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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Loving  Heavenly Father, creator  of all things, Your Word says “1You created all things through Jesus Christ and 2You made all things good and perfect.” 3You give life to all things. I thank You, that I have conceived by Your grace and mercy. The baby in my womb is Your creation,  thank You for Your precious gift.

Cover me, the baby in my womb and my family members with the holy and precious blood of Jesus. I forgive all who have hurt me and rejected me in any manner.

Protect me, my baby and my family members from all evil and dangers. 4 You are our refuge and our fortress. 5 For You, Lord, will give Your angels charge over us. My God, in You I put my trust. During this time of waiting, help me to guard this new life carefully and do nothing to hurt it in any way.

Lord, Your word also says, 6 “Truly You have formed my innermost being. You have woven me in my mother’s womb. “According to Your Word, let my baby grow normally with all its requirements fulfilled. Take away all complications from my baby and me. Grant me and my baby good health. 7 Lord, let my baby be perfect as You are perfect.

Lord Jesus, You be present with me during all this time this baby grows and comes into this world. Lord Your Word says “8 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I sanctified you. Please grant me a safe and normal delivery. Take away all blocks and barriers that are hindering this blessing in my life. Lord I also pray that You lead all pregnant women who are reading this prayer to safe and normal delivery. All this I ask in the name of Jesus, who is Lord of Life, now and forever. Amen.

9 Shall I bring to the time of birth and not cause delivery?” says the LORD. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb? says Your God.

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Scripture References: 1-  Romans 11:36,  2 –  James 1:17,  3 –  1Timothy 6:13, 4-  Psalm 91:2, 5  Psalm 91:11, 6  Psalm 139:13,  7-   Matthew 5:48,  8-  Jeremiah 1:5, 9-  Isaiah 66:9 
 
 

Prayer for a Woman in Labour at Childbirth

O Lord God Almighty, Creator of all things and Giver of knowledge to mankind; Who fashioned the body of man from the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, granting him Your blessings, that he might increase and multiply by means of the birth of children: We fervently entreat You Who loves mankind to bless this Your servant, N., who is with child, granting her help and comfort at this trying time. Ease her labour and bring her to a safe delivery. Yes, O Lord, open the treasury of Your mercies and Your compassion to her, and let her give birth to a fruitful vine to be a cause of joy to her all the days of her life. For You are blessed, together with Your Only-begotten Son, and Your Most-holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

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Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You.

You have brought me into existence, you support me throughout my life and you invite me to share in your life forever. How good you are to me! Protect me from moral and spiritual harm. Give me your spirit to inspire, guide and transform me. Use me for your Glory and for the use of others and never let me be separated from you, my God and my all! Amen

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With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel[…] (Eph 6:18-19).

Prayer is probably the best and most effective way to be united with God.  A good prayer-life is  like a doorway to receiving many graces and attaining true communion with God.  Through prayer one we can open one’s channels to receive whatever the Lord wishes to give us or reveal to us through His Holy Spirit. A prayerful person, through perseverance in prayer, may be enabled to discern God’s will from their own will and thus be more equipped to understand what God has deigned for them and respond to His plan. 

Catholics get a lot of questions (and criticism) about how we pray as well as to whom we pray. In my short experience with Catholic apologetics, I have found that most of the criticism is based on preconceived ideas, prejudice or mere ignorance. People often accuse Catholics of praying to Mary, instead of praying to Jesus, of praying to the Saints and not directly to God and so on… 

Obviously, these claims are all but accurate, because they mis-intreprete a core teaching of the Church that tell us that Christ is our only mediator to God, and that only through him we can get to God Father, and also because they fail to consider what Catholics call the communion of Saints. Simply it is not correct to state that Catholics pray to Saints in detriment of God.

Rather, we ask the Saints to pray on our behalftaking our petetions/prayers to the Lord. Prayers involving saints are petitionary or intercessory prayers, through which one asks for a favor (spiritual or more rarely, material) for oneself or for others. In the Scriptures we read  how Moses pleaded to God to spare his people, or Mary to Jesus at the wedding in Cana (Jn 2:1-11) or how Paul asked for prayers (Rm 15:30 or Eph 6:19).

