Could you become an Apostle of Prayer?

POST BY DStewart

Join the Pope in prayer every day throughout 2017
Join the Pope in prayer every day throughout 2017

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network has been growing and developing in many innovative ways over the past year. The ministry itself continues the work, of many decades, of the Apostleship of Prayer; but there’s a new name, a new energy and new methods of presenting the message. This does not mean that the previous work has been replaced, but developed, not least in the light of so much change and innovation in the world around us.

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) called on the whole people of God, the Church, to “read the signs of the times” carefully. One more recent fruit of that has been the New Evangelisation; the Gospel hasn’t changed - how could it? – but our ways of proposing it to the world have. So too has our work in this, the Pope’s own global prayer network.

One important development from the beginning of 2017 has been that the monthly Intentions of the Holy Father have reduced from two to one. Each month, he continues to share with the world, through us, his prayer network, the concerns that are in his own heart. But even here there’s a further innovation. Each month there will also be a second, “urgent action” concern or intention, which the Pope will announce at the first Sunday Angelus of each month in St Peter’s Square, Rome. We won’t know what this is until just before he announces it, then we’ll make it known as widely as possible. Pope Francis has said that he wants to give us this extra, topical prayer-concern to help to “drag us out of the culture of indifference” which he sees all around the world. That’s also his way of reminding us that, when we pray from the heart, our hearts will change and we can no longer be indifferent to so much pain and suffering in our world – our hearts are touched, and are moved to do something about it.

You are invited to become an Apostle of Prayer by joining your heart to these intentions, spread by the Pope’s Network. Pray, as Apostles of Prayer have done for so many years, from your heart to the Heart of Christ, which is a heart of compassion for all of creation. There’s nothing to join, no membership to pay: just look for the monthly prayer intentions each month, make a morning offering each new day, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of your day, united to the Pope’s intention and to the intentions of apostles of prayer all around the world!

A morning prayer or Daily Offering, taken from our Living Prayer 2017 booklet (a few copies are still available):

Merciful Father, you have brought us to the light of a new day; keep us safe from every sinful inclination. Grant me the grace to do what is pleasing in your sight and which would be for the common good, through all my thoughts, words, prayers and deeds. I offer you this day for the intentions of Pope Francis for this month, and I say now one Our Father ….

For up-to-date information on the Pope’s Intentions, especially his “urgent action” requests, visit the Pope’s Global Prayer Network,  where you will also find a monthly reflection and some tips on prayer. Our new website and App include a Morning Offering prayer, and other daily prayers that are fresh each day. And it is still not too late to order your 2017 Living Prayer Booklet that includes Daily Offerings, the Pope's prayer intentions, reflections and more for the year ahead, as well as other resources.