On the Power of One Small Prayer

Praying the rosary today I marveled once again at the Fatima prayer, which is recited at the end of each decade:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy!

I have often wondered how God reacts to a prayer like this. I am awed by the power of this simple prayer, even if said in a distracted way. God is surely pleased that we ask for the salvation of souls and that we have in mind especially those who are most in need, most lost, most wayward.

How many times have we prayed this in the rosary and what have been its effects?It is astonishing and humbling to consider this. Perhaps in Heaven we will be greeted by grateful souls who will tell us that at a certain time on a particular date God heard our prayer for lost souls and applied it to them! We, too, will come to know what a difference the prayers of others made for us.

In recent years during confessions, I often ask the penitent to offer an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” for that soul (known only to God) who is now most in need of His grace and mercy. God knows not only who is in most need of His mercy but also who is opento receiving that mercy. It is a beautiful thought to engage the battle for that soul and to consider that our prayer may be the prove to be the tipping point. God knows how to coordinate all this; we do not. But He asks us to join Him in this work and to pray for the conversion of sinners and the consolation of suffering. In so doing we engage the battle for souls, including our own.

Just a brief consideration of the value of one small prayer that reaches someone in most need of God’s mercy.

4 Replies to “On the Power of One Small Prayer”

  1. Yes! What a gift to have this little prayer–sometimes I wonder whether I really know the state of my soul, poor as I am, and other times remember those whom I’m unable to reach. I pray this with confidence.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful reminder of how our God always listens to our prayers. This prayer given to all of us through the little children at Fatima in 1917 (Our Lady’s second apparition at Fatima when she asked the children to include this short prayer between each decade of the Rosary). O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Your mercy). We can also say this prayer all the day through as the Holy Spirit inspires us, and mention a particular person’s name who needs our prayers. And for ourselves too. Wishing all God’s blessings.

  3. So true, Msgr. Pope!

    I wonder who prayed me into the Church from atheism?And not only me, but my children, members of my family, and all those whom we have evangelized. Maybe it was you who are reading this comment! Thank you and God bless you to whoever it was, and to all who pray for lost souls.

  4. I also love to ponder the line in the Hail Mary: “pray for us now, end at the hour of our death,” and to pause mentally to really focus and intentionally ask Mary to pray for us at that future time, unknown to us: the hour of our death.

    What a beautiful prayer!

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