Prayers

There are many sacred pathways or ways to pray.  Jesus gave the disciples a template on how to pray (see Luke  11).  Many prayers have been recorded in the Bible and some passed down from Christians throughout the ages.  Whether you pray extemporaneously or not, here are some great prayers to either recite, meditate on or use as a guide in enhancing your prayer (devotional) life with our Lord. They are separated into 3 categories: Morning, Devotional and Evening.  As a guideline only, you can pray the morning prayers first thing when you wake up. The devotional prayers can be prayed throughout the day or at a certain quiet time set aside each day that best fits your schedule.  And the evening prayers can be said right before you go to sleep.

Morning Prayers

The Lord’s Prayer (ref. Luke 11)
Our Father in heaven,
 may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
 May your will be done on earth,
 as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
 as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
For Yours is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.

Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that You are one God in three divine persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; I believe that Your divine Son, Jesus Christ, became man and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which Your Word teaches, because You have revealed them, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.

Act of Love
O my God ,
I love You above all things,
with my whole heart and soul, 
because You are all-good and worthy of all love.
 I love my neighbor as myself for the love of You. 
I forgive all who have injured me, 
and I ask for pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen.

Prayer for Generosity
Dear Lord, teach me to be generous.  Teach me to serve You as You deserve: to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not ask for reward, except that of knowing that I am doing your will. Amen.

Devotional Prayers

Acts of Contrition (Pentanance)
1. O my God, I am truly sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who is all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.

2. O God, I am truly sorry for my sins, for what I have wrongly thought, said, and done, for those things I have failed to do that I ought to have done. I am sorry for the ways that I have hurt myself and the ways that I have hurt others, especially by patterns of addictive sinfulness that I do over and over. I humbly ask for forgiveness and healing. Please help me to love and serve both you and your people as you call me to do. I make this prayer in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.

3. Lord Jesus, forgive all my sins, renew your love in my heart, and help me to live in unity with m fellow Christians, that I may proclaim your saving power to all the world. Amen.

The Universal Prayer (Attributed to Pope Clement XI)
Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith.
I trust in you: strengthen my trust.
I love you: let me love you more and more.
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.
I worship you as my first beginning,
I long for you as my last end,
I praise you as my constant helper,
And call on you as my loving protector.
Guide me by your wisdom,
Correct me with your justice,
Comfort me with your mercy,
Protect me with your power.
I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you;
My words: to have you for their theme;
My actions: to reflect my love for you;
My sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.
I want to do what you ask of me:
In the way you ask,
For as long as you ask,
Because you ask it.
Lord, enlighten my understanding,
Strengthen my will,
Purify my heart,
and make me holy.
Help me to repent of my past sins
And to resist temptation in the future.
Help me to rise above my human weaknesses
And to grow stronger as a Christian.
Let me love you, my Lord and my God,
And see myself as I really am:
A pilgrim in this world,
A Christian called to respect and love
All whose lives I touch,
Those under my authority,
My friends and my enemies.
Help me to conquer anger with gentleness,
Greed by generosity,
Apathy by fervor.
Help me to forget myself
And reach out toward others.
Make me prudent in planning,
Courageous in taking risks.
Make me patient in suffering,
unassuming in prosperity.
Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer,
Temperate in food and drink,
Diligent in my work,
Firm in my good intentions.
Let my conscience be clear,
My conduct without fault,
My speech blameless,
My life well-ordered.
Put me on guard against my human weaknesses.
Let me cherish your love for me,
Keep your law,
And come at last to your salvation.
Teach me to realize that this world is passing,
That my true future is the happiness of heaven,
That life on earth is short,
And the life to come eternal.
Help me to prepare for death
With a proper fear of judgment,
But a greater trust in your goodness.
Lead me safely through death
To the endless joy of heaven.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi 
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.
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.
Amen.

For Mothers
Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so You watch over Your Church. Bless my mother and all mothers that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. I thank you for my mother and all mothers for their faithful presence in my life and in our lives. Grant her and them the grace to enjoy the good things of this life and strength to endure the disappointments and sorrow of this life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

For Fathers
God our Father, in Your wisdom and love You made all things. Bless my father and all fathers that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. I thank You for him and all fathers for the long hours they have labored for us, for their concern and encouragement. Grant him and them the grace to enjoy his successes and to turn over all frustrations to You. In Jesus name. Amen.

