Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Friday, February 3, 2017

First Friday ~ An Hour Before the Sacrament





Some Catholics keep the devout practice of Eucharistic Adoration the First Friday of each month. Today is First Friday, and I'd like to offer the following as a prayer for your Holy Hour. 

But maybe you can't get to a church today where the Sacrament is placed openly on the altar, in which case the photo here and the prayer below might help us to pray anywhere: at home, on the train, during a lunch break, in a waiting room... 

There are fifteen intercessions here. If we spent 4 minutes with each: 4 X 15 = 60 - sixty minutes to an hour. Or maybe you need to break the prayer up into ten minutes segments throughout a busy day, or quarter hour segments. If the prayer lasts an hour or not, that's not what matters - heaven is glad for our prayer wherever we offer it, and however long. What's essential to good prayer is that it spring from a felt place.

I might begin the prayer by imagining I am with Jesus in a kind of intimate silence. Perhaps I am with him in the cave at Bethlehem, or along with his family on the journey to Egypt. Perhaps I see myself with him in the desert-fast of forty days or sitting next to him as he delivers the Sermon on the Mount. I could place myself up front and in the crowd that was fed with the little bread and fish, or in the darkness of the Gethsemane Garden. Maybe I sit with him on the Easter Sunday beach as he offers the apostles breakfast. Give the imagining (meditation) a little time.

Then this prayer in 4 minute increments (if possible).

Jesus, I pray for the people who are peacemakers around the world. I pray for those who lead nations to prioritize the making of peace by creating justice. Bless those who promote non-violent solutions to human problems. Fill hearts with the desire to end violence and wars on our planet.

Jesus of gentleness and friendship, 
hear my prayer.

Jesus, I've got Pope Francis with me in this prayer-time. He needs strength, endurance and the blessings of good health. Oh, that his conscience-streaming words would revitalize the Church, weary and fragmented.

Jesus, who said, "Where two or three are gathered..."
hear my prayer.

Jesus, I ask that we would have strength of heart and mind to look beyond ourselves to awareness of the struggles and needs of persons everywhere. I pray for the poor who live without friendship or support. I pray for the rebuilding of communities where there is destruction and decay. Bless those who work to break the future-destroying cycles of violence.

Jesus, lover of humankind,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, I pray for every country on earth: the largest and most populated; even the smallest I have never heard of. Oh that we would live in peace and a felt unity. That we would learn  justice and the kind of freedom you envision for us, your much-loved creation.

Jesus of peace and compassion,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, send the Holy Spirit of God's embrace to the ones who are of no consequence, weak and ignored. Make us so much more brave than we are, to end the terrible and wide divisions of richest and poorest. We need help from heaven to envision and create this kind of fairness.

Jesus, creative and empowering,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, I pray for this country and all the world where the cold winds of prejudice and racism endure and every kind of divisive and hateful discrimination. Dispel our willful blindness; give us new hearts. Forgive the bitter judgements that make us ugly.

Jesus who knows my inner-most being,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, who spoke of animals and plants, the water and the seeds, give us a new reverence for the paradise-world God has given us. That we would use the earth's resources so carefully, without greed, violence or disregard and in the service of others. Make us the caretakers God hoped for when we were placed  in Eden.

Jesus, who lived here with us - cosmic Jesus,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, our world is convulsing with immigrants, refugees and pilgrims, fleeing wars and persecution. So many of them are children. Please, that we would treat them hospitably, with great courtesy, so aware of the dignity each human person possesses as God's child.

Jesus, who was welcomed into Egypt, fleeing Herod's menace,

hear my prayer.

Jesus, I pray for the sick, the elderly, the dying and all who bear injuries and disabilities. Wake us up to the basic human right to health care. Grant that in following and loving you, we would be the ones recognized everywhere as the religion that alleviates suffering. 

Jesus, who touched and lifted up the sick,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, I intercede for prisoners and those enslaved and trafficked. Bless anyone who looks to rehabilitate and rescue. Bless the world with people whose heart-specialty is the restoration of those who are destitute, lonely and abused.

Jesus of comfort and healing,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, I pray for all the world's children and for families. I hold in my heart the child waiting to be born, the orphaned, the neglected, the terrified, and the ones suffering violent homes, starvation, thirst and untreated disease.

Jesus, who welcomed every child,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, I pray for my country and this world so sorely divided. Defuse the arsenal of bombs stored up in human hearts. Empower the Church to be an effective movement of reconciliation and healing love.

Jesus, who heals and restores,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, I entrust the world to your demon-exorcising care: the demons of drug mania, power craving, gun fetish, military infatuation and the money quest.

Jesus, darkness-conqueror,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, the Truth, I pray for my country and the world where chaos is created by people-harming lies: corporate lies, politician lies, Church lies, media lies, parent-child lies.

Jesus, Who speaks the Divine Word,
hear my prayer.

Jesus, who forgets no one; loses no one, I pray for those who have died by wars and violence, diseases and addictions. How aware I am of the deaths caused by human blindness and the neglect of hardened hearts. And that among the dead are so many children, forgive us.

Jesus of the empty tomb,
hear my prayer.

Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy and Immortal One, 
Have mercy on us. (3X)


A little postscript: Sometimes I'm asked if I believe this kind of intercessory prayer "works", does it make anything happen? I trust it does, but that's not what matters. All that matters is the stretching of my heart - that like the ever expanding universe itself, of which I am a part, my heart continues to grow and expand. Like Christ's heart. 







11 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful prayer offering. I will be printing it out to use it for a focused prayer time. I don't know if there is an Adoration near me, but I can sit in Church regardless.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am grateful for my faith. Which brings me to The Eucharist. The most intimate union with God, where I trust, He will give me the graces I need, when I need it most and "He does". "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord". Thanks for the suggestions of prayer for First Friday and thanks for reminding me, "its First Friday"!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I went to publish the third comment and somehow it got lost. There is a new bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. We pray for him as he begins his ministry there to more than a million and a half Catholics. For renewal and growth in Christ. We pray....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I also thank you for the reminder that First Friday might mean something to us. And also for these prayers. You are always able to put many thoughts into your prayers, yet keeping them concise and cohesive. I find them to be very helpful. Jesus gave us the Eucharist and we should show our gratefulness for this gift.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rule for Prayer: SHORT, heartfelt, frequent. Sermons should be short too. Heartfelt would help as well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Every moment we spend in front of the Blessed Sacrament is a chance to grow in faith. Sitting there with Jesus allows me to feel His presence more fully. How can you not be touched by His unconditional love, grace and protection? I have not thought about Eucharistic Adoration in a long time, but I will make this prayer deeply heartfelt with your guidance.

    ReplyDelete
  7. And of course, this invitation is for any day, any time, any place - not just First Friday.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow haven't been on here in too long a time. Glad you are still here. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete