Prayer, the lifting of the mind and heart to God, plays an essential role in the life of a devout Catholic. Without a life of prayer, we risk losing the life of grace in our souls, grace that comes to us first in baptism and later chiefly through the other sacraments and through prayer itself (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2565). Through prayer we enter into the presence of the Godhead dwelling in us. It is prayer which allows us to adore God, by acknowledging his almighty power; it is prayer that allows us to bring our thanks, our petitions, and our sorrow for sin before our Lord and God.
While prayer is not a practice unique to Catholics, those prayers that are called "Catholic" are generally formulaic in nature. That is, the teaching Church sets before us how we ought to pray. Drawing from the words of Christ, the writings of Scripture and the saints, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, she supplies us with prayers grounded in Christian tradition. Further, our informal, spontaneous prayers, both vocal and meditative, are informed by and shaped by those prayers taught by the Church, prayers that are the wellspring for the prayer life of all Catholics. Without the Holy Spirit speaking through the Church and through her saints, we would not know how to pray as we ought (CCC, 2650).
As the prayers themselves witness, the Church teaches us that we should pray not only directly to God, but also to those who are close to God, those who have the power to intercede upon our behalf. Indeed, we pray to the angels to help and watch over us; we pray to the saints in heaven to ask their intercession and assistance; we pray to the Blessed Mother to enlist her aid, to ask her to beg her Son to hear our prayers. Further, we pray not only on our own behalf, but also on the behalf of those souls in purgatory and of those brothers on earth who are in need. Prayer unites us to God; in doing so, we are united to the other members of the Mystical Body.
This communal aspect of prayer is reflected not only in the nature of Catholic prayers, but also in the very words of the prayers themselves. In reading many of the basic formulaic prayers, it will become apparent that, for the Catholic, prayer is often meant to be prayed in the company of others. Christ himself encouraged us to pray together: "For wherever two or more are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20).
Keeping in mind the aforementioned characteristics of Catholic prayer will enable you to appreciate and to understand the prayers listed below. While this list is certainly not an exhaustive one, it will illustrate the different kinds of Catholic prayers that help to form the treasury of prayers in the Church.
1.“Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” (Prob 16:3)
2.“Reflect on the statutes of the Lord, and meditate at all times on his commandments, it is He who will give insight your mind, and your desire for wisdom will be granted.” (Sirach 6:37)
Fundamental Catholic Prayers
Sign of the Cross:
In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
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.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among 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.
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.
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.
Apostles’ Creed - 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.
The six fundamental prayers listed above are also part of the Catholic rosary, a devotion dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of God. (CCC 971) The rosary consists of fifteen decades. Each decade focuses upon a particular mystery in the life of Christ and his Blessed Mother. It is customary to say five decades at a time, while meditating upon one set of mysteries.
Hail Holy Queen
(Is also used when concluding the Rosary)
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears! Turn, then, O most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us Pray. O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we turn to thee, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother.
To thee we come, before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, do not despise our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us.
The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. (Hail Mary . . .)
Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word. (Hail Mary ...)
And the Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us. (Hail Mary ...)
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. 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.
Prayer Before Meals
Bless us O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer to Our Guardian Angel
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
The Lord is my Shepard - Psalm of David
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want;
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters;
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world.
I offer them for all the intentions of your sacred heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, the reunion of all Christians.
I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all the apostles of prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.
O my God, at the end of this day I thank you most heartily for all the graces I have received from you.
I am sorry that I have not made a better use of them.
I am sorry for all the sins I have committed against you.
Forgive me, O my God, and graciously protect me this night.
Blessed Virgin Mary, my dear heavenly mother, take me under your protection.
St. Joseph, my dear guardian angel, and all you saints of God, pray for me.
Sweet Jesus, have pity on all poor sinners, and save them from hell.
Have mercy on the suffering souls in purgatory.
