Praying for peace should be a part of every Catholic’s daily life. When the world shows chaos, we can show peace.
Prayer is essential in our endeavors to spread the peace and love of God. Discover the importance of Catholic prayers for peace and see what the Bible says about peace in the sections below.
Why Should Catholics Pray for Peace?
Prayer is an expression of our desire to know and embody the power of God’s goodness. By praying for peace, we assert our faith that love and good are greater than fear, hate and evil. Catholics should pray for peace because it brings us closer to God, and everyone needs it.
Here are four specific areas where you can focus your prayers.
Peace in the World
Prayers for peace in the world are essential. People, countries and regions worldwide seem to always be in conflict. You only have to turn on the news to hear about another war or senseless attack from one nation to another. When conflict happens on the world stage, it can leave people wondering if there will ever be peace.
The parties suffering directly or indirectly from world violence need our Catholic prayers for world peace. We must pray that the aggression will cease in these war-torn regions and that peace will reign on the earth one day.
Peace in Our Communities
Besides praying for the world, you can pray for peace in your own community. God placed you there for a reason. Whether you live in the heart of a city, a suburban neighborhood or a rural area, you brush shoulders with people every day.
Everyone wants safety and peace where they live. With God’s help through Catholic prayers for peace and unity, people can get along and look past their differences. Pray that God would shed His peace on your community and that the people living around you will choose love over anger.
Peace in Our Families
As you continue to pray for peace, you can focus on an even more specific area — your family. The family is one of the most important pieces of any society, forming the foundation for communities worldwide. As a result, families are also one of the areas most vulnerable to hardship and damage.
We must pray for all families to experience peace. Actual change can occur in the lives of people everywhere through Catholic prayers for family peace. When lives are changed, peace can spread across the entire fabric of society.
Our Inner Peace
You’ve prayed for peace in the world, your community and your family. Finally, you must remember to pray for your own inner peace, the peace that you carry with you wherever you go. Whether you’re traveling abroad, walking around your neighborhood or sitting at the dining room table with loved ones, your inner peace will affect every interaction.
Having inner peace helps you fix your thoughts on truth. Even when something stressful is looming on the horizon, you can take a moment to remember that God is on your side. Say your Catholic prayers for inner peace so you can be consistently fixed on Christ in any circumstance.
7 Bible Verses About Peace
One of the greatest sources of peace for Catholics is the Bible. The words found within offer encouragement and hope to give you peace even during the most challenging days. It contains truths about peace, including promises of God that can provide true shelter during life’s storms. Here are seven Bible verses about peace of mind to help you today and every day.
1. Isaiah 26:3
“With firm purpose you maintain peace; in peace, because of our trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3.
Peace is a result of God’s power and purpose. In this verse, the Israelites are connecting their trust in God with the peace He so firmly maintains. They trust God in all areas of life, and God provides this peace in turn.
May this verse inspire you to keep that same kind of trust in God in your own life. Trust that God is in control and that He is purposing to offer peace to you. This peace can enter your life if you put your full trust in God and ask for it.
2. John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27.
Few things are more reassuring than Jesus, the Prince of Peace, promising to give His followers the gift of peace. In this verse, Jesus draws a distinction between peace in general and the peace He promises. This peace is different than the world’s peace — the type Jesus is talking about is divine and comes from God.
Jesus then tells His followers to be courageous in the knowledge of the peace He is leaving with them. As Catholics, we can also partake in this peace that Jesus offers and stay courageous in light of that truth. We have peace from above far greater than any peace that mortals can provide.
3. Matthew 5:9
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9.
This verse serves as a call to peace for all who read it. Here, Jesus says that those who make peace are blessed. The specific blessing follows this statement — the peacemakers will be called the children of God.
The more you meditate on that statement, the more incredible it becomes. To be a child of God is to be a new creation, different than the person you were before that transforming moment. God wants His children to make peace. So embrace a life of peace today, even when doing so could be hard.
4. Psalms 55:19
“He will redeem my soul in peace from those who war against me, though there are many who oppose me.” Psalms 55:19.
The psalmist, King David, is terrified of his enemies and mourning the betrayal of a close friend. Despite his internal turmoil and the anguish throughout his kingdom, David remembers where his strength and peace lie.
He writes that even though enemies and worries beset him, God will give him peace. David knew that God would be with him even through his present difficulties. If you have lost a close friend or feel overwhelmed by outside pressure, you can have peace knowing God is on your side.
5. Romans 8:6
“The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6.
As a follower of Christ, your eyes are open to new truths that can help you experience peace. The Apostle Paul writes about one of these crucial truths of the faith here in Romans 8:6. Believers in Christ have eternal life, which grants liberty from the weights of the world.
Without knowing Jesus, it could seem like life is only what’s happening before your eyes. Once it’s over, it’s over. This belief system can cause a great deal of stress to anybody and even followers of Jesus can become preoccupied with worldly circumstances from time to time.
