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Prayers of the Faithful

The Prayers of the Faithful are an assembly prayer that occurs during mass, after the homily and before the presentation of the gifts. It is the conclusion of the Liturgy of the Word which takes place before the opening of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. During this prayer, the intentions are read by one or more parishioners, and the whole church joins together to present their prayers to the Lord. Following are some guidelines to help prepare the Prayers of the Faithful, as well as examples of some intentions to pray for that may be used either as inspiration or as is. The prayers are often adapted in the case of weddings, baptisms or funerals.

Guidelines to prepare the Prayers of the Faithful

The 4 intentions to pray for:

The Prayers of the Faithful are generally composed of 4 readings, separated by a response spoken or sung by the person animating the liturgy and repeated by the assembly. The 4 prayers are generally (but not obligatorily) dedicated to the following subjects:

  • the Church, its members and its needs : the Pope and the Bishops, vocations, the parishioners, the unity of Christians…
  • public affairs and the society : the government, war, order and social justice…
  • the suffering : the sick, the poor, people who are persecuted or in prison, those who are looking for employment…
  • the community and its events : baptisms, confirmations, marriages and deaths…

The 4 steps to prepare:

The Prayers of the Faithful are an important part of the mass, it is the moment when the congregation comes together as one to repeat their plea to the Lord, asking for his blessing for the Church and for the world. In this way, we answer the call of Saint Paul : “Do not be anxious about anything, but, in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Ph 4: 6)

Preparing the Prayers of the Faithful  should therefore not be taken lightly. So that the intentions of prayer inspire the assembly prayer we should :

  • take time to read the texts of the day (readings and gospel), let our reflexion be nourished by the word of God.
  • take into account current events, local needs, the country, the diocese, the parish…
  • adapt the intentions to the public (young people, families, older people…)
  • formulate short and simple sentences.

How to formulate an intention to prayer

There are different ways to formulate an intention to prayer. The two most common are :

  • “For (...), let us pray to the Lord”
  • “Lord, we pray to you for (...)”

NB : “Lord” can also be replaced by “Father”.

Examples of intentions of the Prayers of the Faithful

Intentions for the Church

“May the Church maintain the courage to continue to announce the good news, we pray to the Lord.”

“We pray for the unity of christians, may they know your guidance and direction, we pray to the Lord.”

Intentions for public affairs

“For those in positions of authority, may they protect the dignity of the most fragile, we pray to the Lord.”

“Lord, we pray for our leaders, that they serve the common good bravely and humbly”

Intentions for the suffering

“For all who suffer physically, may they be hopeful and find comfort, we pray to the Lord.”

“Lord, we entrust to you all the victims of violence and abuse, may they find the courage to rebuild their lives and forgive their aggressors.”

Intentions for daily events

“May our community be guided and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, Lord we pray to you.”

“Lord, we pray to you for all christian couples, that by their conjugal love, they become real examples of your divine love.”

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