As Christians, we have a duty to pray, for prayer is the bridge that takes us to the Lord and which invites Him to come to us. One of the best ways to pray is through the Liturgy Of The Hours, which is the official prayer of the Church. However, the Hours require disipline and time and familiarity. The intention behind praying the Hours is to sanctify the entire day. So is there anything else – something shorter, simpler – we can do?
Perhaps one of the easiest suggestions is to get into the habit of making a Morning Offering.
A morning offering takes only seconds to pray. And yet, despite it’s brevity, it begins the sanctification of both ourselves and of our day, by lifting our hearts, minds and wills to the Lord and conscisously giving Him all the new day will contain. Also, because we renew our offering every morning, the practice of prayer quietly begins to take hold of our souls. This little prayer given to the Lord each day will certainly draw down divine grace from Heaven and little by little, the process of sanctification will have begun to mould us.
What should our morning offering contain?
It should recognise our complete dependence upon the Lord – this, after all, is the primary reason for making such a prayer. It should refer to our own needs in the day beginning, as well as the needs of others – high on our list of priorities should be the Mystical Body of Christ, His Church. together with the Holy Father, who leads and governs the Church. It is salutary, too, to have a particular intention in praying – perhaps it is helpful to be mindful of our mortality and our sinfulness, offering our prayer in penance. This sense of reparation or penance should not stop at ourselves but should encompass those who are in greatest need – poor sinners, the dying and the Holy Souls; and, by extension, it is fruitful to remember the entire world. All of this should, of course, be offered in union with the holy Mother of God, for Her prayers enormously strengthen ours and give them great weight before the Lord.
There are numerous versions of the Morning Offering available in prayer books, online and by personal recommendation. My personal version follows here – it covers the points made here and is broadly similar to many others. Perhaps it will give you a starting point – but feel free to adapt or to write your own.
Most Merciful Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You all my thoughts, words, deeds, prayers, joys, sacrifices and sufferings of this day –
– for all the intentions of Your Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary;
– in penance for my sins and the sins of all the world, and for the conversion of sinners;
– for the dying, especially the least prepared and all who will die this day;
– for the Holy Souls in Purgatory;
– for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and for all his intentions;
– for the Bishops and Priests;
– and for the sanctification of Your Church;
– and to beg Your mercy for all the world.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us, for we place all our trust in You.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us; be our refuge and the way that will lead us to God.