LET US PRAY
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Church is back in Ordinary Time, but we are still in a worldwide
pandemic … and we are learning just how extraordinary each day is: a gift
from You that can be an outburst of Your grace, love and mercy.
As we walk the path of Ordinary Time in a third year of pandemic, we remember Your counsel, “Come to Me, all you weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (MT 11:28). Please help us to count the many ways You are present with us:
In the comings and goings of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and
In the sounds and images of the seasons as they change and the beauty
of Your magnificent creation;
In our daily routines and responsibilities that make up the rhythms of our days.
You are all we have; You give us all we need; our lives are in Your hands, O God.
We ask You to make all of our time extra-ordinary as we seek to become more attuned to Your presence in our lives.
② God, Who transcends time
As we begin a fresh calendar year, we rejoice that You are continually working newness into our lives. And because You are doing new things in our lives, we know we must not dwell on the past.
Help us to accept the gifts we have experienced, to refuse to let last year’s disappointments or failures define us or dampen our expectations … and to make this new year … in fact, this very day … a truly fresh start.
There are no limits to Your creativity; so, we anticipate lovely surprises from You in the coming months. We ask You to give us the grace to always search for signs of Your presence in our lives, to delight in the little blessings You sprinkle along our paths, and to thank You each time, growing closer to You each day and finding joy on our journeys.
③ God Who has a Plan for Each of Us…
You have told us, “For I know the plans I have for you … plans for your
welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
As we experience yet another resurgence of the pandemic, we realize
that we have not yet learned or accomplished what You want us to. Therefore, we ask for Your grace to renew our faith in Your plan and for Your help to:
LEARN what You want us to learn during this time;
DO what You want us to do during this time;
CHANGE what You want us to change during this time;
GROW in the ways You want us to grow during this time;
BE the people You want us to be, during this time … and always.
Teach us, Abba, to use this time wisely for Your purpose and to always trust in Your Son’s promise, “If you ask anything of Me in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
④ God, the Great Comforter,
Despite our deep and abiding faith in You, we can be concerned, distressed, sometimes even frightened … and we are sorrowful.
We come to You today with our fears and concerns — You know our hearts. It is You Who can rescue the world from threats of violence and despair. You can save us from ourselves and give meaning to our lives.
We ask You to be with us … and to stay with us. Help us through these times of uncertainty and disappointment. Keep us ever mindful that in You we can find the strength and power necessary to face whatever may threaten or challenge us.
Help us to practice the way the Bible instructs us: “When I am afraid, I place my trust in You … I trust in God, I do not fear”(Psalm 56:4-5) and keep us from letting our fears and concerns prevent us from serving Your purpose right now, in every moment.
And teach us how to love with Your perfect love, for we know that “perfect love casts out all fear.” (1John 4:18)
⑤ God Who gives us other people on the journey,
Strengthen us with the virtue of fortitude, Lord. Teach us how to be patient, how to wait with joy for what is to come. Show us how to always “rejoice in Your hope, be patient in tribulation and be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
Let us always “hold unwaveringly to the hope that we profess, for [You,] Who made the promise, is trustworthy” (Hebrews 10:23). Nourish and sustain us so that our own lives may be reflections to others of the power of Your love.
Thank You for giving us this Novena Prayer Group that has strengthened and sustained us through the difficult times of this pandemic, has helped us to keep our focus on You and will keep us steadfast as we move forward.
We love You, God, and we thank You and praise You for loving us.
⑥ God, Who gave us the Great Commission,
Your Son, Jesus, commanded us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:16-20). As we prepare for our eternal lives with You, this command is ever on our hearts and minds.
Open our hearts to this call, teach us to serve You as You ask, as good stewards of Your many graces. Continually remind us that “We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:23)
Guide us to do everything in Your name, always giving You thanks, for You have told us, “… whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col 3:17)
Send Your Holy Spirit to guide our good work and to be with us as we strive to reclaim our parish mission to know Christ better and to make Him better known, “to be Christ for others as He is for us”.
⑦ Come, Holy Spirit, Come,
As we strive to fulfill Your will for us, help us to love Your children as You do, seeing all the potential You have bestowed on each of us; loving others enough to share with them what You have already given to us.
Thus, we ask that You bring us a New Pentecost that will embolden us to bring more and more souls to You. Use our studies to introduce You to those who do not yet know You and to strengthen others’ personal relationships with You.
Thank You for the priests, pastors, deacons and lay Church leaders who equip us to serve Your purpose. Bless them all, especially our Pope Francis, our bishop Michael, and our St. Joan leaders: pastor Ray, deacons John and Fred and our parish staff and ministers.
⑧ God, our Father,
We are currently in the Year of the Family and, as Pope Francis has reminded us, the family has “taken the hardest knock of all.” So, we ask for Your help in restoring the strength of the family as the core unit in our society, in our country and in our world.
We pray that all parents will look to You for guidance in following the example of The Holy Family. We pray that they teach their children, by example and word, to follow Your plan and live a Christian life according to Your will, a way of life that follows Your Son’s teaching: goodness, kindness, honesty, humility, generosity, love of neighbor and love of You.
We pray that our children will grow up to be faithful and loving parents who are contributing members of their community so that these traits will spread throughout our country and our world and that the family, once again, becomes the core unit in our society.
