De Mello Intercessory Prayer
“It is extremely important that you become aware of Jesus and get in touch with him at the beginning of your intercessory prayer. Otherwise your intercession is in danger of becoming not prayer, but an exercise of remembering people. The danger is that your attention will be focused only on the people you are praying for and not on God.”
Anthony De Mello, Sadhana: A Way to God, p. 126.
De Mello’s book has had a major impact on my spiritual practices. The awareness exercises of my surroundings, my body, my senses have been the most practical way being able to feel God’s presence. I knew of these exercises before, tried them without success, but for some reason they now have become an important spiritual practice. One more lesson to remember. Spiritual practices that are not meaningful in the past can become important later on. De Mello suggests that we not try to find the face or clothes of Jesus but feel a sense Jesus in the shadows, call him by as many names as we know. He recommends imaging Jesus in our prayers in an empty chair beside us as his most consistent way of experiencing this presence of Christ.
These exercises for intercessory prayer can change the way we pray and talk about prayer to others as we remember Jesus as the great intercessor, imaging Jesus’ presence directly beside us, imaging those we are praying for with Jesus, and laying hands on them.
The book’s last prayers of turning desires and prayers over to God one at a time, praising God at all times for everything, good and bad also can change our prayer practice and how we live our lives.
De Mello invites is to live and prayer intimately, becoming a part of the great mystery of God’s love for us and all creation in the present moment. He believes that this precious present moment is where God meets us.