intercession for them.”
The Holy Spirit “himself intercedes for
us . . . and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Since Abraham, intercession—asking on behalf of another—
has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy. In the age
of the Church, Christian intercession participates in Christ’s, as an ex
pression of the communion of saints. In intercession, he who prays
looks “not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of oth
ers,” even to the point of praying for those who do him harm.
The first Christian communities lived this form of fellow
Thus the Apostle Paul gives them a share in his
ministry of preaching the Gospel
but also intercedes for them.
The intercession of Christians recognizes no boundaries: “for all
men, for kings and all who are in high positions,” for persecutors,
for the salvation of those who reject the Gospel.
Thanksgiving characterizes the prayer of the Church
which, in celebrating the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully
what she is. Indeed, in the work of salvation, Christ sets creation
free from sin and death to consecrate it anew and make it return to
the Father, for his glory. The thanksgiving of the members of the
Body participates in that of their Head.
As in the prayer of petition, every event and need can
become an offering of thanksgiving. The letters of St. Paul often
begin and end with thanksgiving, and the Lord Jesus is always
present in it: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will
of God in Christ Jesus for you”; “Continue steadfastly in prayer,
being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
12:5; 20:36; 21:5;