One of the greatest vocations we as Christians have is to pray for others. To pray for the many people who we know as well as for the many we don’t know but of whose suffering we are aware. My sense is that you will come closer to the Lord Jesus the more you pray for others, because Jesus came for others and praying for others is entering more deeply into the mystery of His divine intercession. There are so many people who need our prayers, and to take the time to lift them up to the Lord is one of the greatest services we can perform.
Maybe you can buy a notebook in which you can write down all the people for whom you want to pray. I am sure that book will fill up very soon, and you can take that book with you in your prayer and ask the Lord to touch all the people whose names you have brought together. Doing so, you certainly will experience more fully the love of Jesus.Henri Nouwen in a letter to “Ruth” dated February 3, 1983, from Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life [affiliate link]
This isn’t a bad idea. Nouwen states further, “My conviction is that those who desire to come closer to the Lord will be richly rewarded. Be sure to ask the Lord to give you the gift of prayers. It is the greatest gift He wants to give.” In prayer, we commune with God. We experience further God’s companionship and presence. The reward Nouwen speaks of is God; God is our treasure, and we receive it by seeking after him. The desire to seek God is a gift. It is a gift extended to us and made sure in and through Jesus.
In Isaiah 33:5-6, the prophet writes:
The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
To the degree that we know the Lord, and to the degree that we seek fervently after God, the desire of our hearts should be that others would be blessed by Jesus, would come to know Jesus, and to receive from the Spirit access to salvation and wisdom and knowledge. We have been extended the invitation and privilege and opportunity to pray toward that very end. We have God’s ear. As intercessors, we are invited to bend it.