Prayer Tools

Prayer is an important aspect of discernment, for the individual discerning and for their family. The following Scripture verses may be helpful as you pray during the discernment process:

Thank you to the Diocese of Harrisburg Office of Vocations for this list.

  • Genesis 12:1-4
  • Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12
  • Numbers 11:11-12, 14-17, 24-25
  • Isaiah 6:6-8
  • Jeremiah 1:4-9
  • Jeremiah 20:7-9
  • Matthew 9:35-38
  • Matthew 10:1-5
  • Matthew 20:25-28
  • Mark 10:17-27
  • Mark 10:28-30
  • Luke 5:1-11
  • Luke 9:57-62
  • Luke 10:1-9
  • Luke 14:25-33
  • John 10:11-16
  • John 12:24-26
  • John 15:9-17
  • John 20:19-23
  • John 21:15-17
  • Acts 6:1-7
  • Acts 20:17-18, 28-32, 36
  • Romans 12:4-8
  • 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, 5-7
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14-20
  • Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
  • Philippians 3:8-14
  • Hebrews 5:1-10
  • 1 Timothy 4:12-16
  • 2 Timothy 1:6-14
  • 1 Peter 4:7-11
  • 1 Peter 5:1-4

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with a simple Prayer to Know One’s Vocation, via the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

“Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings. I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you. But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you. Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all of my strength right to the end. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen”

Create a Spiritual Plan of Life

A Spiritual Plan of Life will help you to focus on God as you’re discerning your vocation. Here are some ideas, adapted from B’More Vocations-Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Morning Prayer

At the beginning of the day, pause to make a Morning Offering. Offer your day to God: your work, your studies, and your free time. Here are 2 different forms of a Morning Offering:

  • Recite the Our Father prayer [ask God for your “daily bread,” the grace you need to serve Him well that day] Think ahead to all of your duties for the upcoming day, whether at work, at school, at home, or with friends. Offer these to God and resolve to do them well as a sign of your love for Him. Beg Him for grace to live the day well. Recite the Morning Offering prayer: Lord Jesus, I worship You. I offer You all of the prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day as a sign of my love for You. Help me to keep You in mind throughout this day, and give me the grace to serve You well.
  • Attend daily Mass. It is the perfect Morning Offering. It enables you to pray with Jesus to the Father. It enables you to receive His power in the Holy Eucharist, our daily bread. Try to go once a week or a few times a month, on Saturday if you can’t make it on a weekday.

Mid-Day Prayer

Pause in the middle of the day to remember God. Here are 2 different forms of mid-day prayer:

  • One form of mid-day prayer is the Rosary. You could pray just one decade or even all 5 decades. Pray it slowly, asking Mary to deepen your friendship with her son, Jesus.
  • Lectio divina is an excellent form of mid-day prayer. The Pope highly encourages it. Lectio divina means “divine reading” or “holy reading.” This is a way to use the Bible in your prayer. Don’t just read the Bible; pray the Bible! Carve out 5-10 minutes in your day for lectio divina. Focus on the Gospel from Mass that day. Download/bookmark the daily Missal app. on the computer, or use a daily Missal, or some magazine (such as Magnificat or Word Among Us comprehensive). Read the Gospel through once. Then slowly read it again, looking for a word or phrase that catches your attention. Let God speak to you through them. When you find one, stop and think “What are you trying to tell me, God? How does this apply to me or my situation?” Don’t simply try to understand the meaning of the whole reading, but rather focus on words and phrases. After you have reflected for a few moments, continue reading and look for another word or phrase that sticks out for you. Sometimes God will engender ideas or memories. Other days, He might simply calm us down or strengthen us to deal with our temptations.

Evening Prayer

In the evening, take a few minutes of quiet prayer to do a Daily Examen. Quiet your mind and heart for a moment to recognize the presence of God with you. Notice the Lord gazing upon you. Then take some time to review the events of the day with Him—what did you do? Whom did you meet? What happened to you? As you review these moments, notice the feelings that arise and express them to God. Then take one moment and pray with that moment or feeling—something that stands out to you. What is God showing you through that? Then consider how you have lived for God today—have you loved others as He has asked? What more could you do for God tomorrow?

Moments of Gratitude

Another form of the daily examen consists of simply spending time with God thanking Him for each of the blessings that you received throughout the day. In this way, you review your day with Him and notice particularly the moments you are most grateful for. You thank God for each of these moments and you end your time of prayer with a prayer of gratitude for all of the ways that the Lord has shown His love to you.

Diocese of Syracuse

Office of Vocation Promotion

240 E. Onondaga Street Syracuse, NY 13202
315.470.1468 | vocations@syrdio.org

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