Intercessory prayer is important in catechesis because it is a prayer of charity in communion with Christ. The Israelites prayed in petition to experience the presence of God. “My being thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and see the face of God.”[i] This prayer of the Israelites is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is the “one intercessor to the Father on behalf of all”[ii]. The early Christian community lived this bond of charity in the breaking of the bread, fellowship and prayer[iii] . The saints, in communion with Christ, also pray and intercede for us since this love and concern for all in the body of Christ does not cease after death. The holy men and women who are the “great cloud of witnesses”[iv] are “more closely united to Christ and do not cease to intercede with the Father for us”[v].
This prayer of petition leads us to pray as Jesus did.[vi] Jesus Christ is our mediator; therefore, we can intercede for others and ask others to pray and intercede for us. This is why it is so important to include intercessory prayer when we catechize. Intercessory prayer points to our Eucharistic celebration in the Prayers of the Faithful and in the Eucharistic Prayer “In communion with those whose memory we venerate, especially the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ, and blessed Joseph, her Spouse, your blessed Apostles and Martyrs…and all your Saints: we ask that through their merits and prayers, in all things we may be defended by your protecting help.”[vii]
In our catechetical sessions we introduce intercession by encouraging children’s vocalized prayers. Children willingly express their prayers to God. We can teach children that when we pray for others, this is an act of charity.