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The Universal Prayer

Ideas for General Mass Intercessions in a School Setting
For the Church, that we may join together as a family to represent Christ to the world.

For Pope Francis, that the Holy Spirit may always guide him as he leads the Catholic Church.

For our bishop, that he may always follow the example of Christ the Good Shepherd.

For all those discerning a call to the religious life or priesthood, that they might find the will of God through the help of the Holy Spirit.

For our faith community, that as brothers and sisters in Christ, we may be united to one another in faith, hope, and love.

For all those suffering religious persecution in any way, that they might find the strength to endure their sufferings for love of Christ.

For all of our priests, that they may continue to be on fire for souls and serve Christ and His flock.

For all religious, that they might be renewed in their commitment to serve God through their ministry.

For youth leaders, that they might be inspired to lead the next generation to Christ.

For our catechists and religion teachers, that they might be led by the Holy Spirit as they pass on the Catholic faith to their students.

For those new to the Catholic Faith, may they be strengthened by God’s grace, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and encouraged by our examples as they join our faith community.

For those growing in their faith, may they be filled with the love of Christ and the Holy Spirit as they continue on their spiritual journey.

That we might be more open to receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation this year.

For those students who are preparing to receive their First Holy Communion this year.

For those students who are preparing to be confirmed this year.

That the Holy Spirit might stir us to become better examples of Christ to the world.

For missionaries as they strive to bring Christ to the world and be a “light to the nations.”

As we go out into the world marked with the sign of Christ, that our behavior will draw others to the Catholic Church.

That we may always be shining examples of Christ’s light to the world.

For all those struggling in their Faith, may we in this faith community assist them as members of the Body of Christ.

For all those who are preparing to be baptized, may we welcome them with joy as brothers and sisters in the family of Jesus Christ.

For those who have strayed from the Church, that they might remember that Christ always welcomes them back, no matter what.

For teenagers struggling with their Faith, may we be shining examples of Christ’s love and mercy to them.

That parents may always honor and respect their role as the first teachers of the Catholic Faith to their children.

For the poor and impoverished, that they might be blessed by kind and charitable individuals who are reaching out to the “least of these.”

For the unemployed, that they might discern that which God is calling them to do at this present stage in their lives.

For the ill, that they might either receive divine healing or the strength to carry on.

For the chronically ill, that they might receive heavenly blessings, strength, and graces from God in order to deal with their daily sufferings.

For the terminally ill, may they live each day united with the Cross of Christ, and rest in the loving hand of God the Father.

For community workers, that they might always serve us willingly for love of Christ and others.

For those who work with the ill and aged, that they might bring comfort and healing to all those they serve.

For the elderly, may they be willing to pass on their knowledge and wisdom to young people as they go through their daily lives.

For all youth, that they might be properly led towards Christ, and receive the love and help they need to draw closer to, and freely embrace their Faith.

For the homeless, that through the kindness and support of community programs, they may they be able to secure shelter and be encouraged to rejoin the workforce.

For those suffering from addictions, that they may find the help they need from caring individuals.

For all people affected by war and civil unrest, that they rely on their faith and God’s Word to bring understanding and comfort to them in their trials.

For world leaders, that they might be led by the Holy Spirit as they serve the global community.

For community and civic leaders, may they always work to bring equality and justice to society.

For government officials, may they always make good and wise decisions for the greater good and promote fairness, justice, and honesty.

That we might remember to call on our Guardian Angels in times of temptation and fear.

For students who feel pressured by their peers to do what they know is wrong, may they follow Christ’s example of obedience and do what is right.

For students who feel pulled by the world and their peers to become attached to their possessions, may they find happiness in the promise of God’s heavenly kingdom.

For our students and their families, that they might experience the blessings, love, and graces poured out to them by God the Father.

For all families, that they may resemble the Holy Family as they try to live together in peace and unity.

For all children, that they may be a source of hope and joy to the world as they reflect innocence and nearness to Christ.

For all those struggling to fit in with their peers, may they recognize that they are unique, and that each person is beautiful and made in the wonderful image of God.

For those with difficulties in learning, may they grow in patience and endurance to help them conquer their challenges.

For those who are being bullied in some way, that they will find a strong person who can help them make peace with their enemy.

