let us start interceding through our prayers. At the wedding at Cana in the Gospel of John Chapter 2, when the wine gave out, many, though having seen a problem at hand, chose to be onlookers. Yes, they might have felt sad; they might have been anxious but none of them had the intensity to intercede to the Lord. It was only the Virgin Mother who went forward and despite of knowing that it was out of time, interceded for that couple in need. Her prayers to her Son brought about the miracle. She is showing us the way. We, as human beings, have the privilege to speak to our Father and ask for favours. How much more beautiful it is when we do that for others in the world rather than only for ourselves?

Let us have that deep desire to fill this world with prayers. Our prayer for someone we might not even know is going to make a big difference in their life. Believe in the Power of your Prayer!

Divine Updates

39th National Youth Retreat

Our annual National Youth Retreat will be held at the Divine Retreat Centre. Come and let the word of God refresh you. Simultaneous retreats for couples, children and Bible nursery to be held. Contact Divine Youth for more details.

Date: May 19 - 24, 2019

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2017. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2018 - December, 2018

Retreats in Divine Retreat Centre, UK

Divine Retreat Centre, Ramsgate UK, has announced several English and Malayalam language retreats to be led by Fr. George Panackal VC and Fr. Joseph Edattu VC. All are welcome.

Dates: Jan - Dec, 2019

POWER 2019 at Divine Retreat Centre

DRC is back with the highlight of the year: the 14th International Youth Conference - POWER 2019. The very best international preachers and gospel bands will be here to lead us into worship. Be there to experience a totally different atmosphere of prayer. A Couples' Retreat and a Kids' Retreat will be held simultaneously. Don't miss it.

Date: July 21 - July 26, 2019

Divine Retreat Schedules


English retreats are held every week from Sunday to Friday. Special retreats are conducted for priests, religious and laity as well. Come and experience the Lord and grow in Him.


Inner healing retreats, growth retreats, couples' retreats and youth retreats in Malayalam, are led by Fr. Joshi Kochukudiattil, Fr. Mathew Naickomparambil and Fr. Binoy Chackanikunnel.


Retreats in Konkani, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu

Every week, retreats are held in five different regional languages of India, apart from in the local language - Malayalam. The retreats are led by Vincentian priests and supported by powerfully anointed laity of God.

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