The Constitution on the Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council restored the “universal prayer” – more familiarly called “prayer of the faithful” – especially to be used on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation.
By this prayer, the people are bidden to make intercessions containing at least one petition from each of the following four intentions: the needs of the Church universal; national and world affairs, those beset by poverty or tribulation; the congregation and members of the local community.
These prayers take place after celebration of the word of God; possibly after the Creed has been said. Having been “instructed, stirred and renewed by the word, all stand together to offer prayer for the needs of the whole Church and the whole world”. Thus, this prayer is the fruit as it were, “of the working of the word of God in the hearts of the people”.
“Firm in its faith in the communion of saints and in its all-embracing vocation, the gathered Church in offering this prayer stands as the great entreater and advocate appointed for all humanity"
"The holy people of God exercise their royal priesthood to the fullest, above all by sharing in the sacraments, but also by joining in this prayer.”
For the last few years, three groups, numbering about 8 people, have prepared the St Michael's Prayers of the Faithful for the Sunday liturgy.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Oh, Heavenly Father, make me a better parent. Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly.
Keep me from interrupting them or contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. Forbid that I should ever laugh at their mistakes or resort to shame or ridicule when they displease me.
May I never punish them for my own selfish satisfaction or to show my power. Let me not tempt my child to lie or steal.
And guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness.
Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. And when I am out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue.
May I ever be mindful that my children are children and I should not expect of them the judgement of adults.
Let me not rob them of the opportunity to wait on themselves and make decisions.
Bless me with the bigness to grant them all their reasonable requests, and the courage to deny them privileges I know will do them harm.
Make me fair and just and kind.
And fit me, O Lord, to be loved and respected and imitated by my children. Amen.