Prayers For Our Time

Here are prayers we have selected as relating to the difficult times we are living in. If you would like a prayer added here please contact us

Prayers for the People of Ukraine

Gracious God

Look with mercy and compassion on the people of Ukraine,

at this time of violence and war.

May we stand in solidarity with their suffering.

Bless and strengthen all who seek peace and justice.

Sustain the women and children driven from their homes.

Give courage to those who remain and resist.

Do not let our hearts forget your peace

even in these dark times.

We make our prayer through Jesus the Lord


Holy Mother of God, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Prayer for World Day of the Poor

A Reflection on Poverty.

Psalm 140: "I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy."

The fifth World Day of the Poor will be celebrated on 14th November 2021. Pope Francis has sent a message to mark this occasion. He begins by quoting the gospel of Saint Mark, "The poor you will always have with you". He goes on to say "Christ's gospel summons us to display special concern for the poor and to recognize the varied and excessive forms of social disorder that are generating ever new forms of poverty. There seems to be a growing notion that the poor are not only responsible for their condition, but that they represent an intolerable burden for an economic system focused on the interests of a few privileged groups. A market that ignores ethical principles, or picks and chooses from among them, creates inhumane conditions for people already in precarious situations. We are now seeing the creation of new traps of poverty and exclusion, set by unscrupulous economic and financial actors lacking in a humanitarian sense and social responsibility."

This prayer was written by Saint Theresa of Calcutta.

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow brothers and sisters throughout the world,

Who live and die in poverty and hunger.

Give them through our hands this day their daily bread,

And by our understanding love, give peace and joy.

Make us worthy, Lord to serve our brothers and sisters

Who are scattered throughout the world,

Who live and die alone and poor.

Give them today, using our hands , their daily bread.

And using our love, give them peace and happiness. Amen

The wider "we" - a prayer of unity and welcome

Holy beloved Father,
Your Son Jesus taught us
That there is great rejoicing in heaven
Whenever someone lost is found,
Whenever someone excluded, rejected or discarded
Is gathered into our 'we' -
Which thus becomes ever wider.

We ask you to grant the followers of Jesus,
And all people of good will,
The grace to do your will on earth.
Bless each act of welcome and outreach
That draws those in exile
Into the 'we' of community and the church,
So that our Earth may truly become
What you yourself created it to be:
The common home of all our brothers and sisters.

CAFOD prayer for the women who began us

Prayer for CAFOD during its 60th Year and for the Women who began us: The Catholic Women's League, The Union of Catholic Mothers and the National Board of Catholic Women

Loving God,
You created and formed each one of us.
You have drawn us with unfailing kindness
and lavished us with love.
We give you thanks and praise.

For our sisters, the women at the heart
of our beginnings and our work,
we give you thanks and praise.

For the women who respond to the need
for care and compassion
both near and far,
we give you thanks and praise.

For our sisters who act for justice,
stand in solidarity,
speak the truth to power
and reach out with a loving hand,
we give you thanks and praise.

Loving God, source of hope,
we ask you to lift the women who face hardship,
violence, rejection, and isolation.

Send out your spirit on all women this year.
May we remember the wonderful things that they have done,
continue to do,
and will do from this time forward through your grace.



NBCW Racial Justice Prayer - May 2021

Our Father who art in heaven
Creator of all the races in your world
Hallowed be thy name
Praised and beloved by all your people of whatever colour and race.
Thy kingdom come
Where racial justice prevails and all are welcome without favour or discrimination.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Where we will strive to live as sisters and brothers bound together as your children.
Give us this day
A day of enlightenment when we recognise all peoples as equal in your sight,
Our daily bread
To share with our neighbours of whatever colour, race or creed.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
Forgive the wrongs of the colonial past, the oppression of slavery, the assumption of white privilege and the ongoing racism hidden in ourselves and our communities.
Lead us not into temptation
Of pride and the denial of truth
But deliver us from the evil
Of racism which divides communities and destroys lives.
As Catholic women we pledge our active commitment to seek racial justice and equity for everyone both individually and institutionally,
For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory
which will transform us all
for ever and ever.

(Adapted from Barbara D'Arcy in the Trampled Vineyard p 94 and A Pledge for Racial Justice of the Church of St. Francis Xavier, NY.)

Prayers to Our Lady (2)

Second Prayer

"We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God".

In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.

Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.

Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.

Pope Francis - Prayers to Our Lady in May (1)

O Mary,

You shine continuously on our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus' suffering,
and persevered in your faith.

"Protectress of the Roman people",
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows
to bring us, through the cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection.


