Please add one or more of these petitions to your intercessory prayers.
Gracious Father, through you all parenthood is blessed. You were pleased to incarnate your Son through the consent and the flesh of a woman, the Virgin Mary. You entrusted the care of the holy Child to his foster father, St. Joseph. Bless, protect, guide, and strengthen all parents – biological, adoptive, and foster. Especially when parenting is difficult, give them joy and satisfaction in their holy task. Grant them a double portion of your Spirit, so that their children may flourish in faith toward you, in honor toward their parents, and in love for all your children.
We pray for those who struggle to have children and cannot. We pray for those who have lost a child they deeply loved. We pray for those who struggle to love their children even when that is desperately difficult. We pray for those who do not want the child they have conceived or borne. Have mercy on them all. They face such terrible demons of grief, shame, regret, fear, and anger. Often, we can only stand and weep with them, and pray for them. Help us to do those things, and to walk with them through their dark valleys. Help us to share our confidence that you will lead them safely through.
Have mercy on women who seek, or who have endured, and abortion – and upon the father of their unborn child. As you visited Joseph in a dream, touch their spirits with your presence. Help them understand your love for them, and their unborn child. Where forgiveness is needed, grant it freely and lavishly. Help them to turn to you. Give them the strength to choose life, not death, if they are pregnant. Give them the grace to repent, to forgive themselves and each other, and to be healed in body and soul, if they have already had an abortion.
There are so many “disposable people,” dear Lord! They range from the unborn, to the handicapped, to the frail elderly, to people whose lives seem so “out of bounds” that we can’t really comprehend, much less respond to them helpfully or graciously. Loving, respecting, and caring for “disposable people” is so hard! We can feel overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, cheated, or hopeless. And we’re ashamed even to admit that sometimes even we wish they’d just go away. Forgive us, dear Lord. Give us grace to see them through Jesus’ eyes: as people he loves so much that he gave his life for them. Give us grace to see his presence in them. Give us grace to share even a cup of cold water with them, for Christ has claimed them as his sisters and brothers.
We pray for everyone who cares for the most vulnerable people in our midst. Their work is often hard and usually under-appreciated. Thank you for their goodness and dedication. Deepen their compassion, integrity, and wisdom. Protect and strengthen them when others want them to act against their faith, their principles, and their dedication to cherish life and promote genuine well-being.
Father, there are any who think that humanity is a matter of achievement. If someone isn’t smart enough, healthy enough, independent enough, or even wanted enough, they don’t “deserve” to be treated as fully human persons. Don’t let us fall into that horrible mindset. Give us the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and fear of the Lord, and joy in your presence – not just for our own good, but so that we are equipped to combat those sinful and death-filled notions. Help us to share, in word and by example, what you have always revealed: that we are persons because you have made us in your divine image. No matter how distorted or disabled or debased that image has become through accident, malice or the cussedness of the universe, help us all to see, acknowledge, and pray for that image to be perfectly restored in Christ Jesus our Savior.