Generally, this evening prayer is followed by an act of contrition, which is usually said in conjunction with an examination of conscience. A daily examination of conscience consists of a brief recounting of our actions during the day. What sins did we commit? Where did we fail? In what areas of our lives can we strive to make virtuous progress? Having determined our failures and sins, we make an act of contrition. Amen
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend thee, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.
I confess to almighty God
And to you, my brothers and sisters,
That I have greatly sinned
In my thoughts and in my words,
In what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
Through my fault, Through my fault, Through my most grievous fault;
Therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
All the Angels and Saints,
And you, my brothers and sisters,
To pray for me to the Lord our God. Amen
We strike our breast as we repeat the words, “through my fault, through……fault.”
Soul of Christ, make me holy. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, fill me with love. Water from Christ’s side, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. Good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds, hide me. Never let me be parted from you. From the evil enemy, protect me. At the hour of my death, call me, and tell me to come to you that with your saints I may praise you through all eternity. Amen.
Prayers to the Holy Spirit
Breathe into me Holy Spirit, that all my thoughts may be holy. Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy. Strengthen me, Holy Spirit that I may defend all that is holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen
Come, Holy Spirit
Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and en-kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth. Amen
Let us pray
O God, who has taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer to Saint Joseph
O glorious Saint Joseph, you were chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus, the most pure spouse of Mary, ever virgin, and the head of the Holy Family.
You have been chosen by Christ’s vicar as the heavenly patron and protector of the Church founded by Christ.
Protect the Holy Father, our sovereign pontiff, and all bishops and priests united with him. Be the protector of all who labor for souls amid the trials and tribulations of this life, and grant that all peoples of the world may follow Christ and the Church he founded.
Dear St. Joseph, accept the offering I make to you. Be my father, protector, and guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me purity of heart and a love for the spiritual life. After your example, let all my actions be directed to the greater glory of God, in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and your own paternal heart. Finally, pray for me that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.
Prayer to St. Joseph for Employment
Dear Saint Joseph, you were yourself once faced with the responsibility of providing the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon me in my anxiety over my present inability to support my family.
Please help me to find gainful employment very soon, so that this heavy burden of concern will be lifted from my heart and that I am soon able to provide for those whom God has entrusted to my care.
Help us to guard against bitterness and discouragement, so that we may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched and with even greater blessings from God. Amen.
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Prayer for Grace
“Let us therefore pray to our Lord Jesus Christ that he give us the grace to seek his Kingdom and to build within ourselves a moral Jerusalem. By doing this, we will be able to merit our place in the heavenly Jerusalem to sing Alleluia in its streets with all the saints and angels. But the One whose Kingdom is eternal for all ages must help us to do so.” Amen.
Your Name Is Joy
“Sweet Jesus, is there anything sweeter than you? To remember you is more delightful than everything else. Your name is joy; it is the true gate of our salvation. What else are you, Jesus, if not our Savior? Be our Redeemer.
Give us the virtues of hope and love, just as you have given us faith, our primary joy. Give us the words that we need to praise you always. With the help and through the prayers of your mother. You who are blessed throughout the ages. Amen.”
Behold the Cross
“Behold the Cross of the Lord! Be gone, you evil powers! The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered. Alleluia!” Amen.
Hear the Word of Joy
“To the ends of the earth…proclaim the word of joy…. ‘Ask, that your joy may be full.’ Proclaim it not only to the just who are in the Church's midst, but to the outer bounds of the earth…., that is, outside the precepts of the Lord, which are for us the bounds within which we must live. Let them hear the word of joy so that they might obtain the full joy which has no bounds. May Jesus Christ lead us to this joy. Amen.”
Prayer for the Spirit of Salvation
“We beseech you, Lord Jesus, that in the seven brief days of this life you help us to conceive the spirit of salvation and bring to birth through a sorrowful heart an heir to eternal life.
May we merit to drink from the river of living water and rejoice together with you in heavenly Jerusalem. Grant us this, you, who are blessed, glorious, laudable, lovable, sweet, and immortal through all centuries. And let every creature shout: Amen. Alleluia.” Amen.
