Prayer, says Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, “is a surge of the heart, a simple look turned toward heaven. It is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”
In the Catholic tradition prayer stands at the heart of our relationship to God. As Catholics we are blessed with a rich and ancient tradition of prayers in a variety of forms—prayers we learned as children and prayers we now pray during the liturgy such as the Creed and the Our Father, devotional prayers such as the Hail Mary, the Rosary, and the Memorare, and prayers to make sacred the hours and moments of each day, such as Morning and Evening Prayer, and Grace Before Meals. As priest-chaplains we draw on this ever ancient, ever new treasury of Catholic prayers to lead you closer to God.
Whether we speak to God in words, hymns or liturgical gestures prayer is our response of faith, hope and love to God’s promise of salvation. Whether we pray together at Sunday Mass with the community of believers or find time for personal prayer and study of God’s word, prayer is the foundation of the Christian life.
In prayer, Jesus Christ comes to meet every human person. The Universal Catechism puts it this way, “whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for Him.” (CCC, 2560)
As priest-chaplains of the Archdiocese for the Military Services we invite you to join with us in prayer. In times of joy and difficulty, in times of fear and doubt, in moments of distress and in times of peace, a simple prayer that comes from the heart becomes the place of your encounter with God’s love, mercy and protection.
So take a few minutes to join in praying with us and for us as you remain in our daily prayers. We hope that these sample Catholic prayers will sustain and support you in your journey of faith as you serve the cause of peace, justice and freedom.
Please send us your Prayer Petitions. Your petitions will be remembered by priest chaplains throughout the Archdiocese as well as during daily Mass offered at the Archdiocese for the Military Services, Washington, DC.
Some Catholic Prayers
Prayer to One’s Guardian Angel
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom his love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle,
Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil.
We humbly beseech God to command him,
And do thou, O prince of the heavenly host,
By the divine power thrust into hell Satan
And the other evil spirits who roam through the world
Seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd
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 right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil;
For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff – they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Prayer in Time of War
God our Father,
Maker and lover of peace,
To know you is to live,
And to serve you is to reign.
All our faith is in your saving help;
Protect us from men of violence
And keep us safe from weapons of hate.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for Military Chaplains
Heavenly Father, bless and protect Military Chaplains and fill them
with the joy and courage of their vocation as personal ministers of
Christ in preaching your word and nourishing us with the Sacraments.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Patrick’s Breastplate
May the strength of God guide me this day, and may his power preserve me.
May the wisdom of God instruct me; the eye of God watch over me; the ear of God hear me; the word of God give sweetness to my speech; the hand of God defend me; and may I follow the way of God.
Christ be with me, Christ before me,
Christ be after me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right hand, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort, Christ in the chariot,
Christ in the ship,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me.
Christ in every eye that sees me.
Christ in every ear that hears me.