Prayer is an essential component of being a Catholic. Prayer helps us form a sense of security and a deeper awareness of our dependence on God.
Tips for Praying
- Find a quite place and time. Prayer can be done anywhere but it is good to have a place that is conducive to relaxing and focusing our attention on God. Finding a regular time to pray each day can also be helpful to making prayer an important daily routine.
- Calm yourself and put away distractions. It is important to be relaxed when we pray by finding a comfortable posture.
- Use formal prayers or speak what you feel to God, or a combination of each. It is important to note that there is no “right” way to pray. Experiment with styles and forms of prayer. Prayer is an ongoing, developing relationship with God.
- Take time to listen. God does speak to us in prayer but we need to listen with our hearts. Be open to what God is telling you rather than just on what you want to or expect to hear.
- Use the Bible in your prayer.
- Keep a journal of prayer.
- Have a proper attitude. Prayer requires openness to God and a desire to worship and get to know God better.
Types of Prayer
Prayer of Blessing and Adoration
In this prayer, we express praise and honor to God. We praise God for giving us life, for the wonder and beauty of our world, and for all the many blessings we enjoy. We open ourselves up to praise God for all the wonders of creation. This form of prayer encourages bodily expression, such as standing with arms raised or dancing.
Prayer of Petition
This is probably the most familiar prayer form of prayer. We are often taught to ask God for the things we need, but asking and praying for them are not necessarily the same. When we pray our petitions, we are asking God, who loves us very much, for something that we believe is good—for ourselves or for others. By using this form of prayer we are mindful of the needs of others as well as of our own needs. We are aware that God wants us to bring our problems and worries to prayer knowing that he will always hear and answer those prayers. God may answer our prayers in a different way and in a different timeframe than we are seeking but God will always give us what we need.
Prayers of petition serve to remind us that God expects us to care for one another and for all his creation. We can pray about the ordinary experiences of life— for people who are sick, for someone who needs a job, for help in our school work, for a safe trip. We pray for peace in our families and in our world. We can also express our sorrow and contrition to God in our prayer.
Prayer of Intercession
This form of prayer is prayer on behalf of others. This form of prayer can be a source of blessing upon others, the Church, and our world. Because we know that Our Lady and the saints intercede for us before God, the Church encourages us to pray to them for their intercession. Such prayer can bring us great strength and courage and also great peace of mind and heart.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
This form of prayer helps us to be grateful for God’s many blessings, spiritual and temporal, and helps us to recognize and appreciate all the good things God gives to us. Reserving some time to praise and thank God for his gifts—the gift of life; the gift of our families and friends; the gift of food, clothing, and shelter; and the numerous other gifts we often take for granted—helps us to form a true spirit of gratitude.
Foundational Catholic Prayers
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father,
Hail Mary, full of grace,
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the occasions of sin. Amen.
An Act of Love
O my God, because you are infinite goodness and worthy of infinite love, I love you with my whole heart above all things, and for love of you I love my neighbor as myself. Amen.
Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (Prayer for Peace)
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
The Divine Praises
Blessed be God.
Angel of God – Prayer to Guardian Angel
Angel of God,
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Prayer at Night
O my God, I thank You for having preserved me today and for having given me so many blessings and graces. I renew my dedication to You and ask Your pardon for all my sins.
St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel,
A Thanksgiving Prayer
O Lord, only you can count all the blessings of my life. I give you thanks for the gifts of memory and expectation, for pleasure that comforts and pain that brings needed change, for deep meanings revealed and for that which remains unknown because I may not be able to accept it, for variety and difference in my world, for melody and silence, for all my senses…and above all for the overpowering feeling that somehow I am loved and accepted by You and that nothing can separate me from that Love. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Prayer of Abandonment
The Our Father
Our Father who art in heaven,
Glory be to the Father,
I confess to almighty God,
Glory to God in the highest,
An 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 though 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 us. I believe in all that your holy Church believes. I thank you for having called me to the true faith, and I propose that with the help of your grace I will live and die in this holy faith. Amen.
An Act of Hope
O my God, trusting in your promises and because you are faithful, powerful and merciful, I hope, through the merits of Jesus Christ, for the pardon of my sins, final perseverance and the blessed glory of heaven. Amen.
Prayer for our Nation
God our Father, Giver of life, we entrust the United States of America to Your loving care. You are the rock on which this nation was founded. You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your people.
Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation’s leaders. Open their minds to the great worth of human life and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom. Remind Your people that true happiness is rooted in seeking and doing Your will.
Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of our land, grant us the courage to reject the “culture of death.” Lead us into a new millennium of life. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
Prayer of St. Patrick
Christ shield me this day:
Saint Ignatius Loyola
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Prayer Before Meals
Bless us, O Lord,
Prayer After Meals
We give you thanks,
God, grant me the courage to change the things I can change,
A Prayer for the Dead
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears attend to the voice of my supplication.
Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas
Grant me, O Lord my God,