Before Rosh Hashana, I asked the folks on my town's email list to send me the names of their friends and family that needed prayers for good health. There were so many names submitted, I thought, "We are in major need of an Amen party here."
Amen parties include prayers for the ill, as well as prayers for prosperity, fertility, happy marriages, and just about anything else you can think of. Women announce what they're praying for (or say their prayer quietly to themselves) and then make a blessing on a food. Everyone says Amen - amen to the wish and amen to the blessing.
Tonight's Amen party was a very emotional one. The economic crisis has caused many folks we know to lose their jobs. The high number of cholim (sick individuals) is heartbreaking for all. Plus everyone knew someone (or many someones) who needed to find a spouse, or who needed happiness and peace in their married lives.
In addition to the above, we prayed for the Israeli soldiers who were missing in action, for Gilad Shalit and Jonathan Pollard. We prayed for unity of the Jewish people, for brotherly love and G-d's merciful kindness.
We prayed for each other, and we even prayed for you.
One of the women explained that when a person prays for someone else's needs, G-d rewards them by answering their own needs first. And she blessed the women present that the One Above bless them and answer all their prayers for the good.
AMEN to that.