Thanks for all the prayers for our Confirmation retreat. I’m happy to say it went off without a hitch, and when you put on such an event that involves hundreds of people, that’s no small feat. I promise you that the Holy Spirit was with us each step of the way.
So often I find myself ramping up my prayers to the Holy Spirit whenever I focus on something really big, like a retreat or a major decision. When it comes to the little things in life, however, I think I try and go it alone more often than not. Now, I’m not talking about asking the Holy Spirit to help me decide what I’m going to have for breakfast. Rather, I’m talking about inviting God into normal rhythms of life.
Do I pray at the beginning and end of my day? When I’m going to meet with someone about an important matter, do I pray for wisdom? When I’m struggling with temptation, do I ask the Holy Spirit for strength?
St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans (8:26-27), writes about how the Holy Spirit is always there, waiting to help us.
In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray at we out, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.
So, then, praying to the Holy Spirit doesn’t have to be complicated. We simply need to invite him into the everyday situations of our lives, so that he can intercede for us and give us all the gifts we need to thrive in life.
Here’s two prayers to the Holy Spirit, one very ancient (St. Augustine) and one contemporary (Fr. Browning). If either one doesn’t resonate with you, do a google search, and you’ll find literally hundreds of others.
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.
O Holy Spirit, give me stillness of soul in you. Calm the turmoil within, with the gentleness of your peace. Quiet the anxiety within, with a deep trust in you. Heal the wounds of sin within, with the joy of your forgiveness. Strengthen the faith within, with the awareness of your presence. Confirm the hope within, with the knowledge of your strength. Give fullness to the love within, with an outpouring of your love.
O Holy Spirit, be to me a source of light, strength and courage so that I may hear your call ever more clearly and follow you more generously.
William Browning, CP