Shelly Henley Kelly suggests praying an intentional Rosary to both focus your prayer and serve others.
There are days when it feels that the whole world is against us. Stressful work with unreasonable deadlines. Kids pulling on our last nerve. Our spouses don’t understand what we’re feeling. Despite our constant effort, the living space is one big pile of miscellaneous stuff, toys, paper, and laundry. And what do you mean it’s time to eat and clean up the kitchen again?
With so many things going on we begin to feel weighed down by our worries and needs and before we know it, our thoughts turn inward, hyper-focused on ourselves and our problems. When this happens, intentional prayer for others is a pathway to regain clarity, perspective, and peace of mind.
You may be familiar with praying a scriptural Rosary, but have you prayed an Intentional Rosary? Simply put, before each Hail Mary state a petition for another person. Gus Lloyd, radio host for Seize the Day on Sirius XM The Catholic Channel, prays an intentional rosary with his listeners every last Friday of the month. He invites listeners to call in and state their petition, then Gus starts the Hail Mary, and the caller finishes it.
If you’re in the habit of keeping a running prayer list for friends and loved ones during the day or week, the intentional Rosary is a great opportunity to pray for them each by name.
Perhaps you’re thinking that you don’t have fifty people to pray for to complete a rosary, but you’d be surprised how once you get started intentionally praying for someone else, more names immediately rise to the surface even as you’re working your way through the very first Hail Mary. Tip: the easiest way to get started is to pray for your family members by name and then it usually starts to flow.
If you pray a family Rosary, go around the room asking each family member to put forward their special intention for someone else before praying the Hail Mary. You might be surprised to hear who your children are thinking about and praying for in their lives. Maybe a family rosary is still a bit ambitious; however, this could be a subtle practice in that general direction by inviting an intentional prayer once or twice around the room until you complete one decade of Hail Mary praying for others. The intentional rosary also works in any small group, mom’s group, book club, or bible study when you need more focused prayer.
Praying for others takes our mind off our own personal worries. If we are truly trusting God, we know that serving Him in prayer refocuses our thoughts, our priorities, and our hearts. Depending on our circumstances, sometimes intentional prayer is the only opportunity we have to serve others.
Copyright 2021 Shelly Henley Kelly
Images (from top): Canva Pro; Pexels (2020); copyright 2017 Holy Cross Family Ministries, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Shelly Henley Kelly is a daughter of God, a Martha who strives to be Mary, living in the world, but not of the world, perpetually busy as breadwinner, wife, mother, catechist, and ACTS sister. A published author, Shelly writes about being a working mom and catechist at SoundMindAndSpirit.com and can be heard on various podcasts at SQPN.com.