Prayers Up!


The email hits my mailbox.

Pray for my mother, father, daughter, son, wife, husband, boss, employee, neighbor, friend, or myself, who is sick, injured, going to war, depressed, under arrest, unemployed, cheating on their spouse, being cheated on, divorcing, addicted, dying. His/her name is …

And the unspoken request.

Pray for me, because I need to be strong.

So we pray.

God above, on my knees I ask of You, please help X in his/her time of trouble. Should it be Your will, may he/she be healed of all his/her afflictions, and brought more closely into communion with You. And should You will it so, please lend strength to my friend in his/her time of trouble and for the rest of his/her life.

So we pray, in all the ways that people pray. I’m Catholic, and not one of those who believes all gods are the same. It matters whether you pray to a god of war and slavery or the forgiving, universal God worshiped by Christians and Jews. And along with that, I think the prayers we speak, whisper, and those we imprint on our hearts matter. The prayers we use are part of the religious tradition from which we come, and as a Catholic I see that tradition as central to everything we do. It is the science of the love of God, developed over millennia by people who learned everything that didn’t work by doing all the wrong things, and left us with what did work. So let us preserve tradition and keep it in good order by using it.

I am asking you, dear reader, to reply in a comment with some of the prayers you say, and with links to online resources where you find some of the prayers to which you often resort.

I will plant some seeds with some of the sites I read for prayers.

Act of Faith

O my God, who are infallible Truth and can neither deceive nor be deceived, I firmly believe all that you have revealed and propose to my belief through your holy Church, because you have revealed it. I believe that you are one in nature and three in Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe that you are the Creator of all things and that you reward the just for all eternity in heaven and punish the wicked for all eternity in hell. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God made man, that he suffered and died for my sins and rose from the dead in glory, and that it is only in him through the Holy Spirit that eternal life is given to men. I believe in fine all that your holy Church believes. I thank you for having called me to the true faith, and I protest that with the help of your grace I will live and die in this holy faith.

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September 22, 2011 11:43 am

From The Book Of Common Prayer: Alimghty God, Father of all mercies, we, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all Thy goodness and loving kindness to us and to all men;[*particularly…add name]. We bless Thee for our creation, preservation and all the blessings of this life; but above all for Thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace and the hope of glory. And, we beseech Thee, give us that due sense of all Thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful;… Read more »

takkat | @kberbel
September 22, 2011 12:32 pm

As a Catholic, I often seek the intercession of our Lady: Remember, O 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 by this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of Virgins and my Mother; to thee I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen. In terms of resources, I rely heavily on my Catholic Book of Prayers, Ferdandez’s excellent series “In… Read more »

September 22, 2011 4:31 pm

“O God, You have called us into life, and set us in the midst of purposes we cannot measure or understand. Yet we thank You for the good we know, for the life we have, and for the gifts that are our daily portion:

For health and healing, for labor and repose, for the ever-renewed beauty of earth and sky, for thoughts of truth and justice which stir us to acts of goodness, and for the contemplation of Your eternal presence, which fill us with hope that what is good and lovely cannot perish.”

E Pluribus Unum
September 22, 2011 11:00 pm

I am a Southern Baptist, and I just wing it.

September 23, 2011 7:08 pm

Also from the Book of Common Prayer:

“Lord God, almighty and everliving Father, You have brought us in safety to this new day; Preserve us with Your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of Your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”