This past Sunday was World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The purpose of this day is to publicly fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). “The entire People of God,” according to St. Pope John Paul II, “is responsible for promoting vocations, and does so chiefly by persistent and humble prayer for vocations.”
Here are five ways to pray for vocations.
1. Pray for yourself.
As we pray for vocations it is important for us to pray for ourselves. Remember that the whole point of our lives is to grow in a deep, intimate, and loving relationship with God. We should pray for God’s guidance in our lives, that we may discover our own vocations and remain faithful in living them out.
2. Pray for God to open hearts and minds.
As we pray for vocations it is important for us to pray that God will open the hearts and minds of the persons being called. For men and women to respond to a vocation, they need to be open to listening for God’s invitation. Let us pray that the Spirit inspires in them a desire to surrender themselves to God’s Will.
3. Pray for those actively discerning.
As we pray for vocations it is important for us to pray in a specific and special way for those who are actively discerning their vocation. It can be a scary and uncertain time in their lives. Whether or not you know someone who is considering becoming a priest, brother, or sister you can offer prayers by asking God to bless these people with courage and understanding.
4. Pray for those in formation.
As we pray for vocations it is important for us to pray for men and women who are in formation, studying and preparing for their life-long commitment. We can pray that they have strength in their prayer life so that they may grow spiritually. We should pray that they persevere in their studies and that God will lift them up when they struggle.
5. Pray for the perseverance of those already in the life.
As we pray for vocations it is important for us to pray for the perseverance for those already living a vocation. We can offer prayers of thanksgiving for those priest, brothers, and sisters who have served us and been influential in our lives. We can offer prayers of love and support, especially for those who may be struggling, feeling tempted and discouraged. We can ask God to set their hearts on fire, inspire them with visions of the Kingdom, and allow them to experience joy in their vocation.