Praying For Others

  • Nov 03, 2019

Ignatius Tan from the Archdiocesan Commission for Migrants and Itinerants (ACMI) shares what motivates him to pray for others. 

Ignatius, second from right; spending time with migrant workers at the Bread Basket Programme with parishioners from St Mary of the Angels

I’m always moved by the suffering of others. I always try to put myself in the other person’s shoes and try to understand their pain and sorrow. I too have gone through some periods of pain in my life. During such periods, others have stopped, listened and loved.

Why was I moved to feel for them? It is that longing for peace, understanding and compassion. The desire to be understood by the other person and to be loved.

Looking at the face of the other, I realise my own humanness. With this in mind, I try to respond by doing what I can do – befriend, listen or even just sit with them.

But even then all human efforts will meet its end. For instance, the problems that migrants and refugees face in our world today. I sometimes feel helpless as I’m unable to lend a helping hand or even have the chance to journey with them.

So, what do I do in response to that? I pray. I lift it up to God the Father who hears and knows us. Just like in the Parable of The Good Samaritan, the Samaritan cared for the man who fell into the hands of robbers. Even after all that he had done for the man, he still petitioned to the innkeeper to take care of the man. He recognised his limitation and asked for help. Similarly, I too ask God for help.

I pray because I know that God will help and comfort them. He may not answer my prayers in the way I want Him to. But I am confident that He will answer in the best way that the person needs.

There are days where I do doubt the power of prayer. But in moments like these, I’m comforted by Jesus’s promise: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

Don’t give up on prayer. God always listens and is available to us. All we need to do is ask!

Published on Catholic News on Nov 3, 2019.