Prayer for Return of Lapsed, Non-Practicing, or Strengthening of Weak Catholic Family Members and / or Friends

Holy Card image reprinted with loving permission from "Holy Cards for Your Inspiration" blog

Dear Lord, Jesus Christ, in your precious name, I pray for the strengthening of the Catholic faith among my two children and for the return to your blessed Church of all lapsed and non-practicing Catholics . . . for the strengthening and/or return of your Catholic flock of sheep to you, our Divine Shepard, and to your divinely ordained Holy Catholic Church.
Dear friends in Christ,
I can't think of anything more important than this issue of fallen away Catholics. How many of us Catholics have drifted away from the Church during our lifetime? Let's be honest now, God knows all. Or maybe you know someone who was baptized Catholic, but is not living the beautiful Catholic Faith.

I must admit to you, that one of my rosary petitions to our Blessed Lady is to strengthen my two adult-children's Catholic faith. Truthfully, I was not raised in a strong Catholic family. As a result, I passed along that which I knew . . . not very much, sadly!!!
I am what is called a "CRADLE CATHOLIC" (the true definition is not something I have right at this point). I was born into an Italian-Catholic family that just sort of went about going through the some (not all) of the motions of being Catholic, but yet I NEVER really KNEW and UNDERSTOOD what this beautiful Catholic faith was really about!
What I have learned about the depths of our beautiful Catholic faith has been moreso on my own through reading Catholic literature and the Catechism, listening to Catholic podcasts during my commute to work, and watching programs on EWTN . . . and yes, of course through the priests at Mass and devout fellow parishioners that I have met along my spiritual journey -- beginning with my first-born child's babysitter (a lady in her 40's)!
Truthfully, what led me to explore the Catholic faith were protestants themselves who challenged me to defend my Catholic faith . . . and do you know what, my friends? I was completely unable to defend it!!! So to my protestant friends who want to convert Catholics to protestantism . . . hey, it is ALL your fault that you challenged me. And I simply cannot thank you enough for leading me to discover this most beautiful faith. I just wish and pray for each of you (yes, I really do pray for your conversion) that you find out someday what you are lacking in your Christian faith and return to the One, True, and beautiful Catholic Faith.

As I was saying, I was unable to defend my faith to my protestant friends, simply because I either did not know or just plain did not remember my Catechism from parochial school. Isn't that just a cryin' shame?
But it was a BLESSING in disguise!
I delved into and poured myself into EVERTHING I could get my hands on, my heart and mind around to learn about this beautiful Catholic faith . . . from EWTN programs such as those about former protestants' JOURNEYS BACK to the Catholic faith, to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, to blogs, to podcasts, to books, to the Catholic (and original and TRUE) Bible, and more!
I made this Catholic faith journey as a CHOICE, and away from a "gee, my parents were Catholic, so therefore I'm Catholic" kind of shallow faith level. PRAISE GOD for those protestants who challenged me, because it was they, themselves that led me to FIND, to DISCOVER, and to LOVE, CHERISH, and PRACTICE this beautiful Catholic faith that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ began on earth with the Apostles and his pure, Immaculate Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, followed by the First Catholic Christians, the Popes, and the Doctors of our beautiful Catholic faith.

My dear friends in Christ, here is a prayer that you may wish to add to your prayers for those people that you know and love, who you would like to pray for their strengething, return of, or conversion to the beautiful Catholic faith. This prayer is from Father John Harden's Catholic Prayer Book, 1999.
Return of Lapsed Catholics to the Sacraments
Almighty Father,
. You desire not the death of the sinner, but that he may be converted and live.

Pour out upon us Your mercy and hear the prayers of Your servants.
Soften the hearts of Your children who have strayed from the true path which You established for their salvation.
They are now forgetful of their duties as Catholics,
and pursue the pleasures of the world.
Grant that they may quickly return to the practice of every Christian virtue,
so that their lives may shine with the integrity of faith,
the fervor of piety, and the ardor of charity.
Restore them all to Your sacraments and the life of Your grace,
through the merits of the most precious blood of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

I wish you a most blessed evening wherever you are.

Blessings and amore',

~ Bella

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Anonymous said...

Dear Bella ... our faith journeys are nearly identical. And, like you, my faith blossomed through reading to defend it from protestant attacks.

My sincerest wishes to you and your family for a truly Blessed Christmas. Buon' Natale!

Anonymous said...

Dear Bella,

It's really true that through our fervent prayer for return of lapsed, non-practicing, or strengthening of weak family members and/ or friends will surely be hear, for God loves us so much. And He(Jesus Christ) would gladly hear those prayers for His lost brothers and sisters. Let's pray ardently...God Bless....

Malou Fuertes

Anonymous said...