We fly to your protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from every danger,
O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

Intercessions for use during the Covid-19 pandemic

As the world faces up to the widespread disruption to life being caused by the coronavirus pandemic, let us ask for God's help in what lies ahead.

Let us pray for all those who are working to control the spread of the virus. May they be encouraged by the knowledge that their efforts are appreciated by us all.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer

Let us pray for all those in the medical profession who are tasked with caring for those who have the virus: for the hospital staff carrying out the testing, for the ambulance crews transporting patients to hospitals and for the doctors and nurses who are treating those seriously in need.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for those involved in local and national governments, tasked with the job of ensuring that financial and physical assistance is in place where it is most needed. We pray also that those from whom they seek medical advice may be guided into making decisions for the good of all.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for our own local community that those in the greatest need are helped and supported in a caring and neighbourly way.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer Let us pray for all those who have lost their lives as a result of the virus. We remember the families that they have left behind and the communities in which they lived

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Let us ask Our Lady to join her prayers with ours, as we say: Hail Mary

St Hilda's Prayer

May I be equal to Your hope of me.
If I am weak,
I ask that You send only what I can bear.
If I am strong,
may I shrink from no testing
that shall yield increase of strength
or win security for my spirit.
I trust in Thee, O Lord.
I say, 'Thou art my God.'
My times are in Thy hand,
my times are in Thy hand.

St. Hilda

Litany of Women for the Church

Dear God, creator of women in your own image,
born of a woman in the midst of a world half women,
carried by women to mission fields around the globe,
made known by women to all the children of the earth
give to the women of our time
the strength to persevere,
the courage to speak out,
the faith to believe in you beyond
all systems and institutions
so that your face on earth may be seen in all its beauty,
so that men and women become whole,
so that the church may be converted to your will
in everything and in all ways.

We call on the holy women
who went before us,
channels of Your Word
in testaments old and new,
to intercede for us
so that we might be given the grace
to become what they have been
for the honor and glory of God.

Saint Esther, who pleaded against power
for the liberation of the people, -Pray for us.
Saint Judith, who routed the plans of men
and saved the community,
Saint Deborah, laywoman and judge, who led
the people of God,
Saint Elizabeth of Judea, who recognized the value
of another woman,
Saint Mary Magdalene, minister of Jesus,
first evangelist of the Christ,
Saint Scholastica, who taught her brother Benedict
to honor the spirit above the system,
Saint Hildegard, who suffered interdict
for the doing of right,
Saint Joan of Arc, who put no law above the law of God,
Saint Clare of Assisi, who confronted the pope
with the image of woman as equal,
Saint Julian of Norwich, who proclaimed for all of us
the motherhood of God,
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who knew the call
to priesthood in herself,
Saint Catherine of Siena, to whom the pope listened,
Saint Teresa of Avila, who brought women's gifts
to the reform of the church,
Saint Edith Stein, who brought fearlessness to faith,
Saint Elizabeth Seton, who broke down boundaries
between lay women and religious
by wedding motherhood and religious life,
Saint Dorothy Day, who led the church
to a new sense of justice,

Mary, mother of Jesus,
who heard the call of God and answered,
Mary, mother of Jesus,
who drew strength from the woman Elizabeth,
Mary, mother of Jesus,
who underwent hardship bearing Christ,
Mary, mother of Jesus, who ministered at Cana,
Mary, mother of Jesus, inspired at Pentecost,
Mary, mother of Jesus, who turned the Spirit of God
into the body and blood of Christ, pray for us. Amen.

Author: Sister Joan Chittister, OSB

The Four Candles

The Four Candles burned slowly. Their Ambiance was so soft you could hear them speak...

The First Candle said, "I Am Peace, but these days, nobody wants to keep me lit."

Then Peace's flame slowly diminishes and goes out completely.

The Second Candle said, "I Am Faith, but these days, I am no longer indispensable."

Then Faith's flame slowly diminishes and goes out completely.

Sadly The Third Candle Speaks, "I Am Love and I haven't the strength to stay lit any longer.

People put me aside and don't understand my importance. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them." Waiting no longer, Love goes out completely.

Suddenly...A child enters the room and sees the three candles no longer burning. The child begins to cry, "Why are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit until the end!"

Then The Fourth Candle speaks gently to the little child, "Don't be afraid, for I Am Hope, and while I still burn, we can re-light the other candles."

With Shining Eyes the child took the Candle Of Hope and lit the other three candles.

Never let the Flame Of Hope go out of your life. With Hope, no matter how bad things look and are...Peace, Faith and Love can Shine Brightly in our lives.

Author unknown


And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life's stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God's thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

by Minnie Louise Haskins 1908