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PRAYER, the ROSARY and FATIMA - PART I of the series: SECRETS AND A CALL TO PRAY

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OCTOBER series: PRAYER, the ROSARY and FATIMA

PART I of the series:

SECRETS AND A CALL TO PRAY


Before we get into the call to pray from Mary at Fatima, let’s look briefly at an overview of prayer from Church and Bible history.


PRAYER IN GENERAL

There are many kinds of prayer, for numerous kinds of intentions. We are familiar with thanks and praise, which the Bible frequently recommends for us to do. God is greatly pleased with our hearts as we are willing to do so. He says and shows us this throughout scripture, particularly in psalms and epistles. Then there are petitions and intercessions (both personal and general, public and private).

We can pray publicly and privately, with memorized or written prayers, or we can simply talk to our heavenly Father or our Savior (Friend, Bridegroom, soon-coming King, etc.) Jesus… and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us pray, and He seeks to lead us. We can pray to and through Him for guidance and comfort, clarity and wisdom, and every other prayer-purpose—including the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit.

We are definitely encouraged to pray for others—just as Jesus, our High Priest, is “ever-interceding” to the Father for us and for our needs. Intercession is an extremely vital prayer of love—it is bringing the needs of others before God, and involves praying in their behalf, especially for salvation. (We will delve into much more concerning intercession later in this article after we begin to discuss Mary’s call and the rosary, itself.)

Also, we cannot forget the basic individual prayers that require us to face ourselves and our own faults and needs. As we seek to come closer to God and please Him with our lives, we find that repentant conversations with God are necessary—and they usher in His cleansing, His graces, and His approval.

Other types of prayer mentioned in scripture are: prayers of commitment, consecration and dedication; prayers of binding and loosing (using the authority Jesus gave his disciples over the enemy evil spirits); prayer of agreement (which Jesus spoke of [Mt. 18:19]); united prayer (as with the apostles in the upper room as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit); the prayer of faith [James 5:15]; and prayer in the Spirit (which is led by the Holy Spirit, and sometimes involves the gift of tongues).


THE CALL TO PRAY

In the last 150 years there have been fervent requests by Mary—through various Marian apparitions—to pray for others in this world. We take note that God—throughout Bible history—has continually sent messengers to speak to us and draw us into His intense desire to “save”. 1.

Mary has been sent—particularly in recent centuries—to call us to prayer, as God sent other messengers through Bible times and after… and as Jesus and the Holy Spirit did and continue to do. Sometimes the messengers are earthly messengers (i.e., human prophetic voices) and sometimes they come from heaven (angels, etc.).

For this and other reasons, the rosary and Marian devotion became more popular and prominent in the 19th and 20th centuries, as even older manuscripts (for instance, St. Louis de Monfort’s [1673-1716] The Secret of the Rosary, pub. 1911) were published and various popes encouraged the rosary as a devout practice. 2.

Pope (St.) John Paul II believed that intercession for him, and his prayers through Mary’s intercession, saved his life in 1989 when he was shot. 3.


THE FOUNDATION STONE OF INTERCESSION

—OUR EVER-INTERCEDING HIGH PRIEST

Jesus is called our “high priest”. He goes beyond the role of (Old Testament) “high priest” (representing the people to God by prayers and sacrifices) … He also became the sacrifice. He, Himself, as both Son of God and Son of man—the spotless, perfect Lamb of God—died the cruel and bloody death/sacrifice to take our sin/ our consequences upon Himself and pay the price. He continues to intercede for us so that we receive (by turning to and living for Him) that price that He paid for us.

It remains foundational that it is Jesus Who invites us to follow His example, and join our intercessions with Him, as we pray and intercede even now—especially for the salvation of souls. It is difficult for us to comprehend just how high a calling we have in interceding for others—and even in “sharing” some of Christ’s sufferings. The Savior of our souls seeks to apply His love and salvation in this day and this time and “this” place—whatever this “place” ends up being. We can become both part of the call and part of the fulfillment… particularly in a time when so much of anything that is of God, of truth, of justice or right living is being trampled or thrown out in (and by) the culture around us.

