Prayers for Those

in Despair

to Be Not Afraid

Almighty, ever-living God, You give strength to the weary and new courage to those who have lost heart. Hear the prayers of all who call on You in any trouble that they may have the joy of receiving Your help in their need. Amen.

Heavenly Father, I know I am close to despair. I feel so tempted to give up, to withdraw from life and religion and let the world simply carry me along.
Everything seems so meaningless and nothing appeals to my better instincts.
Help me to remember that Jesus gave meaning to everything in the world.
Let me bank on that fact and get over this time of despair,
to really believe in the depths of my being that there is a reason for living.
Show me the reason for my life and tell me what I must do.
Bring home to me that I am never alone, but that You are with me even in the depths of despair. Remind me that no matter what I may endure now,
an unending joy awaits me in the future if I but cling tightly to You
and your Son Jesus in the unity of the Spirit. Amen.

For Faith in Discouragement

Father in heaven, God of power and Lord of mercy, from Whose fullness we have received, direct our steps in our every day efforts. May the changing moods of the human heart and the limits which our failings impose on hope never blind us to You, source of every good. Faith gives us the promise of peace and makes known the demands of love. Remove the selfishness that blurs the vision of faith. Amen.

Prayer of Those in Distress

Like travellers lost in a hot and arid desert, we cry out to You, O Lord.
Like those shipwrecked on a barren coast, we cry out to You, O Lord.
Like a father robbed of a loaf of bread that he was bringing home
to his starving children, we cry out to You, O Lord.
Like a prisoner cast into a dank and dark dungeon by an unjust potentate,
we cry out to You, O Lord.
Like a slave lacerated by his master's lash, we cry out to You, O Lord.
Like an innocent person led to execution, we cry out to You, O Lord.
Like all the nations of the earth who do not yet see the dawn of deliverance,
we cry out to You, O Lord.
Like Christ on the cross when He said: "My God, my God, why have You
forsaken me?" we cry out to You, O Lord. Amen.

Prayer to Achieve Inner Peace

Slow me down, Lord. Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time. Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting hills. Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory. Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep. Teach me the art of taking minute vacations---of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a good book.

Remind me each day of the fable of the hare and the tortoise, that I may know that the race is not always to the swift---that there is more to life than increasing its speed. Let me look upward into the branches of the towering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well. Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny. Amen.

The Litany for Interior Peace

V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
R. Make my heart like unto Thine.

From the desire of being esteemed,Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire to be sought, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire to be mourned, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of praise, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of preference, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of influence, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of approval, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of authority, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of humiliations, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of repulse, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of calumny, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of oblivion, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of ridicule, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of injury, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suspicion, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than myself, Jesus, grant this desire.
That others may be more highly esteemed, Jesus, grant this desire.
That others may grow and increase in honor, and I decrease, Jesus, grant that I may desire it.

Jesus, mercy.
Our Lady, help us.

Let Us Pray:  Pour forth Thy grace into our hearts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we who refrain from sin by self-denial, may be afflicted in time rather than condemned to eternal punishment, through Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Novena To Our Lady of Hope
(to be prayed for 9 consecutive days)

I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.  In me is all grace of the way and of the truth; in me is all hope of life and of virtue.  Come to me all that desire me and be filled with my fruits.
     O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Grace, Hope of the world.
     Hear us, your children, who cry to you.

Let Us Pray: O God, who by the marvelous protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary has strengthened us firmly in hope, grant we beseech You, that by persevering in prayer at her admonition, we may obtain the favors we devoutly implore.  Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to Our Lady of Hope
O Mary, my Mother, I kneel before you with heavy heart. The burden of my sins oppresses me.  The knowledge of my weakness discourages me.  I am beset by fears and temptations of every sort.  Yet I am so attached to the things of this world that instead of longing for Heaven I am filled with dread at the thought of death.
O Mother of Mercy, have pity on me in my distress.  You are all-powerful with your Divine Son.  He can refuse no request of your Immaculate Heart.  Show yourself a true Mother to me by being my advocate before His throne.   O Refuge of Sinners and Hope of the Hopeless, to whom shall I turn if not you? Obtain for me, then, O Mother of Hope, the grace of true sorrow for my sins, the gift of perfect resignation to God's Holy Will, and the courage to take up my cross and follow Jesus.  Beg of His Sacred Heart the special favor that I ask in this novena.

(Make your request.)

But above all I pray, O dearest Mother, that through your most powerful intercession my heart may be filled with Holy Hope, so that in life's darkest hour I may never fail to trust in God my Savior, but by walking in the way of His commandments I may merit to be united with Him, and with you in the eternal joys of Heaven. Amen.
Mary, our Hope, have pity on us.
Hope of the Hopeless, pray for us.

Pray 3  Hail Marys

Develop the Right Attitude

Here are 10 suggestions to help you develop and maintain a healthy self-image.
Read them slowly. Meditate on them regularly.

1. Hate your sin, but never hate yourself.
2. Be quick to repent.
3. When God gives you light, walk in it.
4. Stop saying negative things about yourself. God loves you and it's wrong to hate what He loves. He has great plans for you, so you're in conflict with Him when you speak negatively concerning your future.
5. Never be afraid to admit that you've made a mistake and don't always assume that when things go wrong, or always say, "It must be my fault."
6. Don't meditate excessively on what you've done, right or wrong; both of these activities keep your mind on you! Center your thoughts on Christ.
7. Take good care of yourself physically. Make the best of what God gave you to work with, but don't be obsessed with your appearance.
8. Never stop learning, but don't allow your education to become a point of pride. God doesn't use you because of what's in your head: He uses you because of what's in your heart.
9. Realize that your talents are a gift, not something you have manufactured yourself; never look down on people who can't do what you do.
10. Don't despise your weaknesses; they keep you dependent on God.

~~ Author Unknown

In Time of Need

Heavenly Father, in my present need, help me to believe that you are aware of my anxiety and will do what is best for me. Give me the strength to trust You and put the present and future in Your Hands. Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

"Be at Peace," by Saint Francis de Sales

Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life; rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise, God, Whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His Arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same understanding Father Who cares for you today will take care of you then and every day.

He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

A Prayer When Feeling Low

Loving Lord Jesus, whose hands are underneath our lowest feelings to support us as we rest in you. Hold me in this dark place and sustain my life with your hope. Let the light of your love warm my heart, and your Holy Spirit, the comforter, be with me to lift me up. Amen.

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Recommended Reading

In Times of Illness Your Sorrow is My Sorrow Hidden Springs of Hope: Finding God in the Desert of Suffering Prayers of Hope: Words of Courage
Towards Evening: Reflections on Aging, Illness, and the Soul's Union With God To Find Hope: Simple Wisdom for Those Who Grieve When the Well Runs Dry Drinking From a Dry Well

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