Dear Bella,
Thank you for sharing your story and prayer. I was raised and am an active catholic and I am currently going out with a guy that is a bit lost in faith. Even though he was raised Catholic too,t he pulled away because of trouble understanding a few things that the church stands for.
He just resently desided to go foward with the "born again " Christian baptism.. But he states its only because he wants to feel more committed to God but not so much because of switching over to another religion..I don't want to be pushy but I told him, if he and I where to get married I'd like it to be in the catholic church. He's ok by it, but I'm worried that going foward our relationship will not be able to stand strong if we are not on the same page in faith.
Please pray for me and for my friend. I'm not giving up, I plan on praying the rosary and doing this prayer as well to bring my friend and others to come back home.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart :)

Joseph. said...

Dear Friend in Christ,
I am really facing a similar situation with my nephew who is a Catholic and the bride to be born again who left the Catholic faith after receiving all the sacrements.They are getting married on the 1st of December.We are praying and will include you too in our prayers.God Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Myself and my wife are regular church goers but unfortunately my family do not go to confession but will attend mass, some others do not even attend mass, I need the help of the Holy Spirit to bring this family back to jesus , and the beauty of the Catholic church they were born into

amelia said...

I like your article cos we all face the same problem worldwide . Yes, persevere in prayers n holy works and remember that God loves our loved ones even more than we can ever do ourselves

Joel Tenney said...

Discourse on the body and blood of Jesus Christ, see Jesus's body and blood are very important, because he is a Passover lamb, that is what he was saying, and John chapter 6 verse 67 we can read that Jesus says those words are spirit because flash is of no avail. Catholic Church has formed over the years, into what it is now, one of my dear friends Scott Hahn, will admit to that anyone will, who is firmly planted in Catholic theology/history also any Catholic who really knows his faith Will admit that it is Grace, that saves us less any man should boast, and works are a part of that faith and an attribute of it. Christ commands us to love one another as a father loves us, he also says that if we love him we will keep his Commandments, all the works we do in our faith has to come out of our love for Christ. I've called you brothers and sisters because I know you are brothers and sisters in Christ, I don't disregard that. But in ministering to a Protestant or someone who has left the faith, it has to be done with the Holy Spirit working through you and a humble heart, and only minister to them if you believe that the Catholic Church can get them closer to Christ, The Catholic Church has so many traditions that are not biblical, that is not something the church refutes, that often It can take you further from Christ then you might believe. My family has since disowned me last year, because I left the faith, but you can be in the faith and not have it, you can be in the church and not part of the body, you can know the language of love and not speak it, and you can look in the face of Christ and not see him.

God bless you my brothers and sisters, and I pray you come to know the father's love not within your mind with your heart, as we can all grow in him daily, and I pray your bond with Christ grows deeper and deeper day by day.

Contact info
Name-Mr. JC Tenney
(Email tenney.joel@gmail.com)

Anonymous said...

Our family has many members that have left the Catholic church & some have gone very far from the faith. Please pray that they return to the Body of Christ.

April said...

Dear Bella,

I have friends who are catholic before but they were converted to be born again christians. I can say that they are living as what christians to be, but they were times if we have conversations they are indirect implying that those people who are born again christians are the ones who are loving and living with Christ. In my mind its like theyre telling me that no religion can save you but they indirectly implying that if you born again christians you are better than catholic ones. Theres really a part of me that i need to pray for these people to go back to the catholic faith. Now im praying for them to go back to catholic. Pls. Help me to pray for those people who are lost and those are easily brainwash by other people. Help me to pray that all of us will be guided to right truth. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

My name is Chris. My wife's name is Angela. We are practicing Catholics and have raised our children in the Catholic faith. We are active members in our Parish life and enjoy our faith community. We attend Mass and participate in the sacraments. We have always been there and answered our children's questions related to Faith as best as we could. If we did not know the answer we would direct them to where they might find the answer such as through prayer, the Bible or our priest. I had a very good example set by my parents who are devout Catholics. My wife, maybe not so much however, she is an excellent wife, mother and mimi. All four of our children are grown of which two are married. Two of them do not practice their faith, 1 practices sporadically, and one is a regular practicing Catholic. We also have five grandchildren and one on the way! Prayer is powerful. I asked anyone who reads this blog please join us in praying for our children's return and/or continued practice of their Catholic faith. We are truly blessed with a wonderful family and love them very much. Thank you and God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Good morning
Thank you Bella
I am a catholic and have been away from the church sue to my job. This year I have decided to put my God and faith first.
I pray that God would stand by my side and guide me in the path of righteousness.
May He remove in His mighty name all obstacle and attacks the devil have sent my way. Amen .
Thank you Jesus