Catholic Prayers for All Needs and Special Intentions

Pope Benedict XVI prays at Assisi on June 17, 2007. (Photo by Maurizio Brambatti-Pool/Getty Images)
Maurizio Brambatti-Pool/Getty Images

Along with the sacraments, prayer is at the heart of our life as Catholics. Saint Paul tells us that we should "pray without ceasing," yet in the modern world, it sometimes seems that prayer takes a back seat not only to our work but to entertainment. As a result, many of us have fallen out of the habit of daily prayer that characterized the lives of Christians in centuries past. Yet an active prayer life is essential to our growth in grace. Learn more about prayer and about how to integrate prayer into every aspect of your daily life with the resources below.

Essential Catholic Prayers

The Sign of the Cross
A postcard of a mother teaching her child to make the Sign of the Cross. Apic/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Every Catholic should know certain prayers by heart.  Memorizing these prayers means that you will always have them close to hand, to recite as morning and evening prayer, and at appropriate times throughout the day. The following prayers form a sort of Catholic "utility belt," covering all of your basic needs.

Virgin Mary

Detail of Virgin Mary Statue. Paris.
Detail of Virgin Mary statue, Paris, Ile de France, France. Godong/Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images

Through the selfless "yes" of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, our Savior, was brought into the world. It is appropriate, therefore, that we offer prayers of petition and praise to the Mother of God. The following is a brief selection from the thousands of prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Blessed Sacrament

Pope Benedict XVI offers benediction, October 15, 2005. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI blesses the crowd with the Eucharist during a meeting and prayer with children who made their First Communion during 2005 in St. Peter's Square, October 15, 2005. About 100,000 children and parents attended the event. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Eucharistic adoration is central to Catholic spirituality. These prayers to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament are appropriate as post-Communion prayers and for visits to the Blessed Sacrament.

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart Statue, Saint-Sulpice, Paris
Sacred Heart Statue, Saint-Sulpice, Paris. Philippe Lissac/Photononstop/Getty Images

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which represents Christ's love for mankind, is widespread in the Roman Catholic Church. These prayers are especially appropriate for the Feast of the Sacred Heart and for the month of June, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit Stained Glass Window
A stained-glass window of the Holy Spirit overlooking the high altar of Saint Peter's Basilica. Franco Origlia/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Prayer to the Holy Spirit is less common for many Catholics than prayer to God the Father and to Jesus Christ. These prayers to the Holy Spirit are appropriate for both daily use and for special intentions.

Prayers for the Dead

Priest and Family at Father's Grave
Ken Chernus/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Prayer for the dead is one of the greatest acts of charity we can perform. Our prayers help them during their time in Purgatory, so that they can enter more quickly into the fullness of heaven. These prayers are especially suited for offering a novena on behalf of the dead, or for praying during those seasons of the year (November, in the Western Church; Lent, in the Eastern Church) designated by the Church as times of fervent prayer for the faithful departed.


Jesuit Flute, Music Scores amd Litany
Bojan Brecelj / Getty Images

A litany is a special prayer, usually intended to be recited communally, with a priest or other leader reciting the verses, while the faithful respond. Many litanies, however, can be recited privately as well, including these popular litanies.

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ThoughtCo. "Catholic Prayers for All Needs and Special Intentions." Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, ThoughtCo. (2021, February 8). Catholic Prayers for All Needs and Special Intentions. Retrieved from ThoughtCo. "Catholic Prayers for All Needs and Special Intentions." Learn Religions. (accessed March 28, 2023).