Have you ever wondered what God’s plan for your life is? Do you feel called to a specific vocation, such as priesthood, religious life, marriage, or single life? Or are you still unsure about your vocation and need some guidance from God?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this blog post is for you. In this post, we will share with you 15 Catholic prayers for vocations that can help you to discern God’s call for your life and to live out your vocation to the fullest. We will also provide some tips on how to pray for vocations and some benefits of praying for vocations.
What are vocations and why are they important?
A vocation is a calling from God to a specific way of life that leads us to holiness and happiness. God has created each of us with a unique purpose and mission in this world, and He invites us to discover and embrace our vocation through prayer, discernment, and action.
Vocations are important because they are the means by which we fulfill God’s will for our lives and contribute to His kingdom. By living out our vocation faithfully, we can grow in love of God and neighbor, serve the Church and society, and glorify God with our talents and gifts.
15 Catholic prayers for vocations
Here are 15 Catholic prayers for vocations that you can use in your daily prayer life. These prayers cover different aspects of vocations, such as specific vocations, general discernment, and overcoming challenges.
Prayers for Personal Discernment
These prayers are meant to help you in your own process of discernment. They can help you to open your heart to God’s call, to ask for His grace and guidance, and to trust in His providence.
1. Prayer of Abandonment by Blessed Charles de Foucauld
Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures – I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul: I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father. Amen.
This prayer expresses a total surrender to God’s will, trusting that He knows what is best for us and that He will lead us to our true happiness. It is a prayer of detachment from our own plans and preferences, and of attachment to God’s love and providence.
2. Prayer for Discernment by St. Ignatius of Loyola
Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.
This prayer summarizes the spirit of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, a method of discernment that helps us to recognize God’s movements in our hearts and minds. It is a prayer of generosity, service, courage, perseverance, and indifference to worldly rewards. It is a prayer that asks God to help us do His will, whatever it may be.
3. Prayer for Guidance by Thomas Merton
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.
This prayer expresses a humble and honest admission of our limitations and uncertainties in discerning God’s will. It also expresses a confident and hopeful trust in God’s presence and guidance. It is a prayer that acknowledges that our desire to please God is already a sign of His grace at work in us.
4. Prayer for Vocation by Pope Benedict XVI
Lord Jesus, as You once called the first disciples to make them fishers of men, let your sweet invitation continue to resound: Come follow Me! Give young men and women the grace of responding quickly to your voice. Support our bishops, priests and consecrated people in their apostolic labor. Grant perseverance to our seminarians and to all those who are carrying out the ideal of a life totally consecrated to your service. Awaken in our community a missionary eagerness. Lord, send workers to your harvest and do not allow humanity to be lost for the lack of pastors, missionaries and people dedicated to the cause of the Gospel. Mary, Mother of the Church, the model of every vocation, help us to say “Yes” to the Lord who calls us to cooperate in the divine plan of salvation. Amen.
This prayer was composed by Pope Benedict XVI for the 43rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations in 2006. It is a prayer that asks Jesus to continue to call young men and women to follow Him in the priesthood or religious life. It is also a prayer that supports and encourages those who are already responding to God’s call. It is a prayer that invokes Mary’s intercession and example as the Mother of the Church and the model of every vocation.
5. Prayer for Trust by St. Teresa of Avila
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices. Amen.
This prayer is attributed to St. Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church and a great mystic and reformer of the Carmelite Order. It is a prayer that helps us to overcome fear, anxiety, and discouragement in our discernment. It is a prayer that reminds us that God is our ultimate goal and our only source of peace and joy.
Prayers for Those Who Are Discerning
These prayers are meant to help you pray for others who are discerning their vocation. They can help you to intercede for them, to support them, and to bless them.
6. Prayer for Seminarians by St. John Paul II
O Lord Jesus Christ, great High Priest, I pray that You call many worthy souls to Your holy priesthood. Enlighten our Bishop in the choice of candidates, the Spiritual Director in molding them, and the professors in instructing them. Lead the seminarians daily in Your unerring footsteps; so that they may become priests who are models of purity, possessors of wisdom and heroes of sacrifice; steeped in humility and aflame with love for God and man; apostles of Your glory and sanctifiers of souls. Amen.
This prayer was composed by St. John Paul II when he was a seminarian himself. It is a prayer that asks Jesus, the great High Priest, to call many worthy souls to His holy priesthood. It is also a prayer that prays for all those who are involved in the formation of seminarians, such as the bishop, the spiritual director, and the professors. It is a prayer that expresses the ideal qualities of a priest, such as purity, wisdom, sacrifice, humility, love, apostleship, and sanctity.
7. Prayer for Religious Sisters by St. Therese of Lisieux
I pray for your faithful and fervent sisters;
I pray for your unfaithful and tepid sisters;
I pray for your sisters who are laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields.
I pray for your tempted sisters;
I pray for your lonely sisters;
I pray for your young sisters;
I pray for your dying sisters;
I pray for you in all things,
my beloved sisters.
This prayer was composed by St. Therese of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church and a Carmelite nun who had a great love for her religious sisters. It is a prayer that covers all kinds of religious sisters, from the faithful and fervent to the unfaithful and tepid, from the laboring and missionary to the tempted and lonely, from the young and dying to the beloved ones. It is a prayer that shows solidarity, compassion, and affection for all those who have consecrated their lives to Jesus.
