Please Pray for Me

My sister-in-law Mikyoung Lee is an amazing artist who also is a Professor of Iconography at Incheon Catholic University in Incheon, South Korea.  She teaches university students how to create beautiful/meaningful paintings of Christ, Mother Mary, and other Saints of the Church, which elicit worship and connect people to God.  Her artwork is a focus of our private worship center in our Illinois condo.  In the world of Christian iconography, Mikyoung Lee’s artwork is well known and respected.

The English word icon comes from Greek eikennai which means “to be like or to resemble” which is why in English we usually just say “image.”  In Christianity, icons are normally paintings done on wooden panels, usually pine or linden.  Their production can often be a long, laborious, and complex process which may involve a layer of linen cloth soaked in sturgeon glue which is put on the wooden panel before the painting is done.

As a Protestant I grew up believing that Christian icons were evil since I was told that people prayed to the painting rather than to God, which I am sure may be true in some cases.  However, my faith journey has now brought me to enjoy and respect icons as points of connection with God.  One of my absolute favorites is of Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus, who was the human being entrusted by God with helping Mary raise our Lord to adulthood.  When I gaze upon this icon, I do not pray to Saint Joseph, I ask Saint Joseph to please pray for me and my family and my country and my world! No different than my asking spiritual companions in my small group for prayer requests; if heaven is real, then by faith we can believe that all the saints are able to receive our requests and to intercede for us in prayer.  A truly amazing and glorious thought, yes?

If the above prayer assertions are true, and I believe they are, then the two people who taught me to pray, my mother and father, are also available to intercede for me now as they enjoy singing in the heavenly chorus of millions, yea billions, of the saints who have gone before us.  No artist creates icons of my parents, or your parents; however, the “image” of my mother and father needs no enhanced depiction on pine or linden.  The “icons” of Gayle and Mary K. Denny are implanted somewhere in my brain, never to fade by sunlight or spilled water!  Please pray for me my mother and father!

So here is our query in a nutshell:  Is intercessory prayer real or just stupid fantasy we humans have created to soothe our worried souls?  I could point you to websites with titles like “35 Scriptures for Intercessory Prayer” but all I need do is cogitate on James 5:16. The half-brother of Jesus said this: “Pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”  (NLT).  The next query is this:  Their bodies died but are their spirits/souls alive to hear our requests and pray for us?  This is answered for me in Luke 23:43 where Jesus turns to a criminal whose body is dying and who will be dead in a matter of moments, and he says this to him: “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”  (NLT)

Unashamedly, thus, I say Please Pray For Me to the Apostle Paul, Billy Graham, Martin Luther, Earl Hargrove (founder of Lincoln Christian College), Chuck Colson, Dean Dickinson (brother-in-law), Pope John Paul, Joseph (stepfather of Jesus), and Mary K and Gayle Denny (my parents).  May you enjoy the blessings which come from your prayers for others and from others’ prayers for you.

[NOTE:  If your organization, church, or school would like a workshop/presentation on The Merton Prayer please use the contact tab and let me know!  I can Zoom all over the world and have done 90-minute, 3 hour, 5 hour, weekend, or five-day workshops/retreats.]

Leave a comment, if you wish, regarding this post or how you found The Merton Prayer and why it is important to you.  Thanks for visiting!

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