⑨ Forgiving God,
We know that You love us. And we know that “If we acknowledge our sins, [You] are faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from every wrongdoing” (1John1:9).
And so, with confidence, we ask You to forgive us for continuing to sin and disappoint You. Forgive us for all the times we have missed seeing You in our midst, for all the times we have doubted Your presence, and for all the times we have failed to fully trust in You.
Pour peace, calm, joy and contentment into our lives as we experience Your love and grace. Let us bring Your peace to others by always being forgiving, ourselves.
Remind us that our lives are a period of joyful patience, of waiting and preparation for the greatest Gift of all, our eternal union with You.
In the holy Name of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus, Who bears our sins, we pray.
⑩ God, Who gave us the Eucharist,
Our time of sheltering made us hungry for You, Jesus … and for the Mass. We are now so much more aware of the fact that You are the source and summit of our faith, our spiritual nourishment.
Please help us to experience the gift of Spiritual Communion right now, as each of us says this together:
All: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot, at this moment, receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. AMEN.
And teach us to always cherish the amazing gift that being able to celebrate Mass and receive Your Eucharist every Sunday and any weekday is for us. We eagerly await the return of that privilege for all of us and pray that we will always expand our understanding, joy and appreciation of the gift of Your presence with us in the Eucharist.
⑪ Healing God,
You are the only true source of health and healing. Your Word speaks of healing and restoration. You have told us, “I have heard your prayers and seen your tears; I will heal you” (2Kings 20:5) and “I will take away sickness from you.” (Exodus 23:25)
Our hearts ache for the children who are suffering during this pandemic: those who are in the hospital fighting for their lives, those who are miserable at home, those who are frightened by the illness of family and friends, those who mourn the deaths of love ones (often without being able to say good-bye), those who are lonely due to separation from friends, those who live in fear of getting sick, themselves; those who have learned to fear other people who may get them sick.
Our hearts ache, too, for the teachers and healthcare workers who are sick, suffering and fearful. Please bring Your loving and healing presence to all those who are sick and suffering right now, most especially our children, teachers and care providers.. Strengthen them, protect them and give them courage.
We thank You for the treatments and vaccines to which You have guided us; we beseech You to prove them safe, effective and long-lasting. And we pray it will be Your will to eliminate this virus altogether.
⑫ God of Peace,
It seems as if the world is moving away from You and Your teachings. As we get older, it is easy to become cynical and to believe that hope for peace is a childish concept. You entered this world to be with us and to give reason for hope to your people. Please grant all people the gift of hope and love for You, and for our sisters and brothers, that will bring peace throughout the world:
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be. With God as our Father, we are family. Let me walk with my family in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment, now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow: to take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with ME.
⑬ St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church,
We bring to you our broken hearts and all the discouragement that weighs us down. Impurity and scandal have wounded God’s Church; this Corona virus has infected the world and has brought much shame, death, sorrow and tears.
We ask you, dearest St. Joseph, to be our guide along this very dark path, for you are the model of faith, purity and devotion that we need so desperately. May the Lord send forth the burning fire of the Holy Spirit and renew the face of the Church and of the world.
O, St. Joseph, pray ceaselessly for God’s Church, our country and the world during this time of suffering and great mourning. Protect and save all those who are persecuted because of their spiritual beliefs.
May all pain and suffering be transformed by the power of Christ’s cross and lead to further renewal and continued purification in God’s Church, our country and the world.
⑭ God, the true leader of our nations,
Inspire leaders around the world and in every facet of society to make decisions that are based far more on the common good than on economic considerations. This is especially needed in decisions about our children, who need their education and socialization but must do so in physically safe and emotionally appropriate ways.
Guide leaders to promote the dignity of the poor and vulnerable; to lead with courage and wisdom; to protect Your Creation; to find ways to bring an end to war and violence and to promote peace and development for all; and to reflect the Church’s teaching that the moral test of our society is how the weak, the poor and the vulnerable are faring. Teach us to build a society in which everyone can have the opportunity to live with dignity, hope, respect, kindness and love … as members of Your family, working together for the good of our community.
⑮ God, Who hears all of our prayers,
We pray for all those who have no one to pray for them, for the
lonely and for those in pain.
And now, we lift up our special intentions to You.
<pause to allow individual intentions to be spoken>
We believe in the healing power of faith and prayer and, so, we ask You to begin Your mighty work in the lives of all those on our prayer intentions list.
Please reach down and surround them with supernatural peace and strength and give them the faith to believe that all things are possible with You.
⑯ God of Compassion, we pray especially for:
Therefore, we pray for all those on our prayer intentions list, most especially:
The families and souls of those who have died, especially those who died of the coronavirus;
all those who are sick, especially those who are suffering from the coronavirus;
the first responders who put themselves at risk to care for the sick;
and those who are carrying new life within them.
And we pray with hearts full of gratitude:
For the many prayers You have answered for us;
For those who have healed from serious illness, especially from Covid;
And for the new lives that have been born during the pandemic.
⑰ Daily Inspiration from Pope Francis
[Obtain message here.]
⑱ Lectio Divina
[Obtain message here.]
⑲ Closing Prayer
- The Lord’s Prayer
- The Hail Mary
- The Glory Be
- The Fatima Prayer:
- O my Jesus,
ALL: forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need
of Thy mercy.
- SJA’s Rosary Group prayer: Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
ALL: we love you. Save our souls.
Musical meditations can be found here.