Prayers for Strength: Catholic Prayers and Blessings for Strength in Difficult Times

Prayers for Strength

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Sharing with others in our weakness
  3. God strengthens us through others
  4. Prayers for strength for the day
  5. Prayers for strength during a difficult time
  6. Prayers for strength for a friend
  7. Family prayer for strength 
  8. Bible verses for strength
  9. More prayers

It can be easy to feel close to God in our best moments–when things go well, when we have occasions to celebrate or feel connected to people around us who uplift us.

In our challenging moments–when we are lonely, sick, overwhelmed or scared–we might feel distanced from God.

God makes it clear to us that in these moments when we feel weak, or whatever reason, God can be our source of strength, gently guiding us toward peace.

In Psalm 50:15, God tells us, “Call upon Me on the day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me.”

In our worst moments of weakness, God is ready to be by our side. His presence–and the strength He offers–may take a form you don’t expect.

We Can’t Endure Our Weakness Alone

Weakness is a universal human experience since original sin. But in our weakness, we’re reminded of our reliance on God.

In a June 2015 morning meditation, Pope Francis reminded us of this–and the importance of recognizing our weakness. 

“One who thinks he is strong, who thinks he can do it on his own, is at least naïve and, in the end, is a man defeated by so many weaknesses which he carries within himself,” he said, “Weakness leads us to ask the Lord for help.”

God’s Strength Working Through Others

A famous Christian parable known as The Drowning Man (or Man on the Roof) tells the story of a man who repeatedly ignores rescuers offering him help because he believes God will help him. Ultimately, he dies and asks God why He never came to help Him.

As the parable (and popular homily joke) goes, God replies, “I sent two boats and a helicopter to rescue you. What more did you want?”

It’s a simple reminder that God is at work in the world around us through the Holy Spirit. When we pray to God for strength, we ought to open our eyes to the support He helps procure for us: trusted medical professionals, licensed therapists, support groups and other organizations to lift us up when during moments of need.

While God is at work through those around us, prayer is not a standalone solution for severe mental or physical illness, which is why it’s important to reach out to professionals in your area who are equipped to address these issues.

Of course, the Church believes in true miracles, which has been Hallow’s focus during the Easter season.

Prayers for Strength for the Day

Beginning each day in prayer is an excellent habit for our faith lives, and this can include asking God for strength for the upcoming day.

Here’s a simple, one-line prayer given to us by Pope Francis that you can pray to ask God for strength each day. You can pray it any time on its own or before other prayers or meditations.

“Lord, I know that in my weakness, I can do nothing without Your help.”

The following is another short prayer for strength to begin each day:

“As I begin my day, I turn to You, Lord, and ask for strength. Be my rock whenever the day shakes me. Guide me through the day as I navigate choppy waters that might come my way. Empower me to speak up when I need to, even if my voice shakes. Help me to feel tall in situations that make me small. Be the light that empowers me in darkness. Most of all, help me feel Your loving embrace this day and all days. Amen.”

Prayers for Strength during a Difficult Time 

One of the best prayers for strength during challenging times comes to us from one of the great Church Fathers.

St. Augustine of Hippo, in Confessions, gave us a prayer for strength that has withstood the test of time and is as meaningful today as it was more than 1500 years ago.

This prayer reminds us that we are always God’s children, whom God loves and protects, and that challenging moments are fleeting compared to the promise of eternal salvation in heaven.

O Lord our God, grant us to trust in your overshadowing wings. Protect us beneath them and bear us up. You will carry us as little children, even to our grey-headed age you will carry us still. When you are our strong security, that is strength indeed. But when our security is in ourselves, that is but weakness. Our good abides ever in your keeping, but in diverting our steps from you we have grown perverse. Let us turn back to you at last, Lord, that we be not overturned. Unspoiled, our good abides with you, for you are yourself our good. We need not fear to find no home again because we have fallen away from it; while we are absent our home falls not to ruins, for our home is your eternity.

St. Augustine, Confessions 

Prayers for Strength for a Friend

We often turn to God when we see a friend struggling. We want to help–and we try to help. But sometimes, we struggle to know what to say or do.

We can lift up to God those around us in need of strength, asking God to hold them in the palm of his loving hands when they’re most vulnerable.

God, at moments, I feel helpless, unsure of how I can best support my friend. I know You are all-powerful and all-knowledgeable, knowing our wants, needs and abilities even better than we understand them ourselves. I ask that in Your mercy, You strengthen and protect my friend in their moment of need and strengthen me in support of them. Help them to know peace. I ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen.

We know, O Lord, that You call us to build Your kingdom here on earth through love and care of those around us who are most vulnerable and most in need. Today, I lift up my friend, who is weary, suffering and in need of strength. Give them the power to live today in courage and hope. Bolster them with Your loving presence. Help them to know that they are loved: by You, by me and by many others. Be with them today, tomorrow and all days. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

Family Prayer for Strength

Our struggles are often shared. What affects one family member usually affects many. It can be difficult to feel fully at peace when one family member is dealing with difficult times.

When your family collectively needs the strength and support that only God offers, consider the following prayer given to us by Pope Francis in AMORIS LÆTITIA:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

in you we contemplate

the splendour of true love; to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,

grant that our families too

may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel

and small domestic churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,

may families never again experience violence, rejection and division;

may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,

make us once more mindful

of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Graciously hear our prayer.


Bible Verses for Strength 

When we pray to God for strength–or anything else–our words need not be perfect. In fact, our words don’t even need to be our words at all.

The Bible provides us with plenty of prayers and words of inspiration that we can lean on in our prayer life.

Rely on these verses of Scripture when you’re in need of strength.

I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.

Philippians 4:12-13

Do you not know?

    Have you not heard?

The Lord is God from of old,

    creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary,

    and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.

He gives power to the faint,

    abundant strength to the weak.

Though young men faint and grow weary,

    and youths stagger and fall,

They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength,

    they will soar on eagles’ wings;

They will run and not grow weary,

    walk and not grow faint.

Make me understand the way of your precepts;

    I will ponder your wondrous deeds.

My soul is depressed;

    lift me up according to your word.

Lead me from the way of deceit;

    favor me with your law.

Isaiah 40:28-31

You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth

    and summoned from its far-off places,

To whom I have said, You are my servant;

    I chose you, I have not rejected you—

Do not fear: I am with you;

    do not be anxious: I am your God.

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

    I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Yes, all shall be put to shame and disgrace

    who vent their anger against you;

Those shall be as nothing and perish

    who offer resistance.

You shall seek but not find

    those who strive against you;

They shall be as nothing at all

    who do battle with you.

For I am the Lord, your God,

    who grasp your right hand;

It is I who say to you, Do not fear,

    I will help you.

Isaiah 41:9-13 

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