A great collection of prayers for everything from our 2,000-year-old tradition
Prayer has power to it.
It can fundamentally change your life, as well as the lives of those you pray for.
The more prayers you memorize, the more you can repeat them, and the more you repeat them, the more they transform you. Your will comes closer to God’s will. Your very mind and body come closer to God.
The following prayers have been said by millions of your Christian ancestors. One was given to us by Jesus, others by Scripture, and others by the saints.
Not all of these prayers have to be memorized, namely the longer ones at the bottom, but they are good to pray every once in a while. This article was created to be a resource for your prayer life!
Devote time from each day until you have every one of these prayers stored deep in your heart!
Sign of the Cross
This is the most basic prayer. When you do it, you are blessing yourself.
There are a few ways you can do this, such as putting your thumb, index, and middle finger together (three fingers for each person of the Holy Trinity), or you just use an open hand.
With your right hand, touch your forehead, your heart, your left shoulder, and then your right shoulder.
While you do the above motions, say:
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”
Say “the Father” while touching your head, “the Son” while touching your heart, “of the Holy” while touching your left shoulder, and then “Spirit” while touching your right shoulder. Then say “Amen” as you began to lower your hand.
Congratulations! You just said a prayer! Do this, cross yourself, when you wake up in the morning, before you go to bed, and before and after all of your other prayers.
The sign of the cross goes back to the 2nd century of Christianity.
Prayer of the Heart
The prayer of the heart is:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
This is a very simple prayer that any beginner can learn in a minute. But its simplicity does not equate with a lack of depth. There is a reason this prayer is one that is used by monks.
It is called the prayer of the heart because you can sync your body to it.
You can fix your heartbeat to the words of this prayer!
Take a deep breath and say, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,” and then, while letting the breath out, say “have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Pray this dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of times, and eventually, the prayer will
dominate over all your other thoughts. Your heartbeat will move with the words of this prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)
This was the only prayer Jesus Christ gave to his disciples.
It encapsulates all of creation. The entire life of a Christian is within it.
Meditate on these words and discern their truths.
“Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Glory Be (doxology)
“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.”
Taken directly from the words of Scripture, the Hail Mary is one of the most powerful prayers in the Christian tradition.
It invokes the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death.”
Act of Contrition
“O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.”
Prayer for All Needs by Pope Clement of Rome (Pope from 88 AD -99 AD)
“We beg you, Lord, to help and defend us. Deliver the oppressed. Pity the insignificant. Raise the fallen. Show yourself to the needy. Heal the sick. Bring back those of your people who have gone astray. Feed the hungry. Lift up the weak. Take off the prisoners’ chains. May every nation come to know that you alone are God, that Jesus is your Child, that we are your people, the sheep that you pasture."
“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.”
Prayer of Saint Patrick
This is a favorite prayer of mine from the fifth-century Christian bishop.
“Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me and before me. Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in hearts of all who know me. Christ in mouth of friend and stranger, Christ in quiet and in roar. Love, blessed Trinity of three, Bound in unity Who guides my journey. I will arise with strength of heaven Trusting in Your light To guide my journey Shine before me Lead me home. Power to guide me, might to hold me, Wisdom teach me, watching o’er me. Ear to hear me, hand to guard me, Love to conquer every fear.”
Composed in the 13th century, this prayer became a tradition of Christians in the Middle Ages to say at the ninth hour in the morning, noon, and the sixth hour in the afternoon.
“The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Say a Hail Mary . . . Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. Say a Hail Mary . . . And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. Say a Hail Mary . . . Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.”
The Anima Christi
“Soul of Christ, sanctify me Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me Water from Christ’s side, wash me Passion of Christ, strengthen me O good Jesus, hear me Within Thy wounds hide me Suffer me not to be separated from Thee From the malicious enemy defend me In the hour of my death call me And bid me come unto Thee That I may praise Thee with Thy saints and with Thy angels Forever and ever”
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.”
Prayer to Your Guardian Angel
“Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here, Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide.”
“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.”
“Dear God, as I begin this day, keep me in your love and care. Help me to live as your child today. Bless me, my family, and my friends in all we do. Keep us all close to you.”
St. Therese of Lisieux’s Morning Prayer
O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love. O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity.
“Dear God, I thank you for today. Keep me safe throughout the night. Thank you for all the good I did today. I am sorry for what I have chosen to do wrong. Bless my family and friends.”
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. And kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you will renew the face of the earth.”
Sub Tuum Praesidium (from around 300 AD)
“We turn to you for protection, Holy Mother of God. Listen to our prayers and help us in our needs. Save us from every danger, glorious and blessed Virgin.”
Memorare to Mary
“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.”
This prayer was said by Mary and is found in the book of Luke.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.”
Act of Faith
“O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead.”
Act of Hope
“O my God, relying on your infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of your grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.”
Act of Love
“O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured.”
“Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.”
Grace Before Meals
“Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord.”
Thanksgiving After Meals
“We give thanks for all your benefits, almighty God, who lives and reigns forever. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.”
Hail Holy Queen
“Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ”
The Peace Prayer of St. Francis
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
Prayers to the Sacred Heart
“O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you and will a lively sorrow for my sins. I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessings on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within your heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to you with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus, help me.”
Prayer for the Dead
“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.”
Prayer for Those in Purgatory
“Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my own home, and in my family.”
Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas
“Grant me grace, O merciful God, to desire ardently all that is pleasing to You, to examine it prudently, to acknowledge it truthfully, and to accomplish it perfectly, for the praise and glory of Your name.”
