Even though I always knew as a child that we should pray for priests, it wasn’t until I started volunteering to work in my parish that I started to see why it is so important to pray for priests. It’s such hard work to be a faithful, holy priest! In their vocations they face countless temptations, struggles, and sufferings, because they are consecrated to God and have such responsibility for our souls. Horribly persecuted by the enemies of God, they need us to engage in spiritual warfare on their behalf each and every day. I highly recommend adding your priest to your Rosary intentions, and these are some particular prayers for priests that I have found very beautiful:
Prayer for a Priest
O Jesus, our great High Priest, hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priest, Father [N]. Give him a deep faith a bright and firm hope and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of his priestly life.
In his loneliness, comfort him In his sorrows, strengthen him In his frustrations, point out to him that it is through suffering that the soul is purified, and show him that he is needed by the Church, he is needed by souls, he is needed for the work of redemption.
O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests, take to your heart your son who is close to you because of his priestly ordination, and because of the power which he has received to carry on the work of Christ in a world which needs him so much. Be his comfort, be his joy, be his strength, and especially help him to live and to defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy. Amen.
+John Joseph, Cardinal Carberry (d.1998) Archbishop of St. Louis 1968-1979
And here is one of my all-time favorites from Fr. Z’s blog:
Prayer to St. Joseph for a Particular Priest
Saint Joseph, I present to you this day Father N., priest of Jesus Christ, and beg you to be to him advocate and defender, counselor and friend. Open your heart to him as you opened your home to the Virgin Mother in her hour of need. Protect his holy priesthood as you protected the life of the Infant Christ threatened by cruel Herod. In darkness bring him light; in weakness, strength, and in fear the peace that passes understanding. For the sake of the tender love that bound you to the Virgin Mary and the Infant Christ, be for him, Saint Joseph, a constant intercessor and a shield against every danger of body, mind, and soul so that, in spite of his weaknesses and sins, his priesthood may bring glory to Christ and serve to increase the beauty of holiness in his bride the Church. Amen.
Here is a prayer for all priests:
Prayer to the Sacred Heart for Priests
O Jesus, Eternal Priest; keep all Your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart, where none may harm them. Keep unstained their anointed hands which daily touch Your Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips purpled with Your Precious Blood. Keep pure and unearthly their hearts sealed with the sublime marks of Your glorious priesthood. Let Your holy love surround them and shield them from the world’s contagion. Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they have ministered to be their joy and consolation and in Heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown.
O Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us many holy priests. Amen.
Pray, pray, pray for priests every day. Although we laity can do much to help restore sacredness to the Mass, true catechesis to Catholic education, and in other ways aid in the rebuilding of the Church on earth, I believe that our priests are the very front line of these efforts as our ordained Fathers. Send your prayers to Heaven for them, and God will help our dear priests to help us to Him.
Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy, pray for our priests.