“…1 Timothy 2:5: ‘For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.’  But in the preceding four verses (1 Tim. 2:1-4), Paul instructs Christians to pray for each other, meaning it cannot interfere with Christ’s mediatorship: ‘I urge that prayers, supplications, petitions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone… This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior.’”4.


INTERCEDING - PRAYER FOR OTHERS

So we understand: Christians are called to intercede—to pray to God on behalf of one another and for each other’s needs—as we see plainly in scripture:

“First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone” [1Tim 2:1]

“With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and inevery season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition[interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.”[Eph. 6:18, Amplified Bible]

“In the days when he was in the flesh, he [Jesus] offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” [Hebr. 5:7]

How great to see just how much we are encouraged to join with Jesus in interceding for those on earth who are in need of his help, his salvation, and his grace!

In summary, throughout Bible and Christian history, God has called on His people to pray… to pray in many ways, but, specifically to call upon His help and intervention in behalf of those around us. Many Marian apparitions and other visions to saints and holy people throughout the Christian experience attest to the fact that God calls on us to intercede for peace in the world, for reparation for sins (our crying out in petition, thanks and supplication for ourselves and others for God’s mercy and intervention), and prayer for particular places and people in the world around us.

Let’s go back to Fatima. We will take a look at what Mary said to the three children. We will first describe what happened at Fatima. Then we will begin to examine the secrets.


THE FATIMA STORY

We start with a brief summary of the apparitions at Fatima.

(For a more detailed and thorough study of prayer, the rosary and the events at Fatima— the message, the “secrets” and their significance—please refer to the four-part series that was posted mid-October, 2017, on “trinitychurchsupply.com/blog”. You will also find THE ROSARY: ORIGINS, HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT, posted by Kathy Boh on October 20, 2016.)

For five months in 1917, from May 13th to October 13th. Our Lady appeared to three children in Portugal in the small town of Fatima—to 9 year old Lucia, and to Francisco, aged 8, and Jacinta, who was 6. She told them not to be afraid. She encouraged them to pray for peace, and told of trials and suffering and persecution, and exhorted them to pray the rosary… to pray daily for world peace, and be devoted to God—the Father, the Son: Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

“Secrets” were told to the three. The first secret revealed a vision of hell and its sufferings. Other secrets predicted the coming of the second World War; they expressed a vital need for prayer for Russia’s conversion.

Finally, in the turnover to a new century, in the year 2000, the third and final secret was revealed (to the public). It spoke of suffering in many nations, including: the martyrdom of those who were good; persecution; the destruction of nations; dangers to the Holy Father.


THE “SECRETS” OF FATIMA

“The children, especially Lucia, maintained that Our Lady gave visions to the children which they were to keep secret. These visions were given to the children during one of the middle visits…Twenty three years after the events themselves Lucia was ordered by the local bishop of Fatima to write the secrets and she willing did so for the first two. However, she was not convinced that she should release the contents of the third secret. The bishop ordered her under holy obedience to do so and so she wrote out the secret and placed it in a sealed envelope that was not to be opened for 19 years, or 1960 when she said it would be clearer to understand.” 5.


FIRST SECRET

“[T]hese are not so much secrets of Fatima in reality, but really the visions of Fatima. The first secret, or vision, was of hell.”

The children were greatly impressed with the desire to see souls saved “from this great eternal suffering”. 6.


In our next part, we will continue with our commentary on the secrets of Fatima. But first, we will introduce some interviews of Lucy/ Lucia. She was older than the other two visionaries, and is the only one who survived many decades later to continue to describe the messages and the vision. Part II is coming up.


FOOTNOTES

1. This paragraph is taken from an article written last year on this blog site at trinitychurchsupply.com/blog, that was called THE ROSARY: ORIGINS, HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT, written and posted by Kathy Boh on October 20, 2016

2. Ibid

3. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/9-things-to-know-and-share-about-the-third-secret-of-fatima

4. THE ROSARY: ORIGINS, HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT

5. https://www.coraevans.com/blog/article/the-three-secrets-of-fatima-explained

6. Ibid



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