Prayerfulness is a way of being. In silence and solitude, prayer becomes much more than breaking away from life for a few moments, hours, or days. Instead, it is a time to let the dust of the day and our minds settle so we can see more clearly and celebrate the gift of our birth, the opportunity for compassion, and an appreciation of everything without being attached to any of it. A spirit of prayerfulness is metaphorically like the air we breathe and the water we drink: so necessary for life but runs the risk of being taken for granted or not being attended to as it should.
As St. Teresa of Avila advised her sisters, prayerfulness takes determination, persistence, a commitment to grow, and a dedication to be friends with God by nurturing healthy concrete relationships with others. And the theocentric living that Teresa and a spirit of prayerfulness encourage allow us to enjoy life without being captured by elements of it—be they positive or not. When we live this way, we can both see life clearly and flow with it in the best way possible. —Robert J. Wicks
Here are some favorite Catholic prayers.
The Our Father
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
The Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
The Glory Be
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning
is now and ever shall be
world without end.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day, He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
The Peace Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Praying the Rosary
Rosary comes from a Latin word, rosarium, meaning “a garden of roses.” In the 13th century, a garland of roses was used as a crown for a secular lady, and that practice was extended to statues of Mary; so the devotion to her took on the name of that garland.
Make the Sign of the Cross and say the “Apostles’ Creed
Say the “Our Father”
Say three “Hail Marys” for Faith, Hope, and Charity
Say the “Glory Be”
Announce the First Mystery and then say the “Our Father”
Say ten “Hail Marys” while meditating on the Mystery
Say the “Glory Be”
Repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 through all of the additional Mysteries
Say the “Hail Holy Queen” and verse
Say the “Final Prayer”
Make the “Sign of the Cross”
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds, hide me.
Let me never be separated from you.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me,
And bid me come to you,
That with your saints I may praise you
Forever and ever. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day, for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.
The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
Be it done unto me according to thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh:
And dwelt among us.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace into
our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, thy Son,
was made known by the message of an angel, may by his passion
and cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection, through the
same Christ Our Lord.
Prayers to the Sacred Heart
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing,
I adore you, I love you and will a lively sorrow for my sins.
I offer you this poor heart of mine.
Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to your will.
Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you.
Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions;
give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs,
your blessings on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death.
Within your heart I place my every care.
In every need let me come to you with humble trust saying,
Heart of Jesus, help me.
Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
This nine-day prayer is often said prior to the Feast of the Sacred Heart but can be said anytime. The “Our Father,” “Hail, Mary,” Glory Be,” and “Hail, Holy Queen” are traditional Catholic prayers associated with the Rosary, and may be readily found online or in most Catholic prayer books.
There are other versions of the novena; this is the one that St. Margaret Mary offered.
O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold, I knock, I seek, and ask for the grace of (name your request). Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be to the Father….
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender mother and ours.
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: “St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.”
—St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Prayer of Trust to the Sacred Heart (in Times of Stress)
Holy Heart of Jesus, Sweet Sanctuary of rest,
bring peace to my soul and settle my spirit,
especially in the matter of _________________.
I vow to place all of my worries and fears
into the wound of your Sacred Heart,
there to be tended to in accordance with your perfect will,
which desires only the best and highest good.
Your love alone is enough, and I surrender to it;
clinging to the hope of a swift resolution
and trusting with confidence in all of your promises.
Prayer to the Sacred Heart in Times of Loss or Betrayal
Sweet Jesus, your heart beats for the brokenhearted,
and you know their pain.
You experienced loss when your friend Lazarus died,
and betrayal when your friends abandoned and rejected you in
your darkest hours.
I ask you for relief and release right now in this time of grief.
I cry out to your heart, seeking comfort and consolation.
Take this present heartache and unite it to your own for the good of others,
Ease my sorrow,
and fill my heart with hope and light to face another day.
Franciscan Father Greg Friedman explains that there are as many ways to pray as there are individual human beings.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.
Prayer to the Sacred Heart for Help to Forgive
my heart feels like an impenetrable stone as I am struggling to forgive _____________.
Please trade my hardened heart for one that flows with mercy like your own.
Give me the grace to let go of bitterness, a desire for revenge, and the need for an apology.
Set me free from the captivity of my unforgiving heart and fill me with your healing love.
Prayer to the Sacred Heart for Someone Who Is Addicted
Lord, my heart is filled with concern for ____________, who is addicted.
You know and see the disorder and chaos that the addiction is causing,
and your heart grieves over the distortion of personality and danger to the soul
that results when someone is in the throes of addiction.