Prayer of Saint Richard of Chichester
“Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me. O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly, day by day.”
Prayer of St. Augustine
“For behold, you were within me, and I outside; and I sought you outside and in my ugliness fell upon those lovely things that you have made. You were with me and I was not with you. I was kept from you by those things, yet had they not been in you, they would not have been at all. You called and cried to me and broke upon my deafness; and you sent forth your light and shone upon me, and chased away my blindness; You breathed fragrance upon me, and I drew in my breath and did not pant for you; you touched me, and I have burned for your peace.”
Prayer to Saint Joseph
“O glorious Saint Joseph, you were chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus, the most pure spouse of Mary, ever virgin, and the head of the Holy Family. You have been chosen by Christ’s vicar as the heavenly patron and protector of the Church founded by Christ.
“Protect the Holy Father, our sovereign pontiff, and all bishops and priests united with him. Be the protector of all who labor for souls amid the trials and tribulations of this life, and grant that all peoples of the world may follow Christ and the Church he founded”
“I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”
“My Lord Jesus Christ,
I believe that You are really here in this Sacrament. Night and day You remain here compassionate and loving. You call, You wait for, You welcome everyone who comes to visit You.
I thank You, Jesus my Divine Redeemer for coming upon the earth for our sake and for instituting the Adorable Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
in order to remain with us until the end of the world. I thank You for hiding beneath the Eucharistic species Your infinite majesty and beauty, which Your Angels delight to behold, so that I might have courage to approach the throne of Your mercy.
I thank You dear Jesus, for having become the priceless Victim, to merit for me the fullness of heavenly favors. Awaken in me such confidence in You that their fullness may descend ever more fruitfully upon my soul.
I thank You for offering Yourself in thanksgiving to God for all His benefits, spiritual and temporal which He has bestowed on me. Grant me grace and perseverance in your faithful service.”
Prayer of St. Ambrose
“O loving Lord Jesus Christ,
I, a sinner, not presuming on my own merits, but trusting in Your mercy and goodness, with fear and awe approach the table of Your most sacred banquet. For I have stained both my heart and body with many sins, and have not kept a strict guard over my mind and tongue.
Wherefore, O gracious God, O awful majesty, I, a wretched creature, entangled in difficulties, have recourse to You, the fount of mercy; to You I fly for healing and take refuge under Your protection, and I ardently desire to have Him as my Savior whom I am unable to face as my Judge. To You, Lord, I show my wounds, to You I lay bare my shame.
I know that my sins are many and great and on their account I am filled with fear. But I trust in Your mercy, which is endless. Look down on me, therefore, with the eyes of mercy, Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King, God and Man, crucified for men. Hear me, for my hope is in You; have mercy on me, for I am full of sin and wretchedness, You who never cease to let flow the fountain of mercy.
Hail Victim of Salvation, offered for me and for all mankind on the tree of the cross. Hail, noble and precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord Jesus Christ washing away the sins of the whole world.
Remember, Lord, Your creature, whom You have redeemed with Your Blood. I am grieved because I have sinned. I desire to make amends for what I have done. Take away from me, therefore, O most merciful Father, all my iniquities and my sins, that, being purified both in soul and body, I may worthily partake of the Holy of Holies; and grant that this holy oblation of Your Body and Blood, of which though unworthy I purpose to partake, may be to me the remission of my sins, the perfect cleansing of all my offenses, the means of driving away all evil thoughts and of renewing all holy desires, the accomplishment of works pleasing to You, as well as the strongest defense for soul and body against the snares of my enemies.”
Prayer of St. Benedict of Nursia
“O Lord, I place myself in your hands and dedicate myself to you. I pledge myself to do your will in all things: To love the Lord God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength.
Not to kill. Not to steal. Not to covet. Not to bear false witness. To honor all persons. Not to do to another what I would not wish done to myself. To chastise the body. Not to seek after pleasures. To love fasting. To relieve the poor. To clothe the naked. To visit the sick. To bury the dead. To help in trouble. To console the sorrowing. To hold myself aloof from worldly ways. To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.
Not to give way to anger. Not to foster a desire for revenge. Not to entertain deceit in the heart. Not to make a false peace. Not to forsake charity. Not to swear, lest I swear falsely. To speak the truth with heart and tongue. Not to return evil for evil. To do no injury: yea, even to bear patiently any injury done to me. To love my enemies.
Not to curse those who curse me, but rather to bless them. To bear persecution for justice’ sake. Not to be proud. Not to be given to intoxicating drink. Not to be an over-eater. Not to be lazy. Not to be slothful. Not to be a murmured. Not to be a detractor. To put my trust in God. To refer the good I see in myself to God. To refer any evil in myself to myself.
To fear the Day of Judgment. To be in dread of hell. To desire eternal life with spiritual longing. To keep death before my eyes daily. To keep constant watch over my actions. To remember that God sees me everywhere. To call upon Christ for defense against evil thoughts that arises in my heart. To guard my tongue against wicked speech. To avoid much speaking. To avoid idle talk. To read only what is good to read. To look at only what is good to see. To pray often. To ask forgiveness daily for my sins, and to seek ways to amend my life. To obey my superiors in all things rightful. Not to desire to be thought holy, but to seek holiness.
To fulfill the commandments of God by good works. To love chastity. To hate no one. Not to be jealous or envious of anyone. Not to love strife. Not to love pride. To honor the aged. To pray for my enemies. To make peace after a quarrel, before the setting of the sun. Never to despair of your mercy, O God of Mercy.”