pray & heal

Aug 25, 2020

Every here and there through the scriptures, in both Old and New Testaments, a perfectly formed prayer features, and today’s first reading offers one of these:

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself,
and God our Father
who has given us his love
and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort
and such sure hope,
comfort you and strengthen you
in everything good that you do or say.

This prayer, probably composed by the apostle Paul, is his prayer for those who were seeking Christ, and therefore I am happy to know that Paul is still praying this prayer for me.

And I know too that others who have joined Paul in the Communion of Saints, including many of my own family and friends who have died, are also joining Paul in his prayer for me.

Consider that the same is true for you, that St. Paul and those you have loved and who now live in the company of God in heaven, are praying for you.

With yesterday afternoon’s news of the New Zealand lockdown continuing for a few more days, many people feel an increased and extended suffering especially with relationships and work and financial security. Many others tell of family, work and health struggles that are not related to COVID.

Let’s pray Paul’s prayer for them.

As I offer this prayer I am thinking of a few people I spoke with yesterday including a grandmother whose grandchildren have anxiety struggles, and a woman who has further cancer tests today, as well as several individuals and families who have relationship and security struggles. You will have your own list of those in need of your prayer.

And here is another suggestion, one that is guaranteed to change your own life for the better.

Every one of us carries memories and wounds from the past that continue to cause us distress. While we may have had a part in causing some of these hurts, other resentments may be the result of wrongs done to us. It’s pretty exhausting carrying the heavy and harmful baggage of old hurts.

We are challenged by Jesus to forgive enemies and to do good to those who persecute us, but as hard as we try we are unable to do this and often we don’t even want to forgive.

Here’s a path to your deeper personal freedom from lack of forgiveness: a couple of times a day for a week or so, pray (aloud so you hear yourself) Paul’s prayer for those you feel hurt by and struggle to forgive, giving Jesus the opportunity to take your lack of forgiveness of others to His grave, and so opening you to receive the gift of His resurrection giving you new life.

It makes no difference if those you need to forgive are alive or dead, you can be free of the hurt you carry by praying for them. For those who are dead simply pray the traditional “Eternal Rest, grant to (name) O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon (name). May (name) rest in peace. 

If you need to forgive more than one person, pray the prayer for each person twice a day.

I can pass on a guarantee from Jesus… it works!

If you don’t believe me, try it.

Think about it… the only reason for not praying for those you struggle to forgive is that you think it might work!

You have nothing to lose. Try it, at least a couple of times a day for each person, for a week:

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself,
and God our Father
who has given (name) his love
and, through his grace,
such inexhaustible comfort

and such sure hope,
comfort (name) and strengthen him/her
in everything good that he/she does or says.


  • Click this image below for a simple morning and evening reflection. It might be ideal on waking in the morning before getting out of bed, or last thing at night after turning out the light.

  • Email with your initials to join those taking these few days as a simple retreat-in-daily-life, and to invite others to keep you in prayer. Click the image to enlarge.


  1. Thank you John, this Is such a beautiful prayer, today I am praying it for my husband who is having a heart valve replacement this afternoon, and for my grandson who is having treatment for leukaemia.
    I am struggling with contemplative prayer at this time, and find that written prayers are coming to me as I need them.
    Thank you

  2. It is exhausting not forgiving someone and it gives one a heavy heart which once forgiven takes that heavy burden away and brings peace to the soul. The longer one leaves to forgive the harder it becomes.
    Prayers to Jane at this time in her life and may God walk with her.


  3. I feel the other side of forgiving is to ask for forgiveness, particularly for being thoughtless. There will have been times during my life when my words or actions have been hurtful and not considered – such has been my nature when younger.
    I gave this blindness and deafness to God, asking Him to show me any faults of mine so that I could repent. I did this before going to sleep.
    Amazingly, I received answers the moment I woke up in the morning. A fault would be revealed together with a gentle lesson, then slip away, gently leaving me afloat in peace and felt cleansed.
    I was aware of healing, and there was no sense of guilt and no memory.
    From time to time in the same way I would ask if there is anything else, and in the morning another fault would be revealed in the same gentle way. I continued this until the answers stopped.

  4. GODS breathes life into
    Us,with each beath we take,
    So much peace comes
    When given that thought.
    Thankyou Fr John.


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