What happens when we pray for those in need during the Eucharist?

The fundamental energy of Christ’s church is compassionate love - His love for us, our love for Him, and our love for Him in our neighbors. So it is not surprising to find that prayers for the support of those in need play an important part in virtually all Christian services. But they play an especially significant role in the Eucharist of the apostolic churches.

In the Eucharist they are not optional or incidental to the service but essential to the accomplishment of its purpose: to receive an outpouring of God’s love and power and release this spiritual energy into the world.

The service has two great movements. In the first movement, the priest and congregation create a spiritual temple within which to receive a great surge of God’s power, by purifying and offering themselves to Christ’s service. God responds to the offering or sacrifice of individual lives by an offering or sacrifice of his own power to the world. The second movement is concerned with the conservation and distribution of that power.

Many things determine how much energy flows down at the consecration: the degree of evolution reached by the priests and the people, the devotion of the celebrant, the number and devotion of people present, the music used, and the nature of the need. Bishop C. W. Leadbeater, founder of the Liberal Catholic church, says we don’t know how much of this force is drawn down on any one occasion, or how many can be affected at one time by the outpouring of a single service, but we do know the amount available is unlimited.

The distribution of this energy is largely determined by the will of the celebrating priest. This is an awe-inspiring responsibility; the power of God that has been offered for human direction.

Some directions are laid down by ritual - the Church, the President, bishops, clergy, the faithful - but a great deal remains for special disposal. Here the prayer list plays an important part.

But how does it work? To fully understand this, we must keep in mind the absolute reality of God’s energy; it can be directed just as electricity can be directed though the method is rather different.

+Leadbeater describes the process of distribution as he observed it through clairvoyance. He tells us that the creation of a sacred spiritual temple attracts a host of angels of many different levels who come to help the process of spreading divine energy in the world. A powerful angel, whom he calls the Directing Angel, decides the amount of the energy to be directed towards each purpose. He listens careful to the list of recipients recited by the celebrant. As each is mentioned, he indicates by pointing with his rod to the angel or group of angels who are to attend to that particular person or objective. After the outpouring has taken place, he divides the energy among those angels he has selected, and each absorbs into himself what has been given to him, ready to take it to its destination when the word of dismissal is given. Each one who comes forward glows more brightly when his charge is assigned to him.

Recipients of God’s offering may be impersonal - peace, the President, the Presiding Bishop - or personal - private individuals who are in special need "in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness or any other adversity.”

Particular recipients may be present in the congregation and already blessed by participation in the service, or they may be on the other side of the world. It makes no difference. In the realm of thought, distance does not count. But in this case it is not just the thought vibration that reaches out. The appointed angels gather the allotted spiritual energy, and, instantly finding their appointed recipients, they use it on their behalf in whatever way they see best. They will pour it into a recipient’s heart and mind, infusing strength and courage; if there is sorrow or doubt or difficulty it will bring comfort and steadiness; if there is depression it will lighten the gloom. The dead may be supported in exactly in the same way. The angel applies the energy to whatever encouragement or assistance is most needed.

If the person to be benefited is away from her physical body in sleep or death, then the strong thought of the priest about her draws her into the church so the angels do not need to find her. If the individual is newly dead and still in a state of unconsciousness, the angel will still find him and use the assigned energy as he sees best. He may perhaps bring him out of his stupor, or he may store the energy in the recipient’s aura for use when he returns to consciousness.

But how do the angels identify and locate the intended recipient? Here we return to the devoted attention of the celebrant and the congregation. The intent of the priest is clearly open to the Directing Angel and his assistants and provides the connection, especially when the recipient is known to the priest. And when the priest does not know the recipient? Then his intent cannot be as clearly focused, and the angel has to find the intended recipient by working back along the line by which the request reached the priest. The request implies an earnest wish on the part of someone, the recipient or a friend, and that wish stands out conspicuously in the spiritual realm so the angel does not have any great difficulty. +Leadbeater tells us that in any and every case there is a definite result; it is impossible that the force should ever miscarry or be lost.

Others will be writing about the deep benefits received by the recipients of God’s offering of spiritual energy. They can be great. If we play our part in calling down this great outpouring of divine power and are present to assist the angels in directing it where it is needed, if we approach the process with gratitude and respect, according it its proper dignity as God's offering of grace, the benefits can be unlimited.