National Day of Prayer – Pray with us!

Today is the National Day of Prayer. Americans will celebrate all day today. Originally signed into law in 1952, National Day of Prayer is a day when people of all faiths are asked to pray for our nation.

The Notre Dame Sisters have invited friends to pray with us today for our nation. Below are prayers selected about gratitude, wisdom, forgiveness, healing, and love. Enjoy the text below, and please visit us on Facebook to see videos of prayers being read by Sisters and supporters.

The Great Spirit Prayer

Oh, Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the wind…
And whose breath gives life to the world…
Hear Me…I come to you as one of your many children…I am small and weak.
I need your strength and your wisdom.

May I walk in beauty.
Make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things that you have made,
And my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy, myself.

Make always ready to come to you clean hands and straight eyes.
So that when life fades, as the fading sunset,
My spirit may come to you without shame.

Mitakuye Oyasin

Lakota Chief Yellow Lark, 1887

A Prayer for Healing and Forgiveness

Loving God and Father,
in the light of so much suffering
we come before you as your hurting people
in need of healing and forgiveness.

Knowing we are a Church of saints and sinners,
we acknowledge our own sinfulness
and ask forgiveness for the times we have injured or neglected others.

Past hurts have left deep scars on many hearts and souls.

Knowing we are called to holiness,
we trust you to lead us on our journey
for which you all things are possible.

Christ Jesus, walk among us.
Embrace us with your healing.  Grace us to seek reconciliation.

Let all forgive so they do not carry these burdens any longer.
Empower us to love as you love,
because healing, forgiveness, and love
are beyond our human capacity alone.

Holy Spirit, seize our hearts.
Awaken us to gratitude of our brothers and sisters.

God of Mercy, help us learn to forgive others.
Let your healing grace wash over all and bring them peace and hope.


~ Adaptation of Renew Prayer for Healing and a Prayer for Forgiveness

Adaptation of a prayer of gratitude originally written by Fr. Edward Hays in his book, Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim

Divine gift-giver, we stand beneath the endless waterfall of your abundant gifts to us. Thank you, especially, for the gift of life, the most precious of all your gifts. 

Thank you for the morning light that opens our day; for the chirping of birds and the new green leaves that assure us spring has come.

Thank you for the many joys of our life, as well as our trials and mistakes, which have often been our most important teachers. 

Thank you for the intricate beauty of our earth, and the endless wonders of our universe. 

For our family and friends. For those who have always loved us exactly as we are and those who have helped us grow. 

For those who have opened our eyes to the variety of our neighbors around the globe, and the oneness of all of us in your Son, Jesus. 

Gracious God, may we always be grateful for the many ways you reach into our lives with surprises of gift and growth. AMEN. 

Blessing of Hope from Sr. Marie Alice
By Jan Richardson:  The Cure for Sorrow

So may we know
the hope
that is not just
for someday
but for this day –

here, now,
in this moment
that opens to us:

hope not made
of wishes
but of substance,

hope made of sinew
and muscle
and bone,

hope that has breath
and a beating heart,

hope that will not
keep quiet
and be polite,

hope that knows
how to holler
when it is called for,

hope that knows
how to sing
when there seems
little cause,

hope that raises up
from the dead –

not someday
but this day,
every day,
again and
again and


A reflection and prayer about God’s love

I am  Jean Sitter, a Sister of Mercy.  I would like to begin with a short excerpt given by Julian of Norwich, a 14th century mystic, who spoke of God’s love for us and for all creation and followed with prayer.

God showed me in my palm
a little thing round as a ball
about the size of a hazelnut,
I looked at it with the eye of my
understanding and asked myself;
“What is this thing?”

And I was answered:  “It is everything that is created.”

I wondered how it could survive since
it seemed so little it could suddenly
disintegrate into nothing.

The answer came:  “It endures and ever will endure,
because God loves it.”

And so everything has being because of God’s love.


And so, inspired by Julian’s words, we pray:

Creator God, you call us to dream,
to imagine, to yield to your grace,
your pressure from within to evolve.

Help us to grasp the reality
that the entire history of the universe
has prepared us to be the ones
who enflesh your imagination in this world.

May we celebrate who you are,
And may we dare to imagine that we are grace itself.