Prayer for the Sick
Lord, Our God, You sent Your Son into the world to bear our infirmities and to endure our sufferings. For my friends, Your servants who are sick, I ask that Your blessing will give them strength to overcome their weakness through the power of patience and the comfort of hope and that with Your aid they will soon be restored to health. In Jesus name. Amen.

Prayer for the Elderly
All-powerful and ever-living God, in whom we live and move and have our being, I thank You and praise You for giving members of my family long years, lived in faith and in doing good. Grant that they may have the loving support of their friends and relatives, that in good health they may be cheerful, and in poor health not lose hope. Sustained by the help of Your blessing, let them spend their old age giving praise to Your name. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

For those who are Addicted
God of mercy, I bless You in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who ministered to all who came to Him. Give Your strength to Your servants, bound by chains of addiction. Enfold them in Your love and restore them to the freedom of God’s children. Lord, look with compassion on all those who have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of Your unfailing mercy, and strengthen them in the work of recovery. To those who care for them grant patient understanding and a love that perseveres. In Jesus name. Amen.

Prayer for Vocations (Raise up laborers)
Lord, our God, please inspire many more laborers to minister to Your people in the Church as pastors, deacons, missionaries, lay workers, prophets, evangelists, teachers, apostles, and any other role needed. The Harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few. Raise them up Lord as only You know how. In Jesus name. Amen.

For Individual who are married and/or have a family here are a few prayer suggestions.  And for those who do not have families yet, it is never too early to start praying for your future spouse and children.

For One’s Spouse
Gracious and kind God, faithful friend of the people of the Old Testament. I thank you for my wife/husband You have sent me to share my life, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. Bless insert spouse’s name for her/his faithfulness to me. Enrich her/him with joy and happiness, let not the cares and concerns of life over-power her/him. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Family
God, You have created us in love and saved us in mercy and through the bond of marriage You have established the family and willed that it should become a sign of Christ’s love for His Church. Shower Your blessings on m family. Enable us who are joined by one love to support one another by our fervor of spirit and devotion to prayer. Make us responsive to the needs of others and witnesses to the faith in all we say and do. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Prayer for Young Children
God, Gracious Father, out of the speech of little children You have fashioned a hymn of praise. Look with kindness on children especially, insert your childrens names here who I commend to Your tender care. Your son, born of the Virgin Mary, gladly welcomed little children. He took them in His arms, blessed them, and held them up as an example for all. We pray that You, Father, will also send Your blessing on them, so that they may grow in Christian maturity and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s witnesses in the world, spreading and defending the faith. May they never, at any time, depart from Your presence nor fall away in sin. I boldly ask this in Jesus’ name above all things. Amen!

Prayer for Sons & Daughters
Father of mercies, inexhaustible source of life and author of all good, I bless You and thank You for brightening my life by Your gift of my sons and daughters. Grant that my children will find peace and happiness and that they will be compassionate Christians and they will strive always for what is right and good and one day, by Your grace, reach their eternal reward in heaven. I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Evening Prayers

Lord, as I come to the end of this day, I thank You for all of the graces I have received, forgive me of my sins, and give me a peaceful evening as I pray.

Act of Adoration
Almighty, eternal God, I acknowledge You as my first beginning and my last end, my creator and redeemer, my sanctification and my consummation, my God and my all.  I thank you for your lavish gifts to me, to the whole human race, and to all creation.

The Gift of Life
Lord, teach me not to hold on to life too tightly.  Teach me to take it as a gift.  To enjoy it, to cherish it while I have it, but to let go gracefully and thankfully when the time comes.  The gift is great, but the giver is greater still. You are the giver and in You is a life that never ends.

The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23)
The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley, 
I will not be afraid,
 for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
  protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
 in the presence of my enemies.
 You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
 My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
 all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
 forever.
Amen!

Take and Receive
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

Conclusion
May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death. Amen.