Join in the Shrine Novena
On any Tuesday you may join those making a novena of St. Anthony by reciting and continuing to pray the following prayers for nine consecutive Tuesdays. You may wish to attend Mass on that day at any convenient church. In God's own way, we are always blessed by this trust and perseverance.
Prayers to St. Anthony
St. Anthony of Padua is a favorite saint of many people. Called the “Wonder Worker” because of the many miracles with which God has favored him, St. Anthony has traditionally been the refuge of all who have lost things, whether temporal or spiritual. If you want to express your devotion to St. Anthony, you can make a novena of nine or thirteen Tuesdays, or of nine consecutive days, by using any of the following prayers. Amen.
The Responsory in Honor of St. Anthony
If you ask for miracles,
Death, error, all calamities,
The leprosy and demons fly,
And health succeeds infirmities.
The sea obeys, and fetters break,
And lifeless limbs thou dost restore;
Whilst treasures lost are found again
When young or old thine aid implore.
All dangers vanish at thy prayer,
And direst need doth quickly flee,
Let those who know thy power proclaim—
Let Paduans say—these are of thee.
The sea obeys, etc.
To Father, Son may glory be,
And Holy Spirit eternally.
The sea obeys, etc.
Pray for us, blessed Anthony,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, you have given St. Anthony to your people as an outstanding preacher and a ready helper in time of need. With his assistance may we follow the Gospel of Christ and know the help of your grace in every difficulty. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer to the “Wonder Worker”
After you died, St. Anthony, God chose to make your holiness known to the world and to draw people by working miracles in answer to prayers made in your name. Since then, people have asked God to continue to honor you by working wonders through your intercession. Those who have experienced the power of prayers offered in your name have told how God has answered them. God has healed the sick, restored peace of mind, relieved poverty and granted favors of all kinds.
Now in this time of need, I ask you, St. Anthony, to pray with me for the things I desire. I pray that God may again give me a sign of loving care and providence, and that through you, God may draw us all to the fullness of life and love in eternity. Amen.
Prayer to Find What Is Lost
St. Anthony, when you prayed, your stolen book of prayers was given back to you. Pray now for all of us who have lost things precious and dear. Pray for all who have lost faith, hope or the friendship of God.
Pray for us who have lost friends or relatives by death. Pray for all who have lost peace of mind or spirit. Pray that we may be given new hope, new faith, new love. Pray that lost things, needful and helpful to us, may be returned to our keeping. Or, if we must continue in our loss, pray that we may be given Christ’s comfort and peace. Amen.
Prayer for Poor Children
St. Anthony, your love for the infant Jesus made him present to you to see and hold in your arms.
Help us to see and love Jesus in all the poor and suffering of the world.
Move us to clothe, feed and help Jesus, in all unwanted, abused and abandoned children and people.
Lead us, for the sake of Jesus, who became a child like one of us, to reverence and protect all human life from its beginning to its end. Amen.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
St. Anthony, God has helped me abundantly through your prayer and has strengthened me in my need.
I thank God and I thank you. Accept this prayer and my serious resolve which I now renew, to live always in the love of Jesus and of my neighbor.
Continue to shield me by your protection and pray to God for the final grace of one day entering the kingdom of heaven to sing with you the everlasting mercies of God. Amen.
A prayer for Students
Heavenly Father, I praise you, I adore you and I thank you. I am your child. In the name of Jesus Christ, your beloved son, I beg you to fill me with the power and strength of your Holy Spirit, so that I may become a bright student in every way. Lord Jesus, source of all wisdom, I praise you.
Lord Jesus, seat of all insight and knowledge, I praise you. Give me the wisdom that sits by your throne.
Lord, hear my prayer.
Give me the insight and knowledge about all that is good. Lord Jesus the greatest teacher in the world, I offer all teachers and the students they teach. Bless them abundantly.
Lord Jesus true friend of all those who seek you, I offer all my classmates and companions; help them to be good children.
Lord Jesus, the greatest physician, I offer you all the hurt feelings, evil inclinations, sins and bad habits in us. Remove these evils from us and fill us with virtues, fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, hear my prayer.
