Prayers Written by Our Sisters

We lift our hearts to God.

Prayer is the raising of the mind to God.
We must always remember this.
The actual words matter less.

- Pope Saint John XXIII

We share these prayers written by our Sisters. May they inspire you to speak to God simply and directly. You may wish to use the words you find here or to create prayers in your own words, Know that the important thing is to raise your mind and heart to God, seeking always to rest in God’s heart.

Stretch Us, O God

Merciful God,
These are stretching times.
Like a rubber band that expands to hold what is gathered in its circle,
we seem called to stretch ourselves beyond our normal limits:

We pray to stretch our vision to see beyond our own needs,
great as they may be at this time.
May we see more clearly the beauty
that surrounds us in all the marvelous creatures
—human, animal, and plant—
with whom we share Earth, our home.

We pray to stretch our heart space
to increase our capacity for compassion and respect
toward those from whom we would rather pull away.
May we open ourselves to those who are different from us
in their choices, values, and desires.

We pray to stretch our hearing
that we listen not only to those with whom we agree
but ever more carefully to those who disagree with us,
that we may learn from them what they hold dear.

We pray to stretch our voices to speak
on behalf of those, near and far,
who are silenced by tyranny, violence, or destitution.
We pray to expand our gratefulness
for all your creation, all of our family. Gather us in a circle of care
as we seek your grace in these stretching times.

Sister Aileen Donovan, OP

Prayer When I’m Facing The Unknown

Every day we’re surrounded by challenges, Lord.
Some are easy to work through offering us opportunities to grow,
while others often seem beyond our limits.
Faced with a situation that could have a life-changing outcome,
we sometimes find ourselves feeling lost and alone.
Our minds are filled with “What Ifs” —
and we strain to see around the curve in the road in facing the UNKNOWN.

Help us to slow down, Lord, and live in the moment,
drawing on Your grace and the support of those around us.
Help us to realize that You are our greatest strength.
Let our prayer reflect our faith and trust in You.
Help us pray with open hands,
offering You our doubts and fears of what is unknown.
Bless us with the gift of resilience, believing we are never without hope.
Lord, you will forever be our guiding light. Amen.

– Sister Elizabeth Ehlers, OP

If we wish to follow Christ closely,
we cannot expect an easy life.
It will be demanding but full of joy.
– Pope Francis

Prayer to Know God’s Will

Loving God,
I know that you have a plan for me,
a plan that will fill my life with joy.
You’ve blessed me with gifts and talents
that I want to use to serve you
and to build up your Church.
Show me the way to find the path
that you have prepared just for me,

Give me eyes to see myself as you see me,
ears to hear the voice of Jesus
in the circumstances of my life,
and a generous heart to say “Yes”
to wherever he calls me to follow him.

Lead me, guide me, strengthen me.
Give me the freedom of your Holy Spirit
so that I may seek you with all my heart,
follow joyfully where you lead me,
and choose the path of life
that you have planned for me
from all eternity. Amen.
– Sister Margaret Palliser, OP

Prayer for Peace

Good and gracious God,
May we hear and believe in Jesus’ words,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”

May this promise of peace find a home in our hearts
and in the hearts of our sisters and brothers.
May this promise of peace be heard
by those who are poor, troubled, and anxious.
May it be heard by Earth herself.
May we treasure, embrace, and generously share
this gift of peace all the days of our lives.

– Sister Eileen Gannon, OP

Prayer to the God of Gentleness

Divine Gentleness
   Descend upon us
That we may
   Forgive, and
   Console one another
All the days of our lives.
– Sister Mary Murray, OP

Prayer before Surgery

Loving God, I entrust myself to your care today.

Grant that I may be restored to Health as I may continue to have
Faith and trust in You, Alone.

Guide the medical team with wisdom and compassion and bless their hands
To be instruments of your healing.

Your compassion and unconditionally love have brought be this far,
I ask you, Lord, “to hold me in the palm of your hands;”and be renewed health. Amen

– Sister Margaret Theresa Oettinger, OP

Prayer of a Broken Heart

Where are you, God, when I need you most?
No one understands my daily tears
or knows of the guilt, anger, and rage bottled-up inside of me.
My loss is devastating.
Where can I turn to find the road out of this avalanche of sorrow?

