Working full-time in Catholic evangelization has taught me some crucial lessons about ministry in the Church (lay apostolate; not the ordained ministry). One such lesson is this: If you start a project, saturate it with prayer. Do not launch it until you have a team of dedicated Intercessors who will offer prayers and sacrifices for your outreach activities daily.
Oftentimes, we lay people think that taking care of our own personal, spiritual well-being is enough. We think: “I’ll go to Confession more frequently. I’ll say more Rosaries and novenas. I’ll read more Scripture. And I’ll pack Holy Water with me everywhere I go.” That’s all important, BUT alas! we have forgotten that spiritual battle is not one-on-one combat. Spiritual combat is a team sport.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 warns us,
Two are better than one: They get a good wage for their toil. If the one falls, the other will help the fallen one. But woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other to help.
Christ appointed the twelve, and he sent them out two by two. When he appointed the seventy-two, he sent them out two by two. If these people, who knew Jesus firsthand, face-to-face, couldn’t do it alone, then I know I can’t. Let’s be honest: Any Christian with decent self-knowledge knows he cannot face spiritual warfare on his own.
WHY, then, when launching a new endeavor, do we fail to secure a team of persons who will support us in daily prayer?
I think it’s because 1.) we’re forgetful, and 2.) we’re proud…in a dangerous way. We don’t realize how weak and vulnerable we are alone. We need each other. I’ve learned, however, from involvement in organizing major conferences, apostolates, and outreach efforts, that an intercessory team is absolutely essential in the success of any Christian endeavor. Without them, we walk a spiritual tightrope.
Consider, then, if you’re spearheading a major project, how you might reach out to some potential Intercessors and ask for their daily prayers: religious men and women, priests, the homebound, the retired and elderly, those in hospice or hospital care. These persons offer so many gifts to the Church through their prayers — gifts which oftentimes are overlooked. Dear brothers and sisters in Catholic new media, let’s reach out to these valuable members of our spiritual family! Let’s ask for their precious prayers. May our projects and souls benefit, and may the Body of Christ grow stronger.