Lord Jesus my good shepherd, I offer my parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and benefactors. Bless them so that they will be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Come O Holy Spirit, enlighten my intellect, my memory, my will, my mind and senses. Give me concentration in studies, Remove all distractions, dwell in my heart and guide me in everything. O Mary my sweet mother, keep me under your motherly care and protection. Amen.
Prayer for drug addicts and drunkards
Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, your beloved Son, we offer you, our beloved brothers… for your mercy.
You love them and care for them as the apple of your eye.
Lord Jesus, these beloved brothers are addicted to liquor/drugs, Lord have mercy on them.
They destroy peace in the family as well as in the society.
Forgive them Lord; strengthen them with the power and strength of your Holy Spirit.
May the power of your divine word penetrate into their souls and bodies.
“A workman who is a drunkard will not become rich” (Sir 19:1). Lord, enlighten them with your divine word.
Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may run after strong drink who tarry late into the evening till wine inflames them. (Is 5:11)
Lord strengthen them with the power of your word.
Lord Jesus save their souls, wash their souls and bodies by your precious blood.
Holy Spirit create in them a new spirit and steadfast will and make them renewed people.
Mary mother intercede for them.
1. Pray continuously for those who are associated with the production and distribution of liquor and drugs so that they may be anointed by the Holy Spirit.
2. Let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires (Romans 13:13-14)
Prayer in the time of Illness
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus our Savior, Holy Spirit our comforter, I adore you, I praise you and I love you.
Bless and help me to discern your will in the illness that I am suffering from.
Give me courage, patience and cheerfulness to bear all weakness and all pain.
Give me a mind filled with your peace.
Give to all doctors, surgeons and nurses wisdom in their minds and gentleness and sympathy in their hearts.
Lord Jesus, mighty healer of soul and body, come to me this day at this time and show me that your healing touch is the most powerful one.
I cry to you Lord – “Heal me, o Lord and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved, for you are my praise” (Jer. 17:14).
I cry to you Lord – “There is no soundness in my flesh because of thy indignation, there is no health in my bones because of my sins” (Ps 38:3).
Lord, forgive me, make me whole. I praise you Lord Jesus. I thank you Jesus. Mary Mother, health of the sick, intercede for me. Amen.
Say repeatedly and Receive Healing
- Jesus, You are my Savior.
- Jesus, You are my Lord.
- Jesus, You are the ruler of my life.
- Jesus, You are the source of my life.
- Jesus, You give me everlasting life.
- Jesus, You are the remission of my sins.
- Jesus, you are my Salvation.
- Jesus, You are my refuge.
- Jesus, You are my hope.
- Jesus, You are my healer.
- Jesus, You are my divine physician and medicine.
- Jesus, You are my beginning and my end.
- Jesus, You are my Way, the Truth and my Life.
- Jesus, You are my everything.
- Jesus, You are sufficient for me.
- Thank You Jesus, Praise You Jesus.
- Make a good confession at the earliest. (Ref. Jacob 5:16).
- Pray for all other sick people
Prayer in the time of Worries and Anxieties
O God, my beloved Father, I thank you for this day. You know how worried and anxious I am about….
Help me to be sensible and to see that worrying about things does not make them any better.
Help me to be calm and serene in such situations of life.
Help me to cast all my worries and anxieties upon you for I know that you care for me.
Help me to be sure that nothing can happen to me through which you cannot bring me in safety and that nothing can separate me from your love.
I believe and trust that your everlasting arms are underneath me and above me and give me something of the peace that the world cannot give and cannot ever take away. Jesus my Lord you said to me ‘Do not be afraid, Take courage, It is I’. Jesus I praise you. Jesus I love you. There is power in your mighty name. Alleluia.
Holy Spirit, my consoler, give me comfort in all difficult situations of life. I trust in your power. Enrich me with your power intervention. Thank you Lord. Praise you Lord. Amen.
1. Pray for all other people who are in same condition as you.