For those who feel the need to bully or control others, that they will find comfort in knowing that God accepts them for who they truly are.

For all those who feel overwhelmed by all that is being required of them, may the Holy Spirit direct them to use their time and talents wisely.

That we might always use media as a tool to serve Christ and strengthen our relationships with our friends and family.

That we may always remember to treat others the way we want to be treated.

That we might see the Blessed Virgin Mary as a source of comfort and love in those times when we feel uncared-for.

For those students who are struggling to learn while they deal with tragedies in their lives.

For students who find it difficult to get along with others, may they develop patience and understanding in order to make things easier for themselves adn others.

For those living in conflict with their parents or family members, may they be slow to anger and quick to reconcile.

For families in turmoil, may they work to build unity among themselves and find happiness as members of the Body of Christ.

For anyone who is struggling to deal with the death of family member or loved one.

For those struggling financially, that they might be able to continue to find God even during these difficult times.

For those considering using drugs, may the Holy Spirit give them self-control in their moments of greatest weakness.

For all those suffering from depression, that they might find joy in Christ and his never-ending love and mercy.

That Catholic education might always be a priority for each local diocese as a means of passing on the Faith to new generations.

That all students might feel comfortable at school, as well as among their fellow students.

That any student who needs help or assistance may have the courage to seek out and find the help they need.

For our students and their families, that they might always be blessed by God in all that they do.

For students who are graduating this year, may they seek to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to guide them into adulthood and lead fruitful lives.

For any students who find themselves in dangerous social situations, may they seek help in order to resolve their issues.

For our school, that we, as a learning community, might always help each other to have a good learning experience.

For all of our students, that they might all grow in knowledge as well as in our Faith in order to grow up and give glory to God in all that we do.

That students who live in uncomfortable family arrangements might find in themselves the strength to focus on and continue with their studies.

For students struggling to see why education is necessary, may they find inspiration and strength to carry on.

For all student athletes, may they always remember that they represent our school and should be solid examples of fair play and integrity.

For our teachers, that they might always feel refreshed prepared as they strive to teach us everything that we need to know.

For all new students, that they might feel welcomed and part of our learning community.

In thanksgiving that we are able to learn in a safe Catholic environment with others of a like mind.

For our principal and all those in administration, that they might always be willing to help us grow in knowledge.

For those students who have fallen behind in their school work and feel a sense of hopelessness, may they be encouraged and stirred by the Holy Spirit to continue studying.

That all students might remember to treat one another fairly and with kindness and respect.

That our students may always be able to get along with each other in peace and harmony.

That our teachers might always be respected and obeyed by all students in our school.

That students who may be tempted to cheat on assignments or copy another’s work, might be filled with honesty and strength to fight off temptation.

The Prayer of the Faithful

Many schools and ministries have prayer services or Masses regularly throughout the year. It is always a privilege, but a challenge, to present prayer in a way that children and youth can embrace. One way to do this is to incorporate them into the Mass aside from general assistance. This can be easily done by composing General Intercessions that focus on the students, their school, and their personal needs.
What Are the General Intercessions?

It must first be said that Mother Church directs the celebration of the Holy Mass according to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM).

The General Intercessions are also called the Prayer of the Faithful or the Universal Prayer. In the celebration of the Holy Mass, they are the final portion of the Liturgy of the Word in which the faithful come together with one voice to pray to God for a variety of intentions, including petition, supplication and thanksgiving. Their prayers or petitions are prayed in a series and usually include intentions for the needs of the Church, the whole world, those suffering or burdened in some way, and the local community. The priest introduces the prayers and invites the faithful to pray together. A Deacon, leader, cantor, reader, or other laity reads the petitions one at a time. The faithful stand and join their voices and hearts together and respond to each petition, usually with the invocation, “Lord, hear our prayer.” However, some celebrants may choose to use silence instead of a response in common. When the petitions are finished, the priest concludes the prayers.

How Are the Prayers of the Faithful Composed ?
Mother Church asks that the individual intentions be:

representative of the whole community
written with wisdom and brevity.

For a special occasion such the celebration of sacraments or a funeral, the intentions can be more focused on the event or needs of the specific occasion.

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