“O Jesus, if only I could become like mist before Your eyes, to cover the earth so that You would not see it’s terrible crimes. Jesus, when I look at the world and it’s indifference toward You, again and again it brings tears to my eyes..”

(Diary, para.284)

St Faustina Kowalska

Here, Saint Faustina echoes the words of the Psalmist –

“Lord, I call to You, hasten to me;
listen to my plea when I call.
Let my prayer be like incense before You;
my uplifted hands, an evening offering.”
(Psalm 141)

And so it is with the Lord; our prayer does indeed arise before His throne like incense, pleading for the cause of humanity, begging mercy rather than divine justice. And the Lord, in His compassionate mercy, attends to our plea and holds back the arm of Justice, much deserved though it might be.

Sometimes it can appear that our prayers on behalf of others have little or no effect; despite this, it is not as it seems, for the Lord hears and answers all prayers, as He judges best and in His own time. This applies whether we pray for ourselves, for another person, for a nation or for the whole world.

Our job is simply to trust in Him and to pray, leaving the rest to Him.

Contemplative religious are an example of this belief in action. Often looked upon by the world as ‘pointless’ and ‘a waste of a life’, the reality is quite different. Those religious take the world to the Lord in prayer, dedicating their entire lives to doing so, and in the process, becoming ever more perfectly united to the Lord. Realising this, many of the faithful write to convents and monasteries seeking the prayers of those enclosed within, and knowing full well the power of those prayers.

Today, may we have confidence that our prayers, too, carry a similar weight before the Lord who listens and responds. In that confidence, let us lift up our hearts to Him in prayer that ours, along with those of numerous others, might arise before His throne like incense.