There are a number of activities that bring devotion to the Sacred Heart alive in our hearts and lives. The Lord’s healing promises flow through our embrace of these aspects of the devotion. Love, of course, is at the center of all these actions—love for Jesus and a desire to have that love grow in our hearts as we receive more and more of his love for us.
Certainly prayer is the place to start with any devotion but especially with devotion to the Sacred Heart. That is because it is a devotion that centers exclusively on our love relationship with our Lord. And just like any relationship, our relationship with Jesus requires communication to keep it strong and vibrant. Prayer is our ongoing conversation with God.
Knowing God’s Heart
It could be said that most of the world’s problems, large and small, could be solved if we only knew how much we are truly loved by God. That love covers all manner of sin. Knowing God’s love convinces us that we are enough, that we do not need to compete with others, because God’s love is an unlimited resource for all.
There is a very healthy balance that we can find in devotion to the Sacred Heart, a balance between awareness of our sins and the humility to accept them. We run into trouble when we travel in the extremes: that is, acting as though our sins are not sins at all or at least are of no matter to God; or the opposite, focusing entirely on our unworthiness, which is a form of vanity and hidden pride. Through prayer, we experience closeness with God and the true love of his heart. This love sets us straight, conquers our fears, and completes us. And in turn, as we come to know the greatness of God’s love, we begin to look for ways to help others know it too. Our hope to know and receive God’s love in all of its fullness and promise of restoration comes through our prayerful dialogue with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
St. Margaret Mary explains: “We can tell him all the secrets of our hearts, disclosing our want and misery to Him who alone can remedy them, and saying, “O Friend of my heart, she whom you love is sick. Visit and heal me, for I know well that you cannot love me and yet leave me alone in my distress.”
Short prayers, known as aspirations, have always been a part of devotion to the Sacred Heart. They are “sweet sayings” that we whisper to Jesus out of love for him. Some of the most well-known are “Sacred Heart of Jesus, make my heart like yours,” and “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in you.” Other aspirations that can be quite effective and bring great comfort in times of stress are “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in your love for me,” “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, grant that I may love you more and more,” and “Sacred Heart of Jesus, protect my family and have mercy on us.”
Take some time to talk with the Lord and share your heart with him in prayer. Tell him your fears and the ways in which you feel unlovable. Ask him for healing. Ask him to show you how much he loves you. Jesus loves to answer these kinds of prayers!
Start with these prayers....
♥ Prayer to the Sacred Heart
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing,
I adore you, I love you and with 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.
♥ Daily Offering
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.
♥ 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 Saint 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: “Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.”
Prayers for Special Circumstances
♥ 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.
♥ 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.