O Holy One, you know my broken heart. You created me.
Shine your comforting light into my darkness.
Bless me with strength and courage to face a new day.
Help me to remember, cherish, and share
the precious gift of memories of my loved one.
Come, O God, and listen to my prayer.
– Sister Claire MacDonald, OP

Prayer for New Parents

We praise and thank you Lord for all of your gifts,
but most especially for the gift of new life given to this loving couple.
You have entrusted this child to their care.
Let their love for each other
be an example of your love for all you have created.
Give them wisdom to teach her (him) to care for others,
to respect the earth, and cherish your love for her (him).
Guide them when they face hardships,
assure them that you are with them through any difficulty.
Give them faith so they know you are present in their lives,
always guiding them to follow your will.
Thank you, God, for trusting them with this gift of new life.

– Sister Sheila Brennan, OP

Prayer for Children

One of my favorite pictures is that of a Native American Grandmother holding a small child tenderly in her lap. Her strong arms are around the child. Grandmother is a comforting presence; the child looks very content and secure.

Take a moment to recall the Jesus’ own words: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them!” [Mark 10: 14]

Jesus, as the mothers brought the children to you,
teach us how to lead the children to your lap.
Hold them tenderly.
Let them pour out their hearts and souls to you.
Bring them love, joy, laughter.
Free them from any kind of hurts.
Embrace them warmly.
Let them be in a holy communion with you.

– Sister Dolores Shortal, OP

My Prayer to Know When to Speak—and When Not to Speak

Today, my God, I come to you seeking wisdom.
I believe your Spirit of Wisdom is within me,
but the sound of my own voice blocks my hearing.

Words come easily to me,
so easy that often they are spoken without thinking about
the power they have to build up or to tear down.
I know I have hurt others;
I may not have intended to tear down,
but I am responsible for the hurt I cause to another by thoughtless words.
It is with recognition and acceptance of my having hurt others that I come to You.

The ability to speak is itself a gift;
the wise among us are not always silent—but they know when to be.
How did they get to be so wise?
The answer is not hidden from me!
I need only go to the Scriptures—the directives are all there:
“Where words are many, sin is not wanting;
but those who restrain their lips do well.” [Proverbs 10:19]
“The wise of heart is esteemed for discernment,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. [Proverbs 16:21]

I pray, O God, that I might come and stay with you in holy silence,
that I might hear your word
and follow You.

– Sister Bridget Kiniry, OP

Prayer before a Road Trip

God of wonder and delight,
I am about to go on a road trip,
and I've come today to ask for your blessing.

Bless those who are sharing this drive with me—
help us to drive with care for each other
and with care for all those sharing the roads with us.
We are so interconnected.

Assist all those on the roadside
needing help with car repairs or medical emergencies.
Let them know they are not alone.

Forgive all those drivers who think they own the road.
Keep me from judging them;
help me understand that selfishness does not bring joy.

Fill me with trust as I follow my maps and GPS.
May I choose to trust even when I don't completely understand
why I am directed towards a new route
and the way is not clear.

Open my eyes to your hidden beauty in
all the hills, trees, flowers, water systems, and monotonous flat lands
that call me to your revelation in diversity.

I begin this trip believing that you will drive along with me.
Help me to travel with no added baggage
and bring me to a good destination.
Thank you for taking me from what is known and assumed
to a new place of growth and mystery. Amen.

– Sister Jeannine DeClue, OP

Prayer for Navigating Uncharted Waters

Lord, your light is the light we need
as we travel through life’s mystery and challenges.
Yours is that still small voice that leads us
to the place where we need to go.
Your presence is the company we need
as we navigate the path before us.
May your love be our North Star, guiding us
when we have no map to follow.
We place our trust in you, O Lord,
and we place our trust in one another
as together we seek to go
where you want us to be.
– Sister Margaret Palliser, OP

St. Augustine prayer
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