Let this verse remind you to live in light of the eternal life Jesus gives you. Remember that with that gift comes the opportunity to experience peace by focusing on what’s to come over the fleeting problems of the present day.
6. Philippians 4:6
“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” Philippians 4:6.
Everyone is looking for an answer to their problems in this life. We all want peace, especially when anxiety takes hold. The Apostle Paul gives a solution to life’s worries in this verse. He tells believers to put aside anxiety and replace it by giving our requests to God in prayer, petition and thanksgiving.
When we lay our anxieties before Jesus, He will help carry our burdens. It’s a challenge to stay anxious when you put on a mindset of prayer and thanksgiving, and there’s always something to be thankful for. We can find peace knowing that God hears our prayers and wants to give us peace from anxiety.
7. Psalms 4:9
“In peace I will lie down and fall asleep, for you alone, LORD, make me secure.” Psalms 4:9.
Sleep can be hard to come by in times of stress. Here, the psalmist praises God for the security He offers that lets him sleep in peace.
God makes us secure every day. He is the one who holds us together and guides our paths. With that in mind, we can sleep knowing God has everything in His hands, even when events seem out of control to us. Our peace comes from God and the knowledge that He is in control.
Saints to Pray to for Peace
Many saints have lived lives that can inspire us to seek and know peace, including the four saints of peace below. Their life stories, teachings and impacts remind Catholics worldwide to pray to them for peace.
St. Francis of Assisi
Peace can extend beyond humans. St. Francis of Assisi showed love and peace to wildlife, including dangerous predators. Some say that birds would even perch on his shoulders and arms as he preached, showing the magnetic peace that St. Francis displayed in his life.
However, St. Francis also cared about peace for his fellow people. Before presenting the Gospel to his listeners, St. Francis would pray for God to grant them peace. St. Francis cared about their personal and spiritual well-being, leading many to consider him one of the patron saints of peace.
Like St. Francis, you can show peace to all life around you, both humans and animals. Pray to St. Francis for God to grant the people in your life peace.
St. Teresa of Calcutta
St. Teresa of Calcutta, or Mother Teresa, is one of the most famous examples of living a life of peace. For her, service to humankind had a direct correlation with the presence of peace in the world. Her acts of service displayed a passion and longing for the peace of Christ.
St. Teresa emphasized the importance of fostering peace within families as the first step in spreading peace throughout the world. She also knew that helping communities in need was one of the most powerful ways to enact positive change in people’s lives.
Catholics can pray to St. Teresa to become God’s instrument of peace as she was during her lifetime. Let her life and teachings remind you to pray for peace in your own family, so you can spread that peace outward to those who need it.
St. Elizabeth of Portugal
As the wife of King Denis of Portugal in the thirteenth century, St. Elizabeth knew many people in high places. God used her to foster peace between bickering relatives, helping to end long-standing arguments and avoid senseless violence. Through her actions, her husband devoted his life to God, and she was able to bridge the gaps between relatives who otherwise may never have chosen peace.
Maybe you know what it’s like to experience arguing among family members. Perhaps you are the one who keeps the peace between others who are bickering. You can remember St. Elizabeth of Portugal in your prayers and ask for the strength to continue building peace between the people around you. Though it may be a challenge, it might result in someone coming to know Jesus as King Denis did.
St. Rita of Cascia
We live in a world filled with tragedy, sadness and offense. Too often, the world responds to these moments by lashing out or seeking retribution from the offending parties. World events can cause a knee-jerk reaction, but St. Rita of Cascia’s life reminds us that Catholics must act differently in difficult situations.
When her husband was murdered, St. Rita turned to prayer instead of vengeance. She would spend hours praying, knowing that only God’s power can help people experience peace. St. Rita also knew that the power of the Gospel was the truth that could help people cling to peace in a dark and dangerous world. Instead of speaking against her enemies, she would preach to them that they might know Jesus and the peace He offers.
Catholics can pray to St. Rita of Cascia that they might follow in her footsteps. Prayer and the power of the Gospel are two of the best ways you can make a difference in this world and help spread peace amidst the storms of life.
A Catholic Prayer for Peace
At Catholic World Mission, we strive for peace in the world and know that prayer is a crucial part of achieving this goal. If you’d like to pray for peace today, we invite you to share in the following prayer with us.
Send Prayer Intentions to Catholic World Mission
If you would like us to lift up your specific requests in prayer on your behalf, please send us your prayer intentions. It would be our privilege and honor to pray for you.
Through the generosity of our donors, we can help make the world a better place by offering communities opportunities for dignified living, education and evangelization. Please donate to our cause today to help us impact the world for good and peace.
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Deacon Rick Medina is the Executive Director of Catholic World Mission and oversees the management of all of Catholic World Mission's projects in over 35 countries. He was ordained a deacon of the archdiocese of Atlanta in 2013. He currently serves at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody, Georgia, and is active in several ministries, including RCIA, baptism preparation, Life Teen, Altar Server group, Grief Share, and Adult Faith Formation.