8. Prayer for Religious Brothers by St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
This prayer is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order and a lover of nature and animals. It is a prayer that reflects his spirit of peace, joy, and simplicity. It is a prayer that asks God to make us instruments of His peace in a world full of conflict and suffering. It is a prayer that teaches us to seek not our own comfort, but the good of others.
9. Prayer for Deacons by St. Ephrem the Syrian
O Lord, who have given us the grace to offer these common prayers for those who have been made stewards of your mysteries for the clergy and laity; for their weakness heal them, and for their glory keep them unharmed; and grant them a blameless ministry. Amen.
This prayer was composed by St. Ephrem the Syrian, a Doctor of the Church and a deacon who was renowned for his poetry and hymns. It is a prayer that asks God to bless those who have been ordained as deacons, who are called to serve the Church in the ministry of word, sacrament, and charity. It is a prayer that asks God to heal their weaknesses, protect their glory, and grant them a blameless ministry.
10. Prayer for Married Couples by St. Louis and St. Zelie Martin
Lord, we thank you for having brought us together and for having called us to share our life in the sacrament of marriage. We ask you to bless our love and to make it always faithful, fruitful, and generous. Help us to grow in mutual understanding, respect, and support. Help us to face together the joys and sorrows of life. Help us to serve you and your Church through our family and our work. Help us to be witnesses of your love to our children and to the world. Amen.
This prayer was composed by St. Louis and St. Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux and the first married couple to be canonized together. It is a prayer that expresses their gratitude for God’s gift of marriage and their petition for His blessing on their love and their family. It is a prayer that asks God to help them grow in virtue, in service, and in witness.
Prayers for Vocations in General
These prayers are meant to help you pray for vocations in general, that is, for all those who are called by God to a specific state of life or mission in the Church. They can help you to praise God for His goodness, to ask for His grace, and to foster a culture of vocations.
11. Prayer for Vocations by Pope Paul VI
O Lord Jesus Christ, who before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.
This prayer was composed by Pope Paul VI for the Year of Faith in 1967. It is a prayer that asks Jesus to send us His Holy Spirit, who is the source of all vocations. It is also a prayer that asks for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These gifts help us to discern and follow God’s will in our lives.
12. Prayer for Vocations by Pope John Paul II
Lord Jesus, as You once called the first disciples to make them fishers of men, let your sweet invitation continue to resound: Come follow Me! Give young men and women the grace of responding quickly to your voice. Support our bishops, priests and consecrated people in their apostolic labor.
Grant perseverance to our seminarians and to all those who are carrying out the ideal of a life totally consecrated to your service. Awaken in our community a missionary eagerness. Lord, send workers to your harvest and do not allow humanity to be lost for the lack of pastors, missionaries and people dedicated to the cause of the Gospel. Mary, Mother of the Church, the model of every vocation, help us to say “Yes” to the Lord who calls us to cooperate in the divine plan of salvation. Amen.
This prayer was composed by Pope John Paul II for the 43rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations in 2006. It is a prayer that asks Jesus to continue to call young men and women to follow Him in the priesthood or religious life. It is also a prayer that supports and encourages those who are already responding to God’s call. It is a prayer that invokes Mary’s intercession and example as the Mother of the Church and the model of every vocation.
13. Prayer for Vocations by Pope Francis
LORD of the Harvest,
BLESS young people with the gift of courage to respond to your call.
Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things.
INSPIRE all of your disciples to mutual love and giving – for vocations blossom in the good soil of faithful people.
INSTILL those in religious life, parish ministries, and families with the confidence and grace to invite others to embrace the bold and noble path of a life consecrated to you.
UNITE us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament,
so that we may cooperate with you in building your reign of mercy and truth,
of justice and peace. Amen.
This prayer was composed by Pope Francis for the 51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations in 2014. It is a prayer that asks God to bless young people with the gift of courage to respond to His call. It is also a prayer that inspires all of His disciples to love and serve one another, creating a fertile ground for vocations. It is a prayer that unites us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament, so that we may cooperate with Him in building His kingdom.
14. Prayer for Vocations by St. Alphonsus Liguori
O God, who wills not the death of a sinner, but rather that he be converted and live, grant we beseech you, through the intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, Saint Joseph, her spouse, Saint Junipero Serra, and all the saints, an increase of laborers for your Church, fellow laborers with Christ to spend and consume themselves for souls, through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.
This prayer was composed by St. Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church and a founder of the Redemptorist Order. It is a prayer that asks God, who desires the salvation of all people, to grant an increase of laborers for His Church, who are willing to spend and consume themselves for souls. It is also a prayer that invokes the intercession of Mary, Joseph, St. Junipero Serra, and all the saints.
15. Prayer for Vocations by St. John Vianney
O God, you have chosen the apostles to make disciples of all nations and by baptism and confirmation have called all of us to build up your holy Church. We earnestly implore you to choose from among us, your children, many priests, deacons, brothers and sisters who will love you with their whole heart and will gladly spend their entire lives to make you known and loved by all. Amen.
This prayer was composed by St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests and a model of holiness and zeal. It is a prayer that asks God to choose from among us many vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life, who will love Him with their whole heart and will gladly spend their entire lives to make Him known and loved by all.