Prayer for Awakening
PARISH-WIDE REACH OUT AND INVITE INACTIVE
A Prayer Invitation
Come Home for Christmas
Reaching Out in Prayer: Instructions
This exercise can be adapted for use at Sunday Masses (or other gatherings)
in order to encourage practicing Catholics to pray for, befriend, and invite
neighbors, friends, relatives, and acquaintances to join them at an upcoming
Advent event in your parish (be sure to list for the parish all the
Advent events in your bulletin, parish bulletin board, parish website).
It works best when it is used just between four to six weeks prior to the
event. DO NOT PRINT YOUR INSTRUCTION for Reaching out in Prayer, just the HANDOUT.
Have ‘Reaching Out in Prayer’ sheets and pencils available for all
attendees. Ask everyone to take a copy of the sheet and a pencil while
you explain the “Reaching Out in Prayer” exercise.
Present an overview of the steps (below).
REACH NEARBY for people in your everyday life who are
marginal or inactive in their Catholic faith, or even those who have no
church. Watch out for the spiritual well being of people in your daily
lives. Make a short list of people with spiritual needs.
REACH UP to Jesus for each of these people. Pray for
them daily. Use the Rosary, Form Prayers, Jesus Prayer, Christian
Renewal Prayer, or other comfortable prayer forms. Pray for the
Holy Spirit’s guidance in reaching out to specific individuals.
REACH OUT to deepen friendships with each of these people
over the next few weeks. Act out of spiritual compassion by listening,
by serving or by sharing how God has been present to you.
REACH AHEAD and invite each person to attend the upcoming
event with you. Sometimes these steps need to be repeated several
times. When we reach out to others in this way, we are engage in
one-to-one evangelization, bringing the Good News of the gospel into our
An example of this invitational process of evangelization can be found in
John’s Gospel (1:35-46). First, John the Baptist shared about Jesus
with his own disciple Andrew. Then Andrew took John’s sharing to heart
and spent time with Jesus. The next day Andrew invited his brother
Peter to come and meet Jesus. Then Peter invited more people, and this
process of sharing and inviting continue from one believer to another for
centuries. Today we too can invite more people to faith, and we can
rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit who is the heartbeat of
evangelization, sharing and invitation.
REACH AFTER to those who seem interested. Support and
encourage them to follow through on their initial decision to come with you.
Go back to REACH NEARBY and give attendees a few moments to
list two to three people from their everyday life by first name only.
Give examples of people you yourself might keep in prayer. Give them 1
to 2 minutes in silence to write. When you notice that most people are
done and are looking up at you, ask them to list the first names of three
other people from their everyday life. Give them 1 to 2 minutes.
Invite people to take their sheet with them and read it more closely at
home. Ask them to commit themselves to spending five minutes a day
over the next few weeks to pray for the people on their “Reach Nearby” list.
Remind them to invite the people on their list come with them to a Parish
Prayer Cards: Prayer Cards can be made to be taken
home or prayed together as a parish family
Christian Renewal Prayer
Jesus, I know now that I am Yours and You are mine forever.
I thank You for sending Your Spirit to Mary so that Jesus could be born into
Thank you for sending me your Spirit also, so that I might have the power to
live a new life with You.
Stir up Your Spirit in me.
Release Your Spirit in me.
Baptize me with the fullness of Your Spirit that I may experience Your
presence and power in my life.
That I may find new meaning in your Scriptures.
That I may find new meaning in the sacraments.
That I may find delight and comfort in prayer.
That I may be able to love as you love and forgive as You forgive.
That I may discover and use the gifts you give me for the life of the
That I may experience the peace and the joy that You have promised us.
Fill me with Your Spirit, Jesus.
I wish to receive all that You have to give me. Amen.
Side B: Sample
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Invites You:
Daily Advent Mass – 9:00 am
Penance Service—Dec. 15th 7:00 to 8:30
Christmas Church Decorating—Dec. 20th 2:00 pm
Christmas Day Masses—Christmas Eve Evening 4:30;
10:00 pm Carols and Mass;
Christmas Day 9:00 am
REACHING OUT IN PRAYER: HANDOUT
Over the next few weeks we will be conducting Advent Events in the parish to
prepare for the celebration of Christmas as a special outreach to marginal
and inactive Catholics and people without a church home. The primary
goal is to invite others into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and
his body, the Church. One way we can learn how to do this is by
inviting people to come for one of the Advent Events in our parish.
The success of our efforts is based on one simple principle: You are
invited to bring someone, even several “some ones.”
A one-to-one invitation is what makes this work. Now is the time to
begin praying and asking the question, “Lord Jesus, whom should I invite to
come with me?” Finding the people to invite isn’t really hard. We just
have to open our eyes. Here are five easy steps:
Look around for those for whom you are called to pray. They are a part
of your network of everyday relationships, your circle of friends,
relatives, and acquaintances who are marginal and inactive Catholics, or
have no church. List the first names of five or six of them below:
PRAYER LIST I will pray each day especially for:
We reach up to Jesus in daily prayer for each person. Ask the Holy
Spirit to touch their hearts. Watch for opportunities to share God’s
love with them in a practical way. Join with others in praying for the
people on your list.
Reach out and build stronger friendships with the people on your list.
By strengthening our natural relationships we build a stronger bond of
trust. We are sowing seeds of openness to a friendship with Jesus, our
ultimate Friend. In this way, your invitation also becomes an
invitation from God.
Reach into the future and plan certain days on which you will invite each
person to come to the Parish Advent Event with you. (Help them deal
with obstacles to coming, like transportation or babysitting, etc.)
We are each encouraged to invite at least six people (or more if you want).
Not everyone will be interested. Not everyone who is interested will
be able to come. Reach after those who show interest. They need
your continued support and prayer. Consider new ways to extend
invitations to other parish or diocesan events or workshops in the future.
Taken from: Christmas Carol Festival Guidebook: A New Way to Reach Inactive Catholics
Therese & John Boucher