11 But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “O LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13  (Ex 20:11-13)

Such intercessory prayers by no means substitute a sincere prayer  addressed directly to Lord Jesus, Who is God and who we worship.  Never will a Catholic pray a prayer of Adoration or Praise to a Saint. This would be most reprehensible. Such prayers are reserved to God and God only.  I add here that Catholics worship the Holy Trinity, so we may say prayers of praise to God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27)

However, to understand the idea of praying with the Saints one must consider the Catholic doctrine regarding the Communion with Saints. Failing to understand such concept will limit or prevent a correct understanding of the Catholic approach to intercessory prayers. 

The communion of saints 

In the  Apostle’s Creed, which  is a summary of the Core beliefs of our faith,  we profess that we believe in the Holy Catholic Church and the communion of saints. The Catechism states that : 

946 […] “What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints?”477 The communion of saints is the Church. 

947 “Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others…. We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head…. Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments.”478 “As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund.”479 

 The Communion of the Church of Heaven and Earth

When the Lord comes in glory, and all his angels with him, death will be no more and all things will be subject to him. But at the present time some of his disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory, contemplating ‘in full light, God himself triune and one, exactly as he is. 

956 The intercession of the saints. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness…. They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus…. So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.”493 

Saint Paul explained that the body is corruptible when it is buried, but it will be incorruptible when raised.  “It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.  It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.  It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:43-44). 

The belief that Catholics have on being in communion with the spiritual beings in Heaven, who come to our aid can be verified inthe Scriptures, such as in Jude 1:9, or when Elijah and Moses prayed with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.

And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one forElijah.” (Matthew 17: 3-4)

“But at that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people: and a time shall come, such as never was from the time that nations began, even until that time. And at that time shall thy people be saved, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
-Daniel 12:1

“Behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me.”
-Daniel 10:13 

 Here is another post on  Praying to Saints 

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Why do Catholics cross themselves three times  before the  Gospel Reading (in the Liturgy of the Word)?

At Mass, in what we call the Gospel Acclamation, all stand up and sing the ‘Alleluia’. The deacon or the priest anouces the Gospel reading, we respond with “Glory to you, Lord” and make three little signs of the cross. We then cross our forhead, Mouth and heart, this means: May I keep the word of the Lord in my mind, in my mouth and in my heart.

Why do Catholics pray seven daily prayers?

This is an ancient tradition that comes for the Old Testament, following King David, who said  ” seven times a day I shall praise your name, O Lord”. This catholic tradition is observed mainly by ordained religious, but also by lay members of the Church. Read more about this here on this blog.

Why do Catholics get ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday?

To ancient Jews, wearing sackcloth and covering themselves or sitting in ashes showed repentance and humility, and acted as a penance. Thus, the early Church adopted the practice of wearing ashes at the start of Lent to show repentance too. The ashes today remind us to “Turn away from sin and remain faithful to the Gospel” and that our time on earth will pass away but our life in Heaven will last forever.

Why do Catholics use Holy Water?

The use of  Holy water in the Catholic Church has a biblical origin,  we read in Numbers 5:17 about a ritual that  is being described,  the text says, “[A]nd the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water.”

This shows that holy water not only has a basis in the Bible, but that it has been around since the days of Moses. Holy water was used for numerous Old Testament ceremonies that involved ceremonial sprinklings and washings. Today we are not bound to perform those ceremonies, but the fact holy water was used at all proves that it is not a superstitious or invalid practice invented by the Church.

Why do we believe that the Pope is head of the Church on earth?

The Church is the body of Jesus Christ. Where Jesus is the Head and we are the members. Jesus gave Peter his name, which means Rock, and declared that he will build his church on the Rock. Jesus also gave Peter “the keys to the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 16:19). In Jesus’ day, the person who held the keys to the kingdom represented the king, and only the king could entrust the keys to whoever he decied. When Jesus gave the keys to Peter, he was making a symbolic reference to what King David did when he gave the keys of his kingdom to his Prime minister. This was an act of trust, but it also signaled to the other ministers that the one holding the keys was the leader and could act in his authority. So Jesus was signaling that Peter was given a special role of leadership. Catholics believe that the authority given to St Peter did not end with his death, but is passed to his successors who also become head of the Church.

Why do we sing carols at Christmas? The word “carol” means song of joy. St. Francis of Assisi first introduced the joyous spirit of caroling to Europe in the 13th century. He created nativity plays in which actors sang the story of Christ’s birth in the language of the audience. St Francis encouraged the listeners to join in. In time, the carols traveled from Italy to the rest of Europe and then to the United States. Today’s custom has carolers go from house to house singing Christmas songs of joy.

