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Prayers of the Faithful


What are "Prayers of the Faithful"?
"Prayers of the faithful" are intercessory prayers said in church services and as part of the mass. They are led by a priest (or minster) or by a lay member of the congregation. These prayers are requests to God for the church, for those in positions of authority and the salvation of the world, for those in need in the community, and for the local needs of the parish. They usually take the form of a series of short prayers (two or three succinct sentences) which close with members of the congregation saying a short affirming phrase such as  "Lord hear our prayer" or "Lord hear us" after each request. They are prefaced with an invitation to pray by the priest or leader and are concluded with a short prayer (usually in the form of a collect.)



Prayer for Protection

Watch a creative way of praying for others with this blessing of God's protection for the believer:-


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I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.

Martin Luther



Prayers of the Faithful Examples


(Priest or leader)
With all our heart and mind let us pray to the Lord. Let us lay our requests before Him, saying "Hear our prayer".

(For the needs of the Church)
Inspire all those who lead and serve in this church. May they know your guidance and direction.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Help us to be understanding and forgiving of all those we encounter.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Show us how to serve one another, to offer love, care and support.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

(For the world)
Guide all those who are called to lead and advocate in the world, may they carry love with them always.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Inspire our leaders, teachers, doctors, social workers and counsellors to be bringers of hope in all situations.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Protect all those who carry peace to other nations. Bless the food, care and shelter they provide.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

(For those in need)
Comfort those who live with grief. Help them see the light of heaven.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Come embrace those in pain and physical suffering. May they feel you close to them.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Watch over all those who feel isolated and alone. Calm their fears and lead them into peace and freedom.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

(For the local community)
Strengthen and encourage all those who seek to serve and protect the vulnerable.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Lead us to be generous with our time, possessions and money.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

For those who have lost loved ones recently, comfort them in their grief and heal the broken-hearted.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Finally, we bring to mind any in our community that we know to be need. (pause for a few seconds) May love and goodness fill their lives.
Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.


The Priest or leader concludes with a suitable collect

(Example prayers of the faithful from www.lords-prayer-words.com)


Sample Prayers of the Faithful (Printable pdf)

a free pdf sample of the above prayers:-
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Good Online Resources:-

Catholic Liturgy Office Guide - a pdf guide for writing prayers of the faithful in Catholic masses, published by the Catholic Liturgy Office of England and Wales.

Writing prayers of the faithful - a good contemporary guide on how to write prayers of the faithful from St Joseph's Catholic Church in South Bend, Indiana, which remind us that well written prayers will be "reverent, relevant, and readable".

Prayers of the people - samples of intercessory prayers from the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA).

Bidding prayer examples - topical bidding prayers from Redemptorist Publications, available as a pdf download.


click here for examples of prayers of intercession, including prayers for justice, healing and peace.


Some tips on writing good "Prayers of the Faithful"
Some tips on writing good prayers of the faithful

These types of intercession will be sensitive to the type of church service being undertaken (e.g. wedding, baptism etc.) They will also want to be sensitive to the church season (e.g. Advent, Lent, Christmas etc.) and reflect current world events.

For example, in a wedding ceremony bidding prayers may mention the couple by name, in a funeral service the prayers will pray for those recently bereaved.  

Good "Prayers of the Faithful" will reflect the church year. For instance, on Easter Sunday the opening call to prayer by the priest will allude to the resurrection and the congregation's response could be "Risen Lord, hear our prayer".

These prayers of intercession will also want to reflect world events and be topical in nature. For example "We especially pray for those recently without shelter or clean drinking water in Somalia. May rescue workers quickly come to their aid."


Example responses

There is no one "correct" way for a congregation to respond in the bidding prayers. Here are a few popular examples:-

Lord in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

Let us pray to the Lord
Lord, have mercy.

We pray to the Lord:
Lord hear our prayer.


Other names for "Prayers of the Faithful"
"Prayers of the Faithful" are also known as "Bidding Prayers", "general intercessions" or "universal prayers" and are common in most liturgical Christian churches such as Catholic, Anglican and Methodist traditions. (A similar practice occurs in the Episcopal church. Here they are known as the "Prayers of the People").

A biblical mandate for these types of intercessory prayers can be found in the Apostle Paul's instructions to Timothy. Here, Paul urges that prayers should be spoken for all those in authority, and for all people, so that all may come to a saving knowledge of Christ. (1 Timothy 2:1-6, NIV)




Take a moment to hear from God...

here are links to some beautiful and inspiring prayers.