My oldest whispered to himself, “Dear God, please help us to be patient.” And there it was. That’s what we needed. We need more patience with each other and God’s help for that perspective.
by Regina Lordan
It happened again. The morning was calm. The cereal bowls were in the sink, my twice-microwaved (but again lukewarm) coffee was nearly done, and the lunches were packed. But then it was go time. And chaos ensued.
Suddenly, in the final minutes before we had to leave, we bump into each other, a shoe mysteriously goes missing, a toddler starts to cry, a brother elbows a sister, a sister slaps her brother with the arm of a coat, someone desperately needs to use the bathroom one last time, lunches are unnecessarily pulled out of backpacks. We are yelling, we are stressed, and we are inpatient with each other. “Move over please!” I say not so sweetly. “Get out of my way,” yells another one of us. I truly wish this lovely vignette was only unique to my mornings, but this scenario is replicated nearly every time we need to get out the door: to school, practices, to Mass.
Prayers for Patience, Peace and Perspective
One of the most recent times this played out, I wearily looked at my children’s faces. They stared straight ahead, grumpy and annoyed. It wasn’t the way I wanted them to start their day. So I told them to pause, apologize to each other and say a prayer. My oldest whispered to himself, “Dear God, please help us to be patient.” And there it was. That’s what we needed — not more organizational tools to help us get out the door sooner, not a better jacket-hanging system so jackets wouldn’t fall on heads, not even an earlier start time to go time. We need more patience with each other and God’s help for that perspective.
My son’s simple, little prayer inspired me to look up some prayers to share with you. And, if all else fails, “Dear God, please help us to be patient” might give us that peace and presence of mind to calmly get through the day — or at least out the door.
A simple prayer for patience and strength
The resources for finding prayers are endless thanks to the internet. Of course, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has us covered as do many websites run by religious orders and Catholic publishing companies. I found this one from Living Prayers, which offers a compilation of contemporary prayers by unknown authors. If this one doesn’t feel true to you, you can access more prayers for patience from the website here.
Dear Lord, please help me.
I lay before you my tiredness and ask for new energy.
I lay before you my frustration and ask for more patience.
I lay before you my resentment and ask for peace.
I lay before you my judgement and ask for inspired understanding.
I lay before you my anger and long to be forgiving.
Please help me, dear Lord.
Pray for the intercession of St. Monica
St. Monica (322- 387) patiently prayed for the conversion of her son St. Augustine of Hippo, a doctor of the church. She also endured a marriage to a man who mocked Christianity until he finally converted. You can read more about St. Monica from Eternal World Television Network.
Dear St. Monica, pray for our patience in this world of haste and rush. Help us to be calm and patiently aware of God’s will in our lives.
Pray to the Holy Spirit for patience, one of the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists 12 of them: ‘charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.'” Pope Francis gave a series of talks about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 2012. “Anointed: Gifts of the Holy Spirit” by Pope Francis is a compilation of his remarks, edited appropriately for younger readers readying for confirmation. The following prayers for patience to the Holy Spirit are included in the book.
Lord our God, may the Holy Spirit transform our hearts and increase in us the fruits of charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. May we reach out to others, doing all we can to build up your kingdom here on earth. Through your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen
“Lord Jesus, by myself I can do nothing, but with the help of your grace I can do all things. And so, with all my heart:
I reject the spirit of anger and humbly implore your Holy Spirit for the virtues of meekness and gentleness. I reject the spirit of greed and implore your Holy Spirit for the virtue of generosity.
I reject the spirit of sloth and implore your Holy Spirit for the virtues of diligence and fidelity.
I reject the spirit of pride and implore your Holy Spirit for the virtues of humility and poverty of spirit.
I reject the spirit of gluttony and implore your Holy Spirit for the virtues of temperance and self-control.
I reject the spirit of envy and implore your Holy Spirit for the virtues of charity, joy and peace.”
—“To Obtain the Fruits of the Holy Spirit” by Franciscan Sister of Peace Sister Julia Mary Darrenkamp
Regina Lordan, a digital editor at Peanut Butter & Grace, is a mother of three with master’s degrees in education and political science. She currently reviews books for Catholic News Service and is a former assistant international editor of Catholic News Service.