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50+ Everyday Moments that Should Prompt Prayer


“We must pray without ceasing, in every occurrence and employment in our lives,” said St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. One way to do that is by pausing to pray in response to the events in our lives, both ordinary and extraordinary. Here are more than fifty moments that ought to prompt us to pause in prayer and blessing.


This article is adapted from the book 77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids.


“We must pray without ceasing, in every occurrence and employment in our lives,” said St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, a mother of five children (Collected Writings, Vincentian Digital Books). One way to do that is by pausing to pray in response to the events in our lives, both ordinary and extraordinary. The prayer can be very simple (a sentence or even a short phrase), or more formal and involved.

The bottom line? “Praying constantly” means recognizing God’s presence in each and every moment of our lives—and consciously responding to that presence in our words and actions as often as we are able. Praying in this way teaches our kids that their religious faith is not reserved primarily to church or Sunday mornings; in fact, the Church explicitly calls us to bring our faith, and our relationship with God, into the world in order to make it holy:

For their work, prayers and apostolic endeavors, their ordinary married and family life, their daily labor, their mental and physical relaxation, if carried out in the Spirit, and even the hardships of life if patiently borne-all of these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Pt 2:5). During the celebration of the Eucharist these sacrifices are most lovingly offered to the Father along with the Lord’s body. Thus as worshipers whose every deed is holy, the lay faithful consecrate the world itself to God. (Lumen Gentium, 34)

What are some of those moments or events that might be a trigger for prayer and/or blessings? Here are some “prayer triggers” for which Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers offers specific blessings or prayers:

  1. waking from sleep
  2. before a meal
  3. after a meal
  4. birthdays
  5. dealing with addiction
  6. moving away from home
  7. moving into a new home
  8. preparing for childbirth
  9. miscarriage
  10. adoption
  11. nursing or feeding a child
  12. baptismal anniversaries
  13. graduation
  14. engagement to be married
  15. wedding anniversaries
  16. beginning a journey
  17. returning from a journey
  18. retirement
  19. for the success of work
  20. beginning a meeting
  21. ending a meeting
  22. housework
  23. danger or emergency
  24. academic studies
  25. giving charity
  26. receiving charity
  27. visiting the homebound
  28. sickness
  29. assisting the dying
  30. after death
  31. on the anniversary of a death
  32. attempting to conceive a child
  33. welcoming guests
  34. beginning or ending a school year
  35. unemployment
  36. planning a special project
  37. planting
  38. harvesting
  39. beginning or ending sports events
  40. blessing newly acquired objects to be used for a good purpose (e.g., tools, art materials, products of nature, family vehicles, homes)
  41. neighborhood or family strife
  42. after being a victim of crime
  43. social justice issues
  44. wise leadership
  45. financial difficulties
  46. storms, droughts, and other bad weather
  47. natural disasters
  48. seeking reconciliation between persons
  49. discernment of a decision
  50. going to bed at the end of the day

And that list isn’t even exhaustive! Parents could come up with their own list of things that deserve special prayers:

  1. toilet training!
  2. babies up the middle of the night
  3. teens out late with friends
  4. upon discovering an incredible mess
  5. deciding what to make for dinner an hour before it’s time to eat
  6. at the playground with risk-taking kids
  7. play dates
  8. bored children
  9. moments of rest, retreat, and recollection
  10. changing diapers
  11. being presented with a child’s artwork
  12. a child’s hug
  13. encountering natural beauty
  14. children sleeping in late
  15. the start of summer vacation
  16. the end of summer vacation

The list could go on and on. What are some other moments that deserve their own prayers and blessings?

Follow Jerry Windley-Daoust:

Publisher, Gracewatch Media

Jerry Windley-Daoust is a writer, editor, and father of five. He writes essays and stories at Windhovering and is the show-runner for Gracewatch Media, a small Catholic publisher. You can follow his latest publishing projects at gracewatch.org.

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