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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

The incredible power of intercession

By Dinesh Mathias

Recently when my daughter was preparing for her school final exams, I used to ask people to pray for her. Many times people told me “Do not worry, God will take care of you”….Worry was not the reason why I asked for prayers, the reason I ask anyone to pray for me is because I have great faith in the power of intercession.

When the disciples asked Jesus, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples."(Jn 11:1), the Lord taught them to say the ‘Our Father’. In this prayer, the Lord never says “Give ME this day, instead He always says “Give US this day”. The entire prayer is made for US and not only for self. This is His invitation to us to intercede for those who need intercession.

In the Acts of the Apostles (12:6), we see the chains that bound Peter fall off from his hands, the prison doors open, and him being lead out of a high security prison by an angel and set free. But just before the narration of this incident, there is a word that tells us how it all happened. While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him. (Acts 12:5) When the church prayed, God sent an angel to bring Peter out from a prison, from where it was humanly impossible to escape.

Many a times in life we come across mountains that we can never climb or overcome on our own, but then what is impossible for man is possible for God alone. In such situations, if only we can remind ourselves that God can do greater things in our lives, that is when we leave everything in His hands and continue to pray, praising and thanking Him, waiting upon Him in faith to work that miracle for us, which we are desperately in need off.

In such circumstances, when people pray for us, I believe God puts one angel for every person, who is praying for us and thus we are lead out from difficult situations. When we worry, it is we who take matters into our own hands, but when we pray in faith, knowing God will change everything for our good, then God gets the upper hand, and life becomes a celebration.

As Jesus was hanging on the cross, suffering from excruciating pain in his body, unable to breathe, unable to say anything, He takes a deep breath to make an intercession for you and me to His Father. This is why we are redeemed - by His mercy that He showed when He suffered on the cross. Jesus also invited you and me to do the same. Love one another as I have loved you…(Jn15:12) There are moments in our lives when we are not able to pray for someone, because that person could have caused us great pain. Every time a thought of that person comes into our minds, our blood boils, forgiveness seems to be impossible and the prayer that we say for them might only be a curse. Is this what God wants of us?

The Lord has clearly instructed us to pray for those who persecute us, so that we may be children of our Father in heaven. The call of the Lord for us is perfection, and what is that perfection that God expects of us? As Stephen was stoned to death and he was breathing his last, we read that he made a prayer similar to that of Jesus, when on the cross. The result of his prayer is also very clear, the conversion of Saul, from persecutor to evangelist. Many times I wonder - at that moment instead of making an intercession to forgive his tormentors, if Stephen would have cursed them, when in pain, would Saul ever be converted? Surely not, the prayer of Stephen as he was dying, I believe, caused the conversion. The difference that Saul saw in Stephen, blessing instead of cursing, must have disturbed Saul a great deal causing him to think and rethink of all that had happened leading to his conversion.

"If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this, you will heap burning coals on their heads. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’ (Rom12:20-21) Thus whenever someone hurts you, that is a God-given chance for us to break into prayer for him and while are hurting, to pray for God’s mercy for them, which will bring them to realisation and back to God, hence they can never hurt you again. But if we remain in hurt or anger, then this hurt of ours will block God from intervening in their lives and thus they will continue in evil and also continue to hurt us.

As parents, there is a constant challenge for us to encourage our children to remain holy. And how do we achieve this? We would have preached to them and we know that they would not listen and many a times out of fear of being corrected, they might have hidden facts from us, resulting in a lot of trouble in their lives and ours. Later, it come into our knowledge, nothing can be done as matters have gone too far.  Will God ever make a parent helpless like this? I believe never; instead it is God’s way of saying, “Stop the lectures and leave it to me”.

In such situations, let us never give up hope, let us keep trusting and hoping in the Lord. Let us do what Job did, offer sacrifices to God - our pain and our tears, our disappointment and shame, and continue to pray in faith for God to lead our children. And then you can be sure that your children will always be safe.

For God told Solomon when he sinned, “You deserve punishment, but because of your father David, I will not punish you…”

If we are faithful, God will be faithful to us and to our children too...

 
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 - drcsydney@gmail.com. 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

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