Why do Catholics do that?

What is Canon Law? Canon Law is the official body of laws for the Catholic Church that govern faith, morals, and discipline.  These laws assist the Church in carrying out her mission to the world and direct the various relationships between persons, offices, and groups within the Church.  Only a pope or an ecumenical council has the authority to create canon law or interpret it for the universal Church.  The legal system of the Catholic Church is the oldest such system continually operating in the world.

Why do Catholics say “Amen” at the end of some prayers? In Hebrew, the word “Amen” shares the same root as the word “believe.” This root also expresses trustworthiness and faithfulness. When you read the gospels, you’ll see that Jesus sometimes used the word “Amen” twice in a row to emphasize the trustworthiness of his teaching. He wanted his listeners to pay special attention. So when we say “Amen” at the end of a prayer, we reinforce our faith in what we just said. We also express our confidence that God will hear our prayers.

Why do Catholics give the Sign of Peace during Mass? The first words Jesus said to his apostles after his Resurrection were : “Peace be with you” (John 20:21). After that their fear disappeared. By offering each other the Sign of Peace at Mass, we share that peace with the entire Body of Christ. Jesus also told us to reconcile with one another before approaching the altar of God (Matthew 5:23). Thus, the Sign of Peace is a gesture of Reconciliation with those around us before coming to the altar to receive Holy Communion. Note  that records from as early as around A.D. 155 by Justin Martyr show that early Christians would exchange the kiss of peace at celebration of Mass, when prayers were concluded; this tradition seem to have persisted and evolved to the hand-shake of today.

Why do Catholics make the Sign of the Cross?  Back in the second century when this practice began, it was common to honor a ruler with a gesture of respect.  Whether bowing down on one knee or touching the forehead, such gestures were ritual ways to show humility before a person of great power.  The Sign of the Cross became one such devotion to the Holy Trinity, and acted as a sign of recognition between early Christians who were sometimes forced to worship in secret.  Now a prayer in itself, each time we make the Sign of the Cross we express respect for God and call down his blessings on ourselves.

Why do Catholics bless themselves when entering and leaving church? Old Testament Jews washed with water before entering the Temple precincts.  Building on a ritual familiar to the Jews, John the Baptist used water to represent repentance of sin and purification. So when we cross ourselves with holy water entering and leaving the church, we recall that history.  But we also refer to our Baptism when the priest used water to symbolize the washing away of our sins and to protect us from evil.

Why do Catholics use rituals?  Our everyday awareness of God comes to us through our senses: Sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.  They are the pathways to the deepest parts of our imagination and understanding.  Some rituals of the Church go back to the times when few people could read or write—but they could be drawn to Jesus by using their senses.  Now we use sacred music, bells, incense, poetic prayers—they all plant our faith deep in our body and bones as Catholics. It is important to point out that many of these symbols refer to ancient Jewish practices, such as the use of incense , which is to this day used in the Catholic Church during the incensing of the Altar, the Sacrificial Table at Mass and the Book of the Holy Scripture, the ringing of the bell during the celebration of the Eucharist and so on. These are practices that were familiar to the first Christians, who were mostly of a Jewish background.

You may also want to read this related article: Understanding what you see at Church

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‘Havenly Father, Your love is eternal. In Your ocean of love, You saved the world through Your only-beggoten Son, Jesus Christ. Now look at Your Son on the Cross Who is constantly bleeding for love of His people, and forgive Your world. Purify and baptize aborted children with the Precious Blood and water from the Sacred Side of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Who hung dead on the Cross for their salvation; in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. May they, through the holy death of Jesus Christ, gain everlasting life, through His wounds be healed and throught His precious Blood be freed. There to rejoice with the saints in heaven. Amen.

There are many reasons that can cause an expectant mother to have an abortion; a closer look at the US abortion statistics may give us some clues as to why so many abortions are performed every year. Nearly 24% of pregnancies in the US end up in abortion, and 80% of abortions are performed on unmarried women, where the great majority of women who undergo an abortion procedure is African-American.   In 2005 alone 1.22 million babies were aborted in the US, while the current number worldwide ranges 46 million babies per year!

These numbers may testify to how abortions are intrinsically related to social economic facts. In the case of the United States, black women groups are the most vulnerable  ones, as they  face more challenging social and economic circumstances in life.

(more…)

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