WEEK OF PRAYER FOR THE RENEWAL OF THE CHURCH
To be prayed in a variety of ways:
1. Starting on January 1st, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
2. Starting on the first day of each month.
3. Prayed on a daily basis, repeating the prayers every week.
Day 1 - For the renewal of Bishops
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of Bishops in the universal church. We pray for each one of them, that they may be holy, wise and zealous for the glory of Your name and the salvation of souls. May they preserve order, unity and charity in the particular churches entrusted to them. Free them from all pride, legalism and worldliness in their life and ministry. May they love the truth and always proclaim it, especially when it comes at a personal cost to their popularity or reputation.
May Jesus, the Bishop of our souls, always be in their hearts, on their lips and in their minds, so that they may spread His sweet fragrance wherever they go. May they be bold in tearing down the strongholds that satan has erected in the world and in the church. With your grace, may they witness the smoke of satan being blown out of the church.
When they are afraid, give them courage from the Passion of Your Son. When they have sinned, lead them to the fount of mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When they are persecuted unjustly, help them to carry their cross with patience, kindness and humility.
Finally, fill them completely with the love of Your Holy Spirit and may this same Spirit guide them at every moment, so that their decisions may not be based on worldly wisdom, ecclesiatical politics or public opinion, but on your revealed word and the living Tradition of our faith and the true teaching of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. May Mary, Queen of Bishops, be always beside them to comfort them and assist them to hear the voice of Jesus, her beloved Son, and do whatever He tells them to do. In Jesus name, Amen.
Day 2 - For the Renewal of Priests
Lord Jesus, our High Priest, thank you for the great gift of the priesthood to your Church. Bless all priests with deep faith, hope and love. May they burn for the salvation of souls and carry the cross entrusted to them. May they live on the cross and experience the power of Your resurrection each day as well.
Preserve their hearts from all evil and corruption from the world, the flesh and the devil. May they be steadfast in avoiding occasions of sin and always preach by example and word everywhere they go. May their lives be a living gospel for all to see and learn from. May You shine through their words and actions.
Help them to forgive those have hurt them in any way and to live in true brotherhood with all other priests. May they be kind, gentle and sensitive to the needs of the faithful entrusted to their pastoral care. May they have a great trust in You and the power of Your Divine Mercy flowing to them and through them. May they proclaim with great zeal the merciful love of God to all the world and lead sinners to faith and repentance and the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist.
Keep them faithful in prayer and study of your Word and sharing the message of the gospel, especially during Sunday masses. May they radiate joy, happiness and genuine care in all their activities, great or small. Help them to let go of all anxiety, worry and disappointments in their lives and instead, walk with You one day at a time in loving service to all. May Mary, Queen and Mother of priests, always lead them to hear Your voice and do everything you invite them to do. Amen.
Day 3 - For the Renewal of Deacons
Lord Jesus, you became a Servant of all to teach us to serve one another in Your name. We ask you to bless all deacons throughout the world with a deep spirit of service to the People of God. May they assist all the priests that they minister with and exercise a fruitful ministry of preaching the word of God at all liturgical celebrations.
Preserve them from stress and over-extending themselves. Help them to love their wives and familes and lay down their lives in loving service to them as well. May they always have their priorities in order and be living examples of Christian ministry. Bless, too, all transitional deacons as they prepare for priestly ordination. May their time as deacons be a blessing for them and all they serve. Amen.
Day 4 - For the Renewal of Religious
Precious Blood of Jesus, wash over and refresh the precious religious sisters and brothers who have left all for the sake of following you and the promise of eternal life. May their life of radical witness be a leaven of powerful transformation in the church and in the world. Preserve them from all that would, in any way, taint the life of holiness they have been called to.
Help them to love one another with Your own way of loving. May they be channels of peace, forgiveness and mercy, especially the poor, the sick, the suffering, the abused, the homeless, the hungry, the lonely, the rejected, the persecuted, the despairing, the prisoners, those caught up in sin.
May they embrace gospel simplicity, purity of heart, mind and soul, and genuine obedience to Your will as it is expressed through superiors, Scripture and the Church. May they sit at Your feet daily, to hear your voice and allow themselves to be completely guided by Your Holy Spirit everywhere. May Mary, Queen of Peace, always be at their side, guiding them. Amen.
Day 5 - For the Renewal of Lay Faithful
Heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for all the lay faithful in Your Church, young and old, married or single. Help them to be a leaven of goodness, truth and mercy in the world, at work, school, government and everywhere they live and have contact with other people. May they be filled with courage to evangelize, to bring the good news of Your love through Your Son Jesus to the world.
Help them to develop a deep prayer life and to discern their unique gifts and charisms. May they put aside all division, jealousy and rivalry and, instead, build up one another in faith, hope and love.
May they truly be "the light of the world," and may the light of Christ always burn brightly in their hearts, their homes, their marriages, their children, their grandchildren and all Christians in every different communion. May all Christians in the world truly "be one," as You, Holy Father, and Your Beloved Son and Life-giving Spirit are one. May they reject Satan and renounce all his lies and empty promises and, through prayer, fasting and Your holy Word and the Blood of the Lamb, experience daily victory over all the forces of evil. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Day 6 - For the Renewal of Parents
Lord God, You are our Father. Bless all fathers with love, wisdom and tolerance. Thank you for the gift of Mary, our spiritual mother. May she be a model for all mothers of trust in You and Your providence, guidance and protection from all harm.
May all parents be truly one in heart, mind and spirit and together teach their children to know, love and serve you and discover their unique vocations in life. May they have a good sense of humour, patience and forgiveness of one another and their children. May their children always know they are loved, accepted and welcome. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Day 7 - For the Renewal of Teachers and Catechists
Jesus, You are our Teacher. Bless and guide all teachers of the faith in schools, churches and everywhere that both young and old can learn the saving message of the gospel, the good news, that You came to announce. "For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, so that those who believe in Him might not perish but have eternal life. We love you Jesus! We praise you! We thank you! Amen.
"It is finished."
- by Pete Mason mml