I pray that you will please give me the wisdom and spiritual
fortitude to detach with love and trust in your tender mercies
and that you will give _______________ the humility and strength to seek recovery.
I ask this through the saving grace of your Sacred Heart.
Prayer to the Sacred Heart When Health Is Failing
Sweet Heart of Jesus,
my health is failing, and I am hurting.
Thank you for my body, which is a great and marvelous gift
and a temple where the Holy Spirit chooses to dwell.
I offer up my current suffering for ____________,
accepting whatever you permit to happen to me.
I believe in your healing power and claim your promises of peace,
help in all my afflictions, and the grace of final perseverance.
Help me to resist all fear, and hide me, Lord,
in the haven of your precious heart.
Give me the strength to accept this current state of my health with joy,
holy resignation, and lively hope for the future.
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Praise to the Sacred Heart
Lord, you deserve all honor and praise,
because your love is perfect and your heart sublime.
My heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude
for the many blessings and graces you have bestowed upon me and those
whom I love.
Forever undeserving, may I always be attentive
and never take for granted the gifts of mercy and love
that flow so freely and generously from your Sacred Heart.
Heart of Jesus, I adore you.
Heart of Jesus, I praise you.
Heart of Jesus, I thank you.
Heart of Jesus, I love you forever and always.
We thank you, Father, for the gift of Jesus your Son who came to our earth and lived in a simple home. We have a greater appreciation of the dignity of the human family because he loved and was loved within its shelter.
Bless us this day; may we grow in love for each other in our family and so give thanks to you who are the maker of all human families and our abiding peace.
Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.
Thanksgiving Table Prayer
O Gracious God, we give you thanks for your overflowing generosity to us. Thank you for the blessings of the food we eat and especially for this feast today. Thank you for our home and family and friends, especially for the presence of those gathered here. Thank you for our health, our work and our play. Please send help to those who are hungry, alone, sick and suffering war and violence. Open our hearts to your love. We ask your blessing through Christ your son. Amen.
Prayer at Harvest and Thanksgiving
O God, source and giver of all things,
You manifest your infinite majesty, power and goodness
In the earth about us:
We give you honor and glory.
For the sun and the rain,
For the manifold fruits of our fields:
For the increase of our herds and flocks,
We thank you.
For the enrichment of our souls with divine grace,
We are grateful.
Supreme Lord of the harvest,
Graciously accept us and the fruits of our toil,
In union with Jesus, your Son,
As atonement for our sins,
For the growth of your Church,
For peace and love in our homes,
And for salvation for all.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thorn bush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
In Praise of God
Let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord. At this blessed feast, may rich and poor alike remember that we are called to serve on another and to walk together in God’s gracious world. With thankful hearts, we praise our God who like a loving parent denies us no good thing.
He used to praise God the Artist in every one of God’s works. Whatever joy he found in things made he referred to their maker. He rejoiced in all the works of God’s hands. Everything cried out to him, “He who made us is infinitely good!’ He called animals “brother” or “sister,” and he exhorted them to praise God. He would go through the streets, inviting everyone to sing with him. And one time when he came upon an almond tree, he said, ‘Brother Almond, speak to me of God.” And the almond tree blossomed.
That is what Saint Francis of Assisi did, and that is what he does for us once we are caught up in his life and teachings. He makes us blossom, wherever and whoever we are. We blossom because we see in Francis what could happen to us if we were to embrace the overflowing goodness of God revealed in everything that exists, and let that embrace change us.
Within each of us is the potential to be a light focusing attention on God’s presence in our world. Clare of Assisi’s life reveals just how much light she shed. As a friend and as cofounder of the Franciscan movement, she supported Francis as he discerned God’s message for himself and his followers. Together with her sisters, she wrote the first Rule written for religious women by a woman. She modeled the ability for the authority or power of a group to be held by the entire group (collegiality).
Clare’s life continues to speak to all of us. She challenges us to incorporate simplicity, singleness of purpose and unity within families and communities into the complexity of our 21st-century lives.
The gospel call to leave everything and follow Christ was the rule of Saint Anthony of Padua’s life. Over and over again, God called him to something new in his plan. Every time Anthony responded with renewed zeal and self-sacrificing to serve his Lord Jesus more completely. His journey as the servant of God began as a very young man when he decided to join the Augustinians in Lisbon, giving up a future of wealth and power to be a servant of God.
Later when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the Portuguese city where he was stationed, he was again filled with an intense longing to be one of those closest to Jesus himself: those who die for the Good News.