Prayer Intentions

This post is part of a series on Getting the Most Out of Mass: tips to best dispose yourself to receive the graces available during Mass (this will be specifically about Sunday Mass, but some of these ideas will also apply to daily Mass). We’re in the section on preparing yourself before Mass.


Catholics bring with them to Mass particular things about which they want to pray.


Mass is the greatest form of prayer. It is the best time to bring with us things about which we want to pray.

Remember, Mass is the re-offering of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Part of the reason He gave it to us is that He wants us to unite our prayers to His sacrifice, thus making them more powerful.

Going Deeper:

Reflect on the different types of prayer:

  • Adoration & Praise – worshipping God as God & acknowledging things that are great about Him
  • Contrition – expressing sorrow for sins
  • Thanksgiving – expressing gratitude for what God has done for you
  • Intercession – asking God for help for others
  • Petition – asking God for help

Think about all the different areas of your life. He wants you to bring everything to Him.

For all their works, prayers and apostolic endeavors, their ordinary married and family life, their daily occupations, their physical and mental relaxation, if carried out in the Spirit, and even the hardships of life, if patiently borne—all these become “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” [1 Pt 2:5] Together with the offering of the Lord’s body, they are most fittingly offered in the celebration of the Eucharist. Thus, as those everywhere who adore in holy activity, the laity consecrate the world itself to God.

Lumen Gentium 34

Other ideas for intentions include:

  • What makes you anxious?
  • What is exciting in your life?
  • What questions do you have?
  • For what are you hoping?

Ask other people if you can pray for them and what you can pray for. Bring those intentions, too. 

Utilizing Social Media

On most Saturdays, my wife and I reach out to friends via Facebook, stating: “Like this post and we’ll pray for you by name at Mass tomorrow. Comment or send a personal message for particular intentions.

We’ve been doing this for a while now and people have come to expect our Saturday posts. I’ve gotten to know a lot more about friends’ lives.

Answered Prayers

Here are some examples from my life of the power of prayer. While they both were answered directly after prayers outside of Mass, we also had been praying for these things at Mass beforehand:

What About You?

  • How has bringing intentions to Mass with you changed your participation in the Mass?
  • Have you tried bringing to Mass a written list of things to pray about?
  • Do you have any stories about answered prayers?