Novenas are something that I have recently come to discover as a form of prayer and have really started to love. A novena can be defined as nine days of private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to obtain special graces, to implore favors, or to make special petitions. After a little research I found out that the scriptural origins of novenas come from the nine days of prayer before Pentecost, but can also represent the nine months that Jesus was in the womb of Mary. The novena can be actually considered to be the “gestation period” of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
There are two extremes to beliefs on novenas that people have seemed to accept. Some people think they are almost like a legal contract that the Lord will follow through with if the person praying is persistent and consistent in their prayer. Another belief is that it is an outdated form of prayer for people who are “too pious” or superstitious. Both beliefs are false and novenas are a very powerful way to pray as long as they are used and understood in the correct manner. As with any form of prayer, we as prayers have to understand that our will needs to align with the will of God. We are more than welcome, even encouraged, to pray, but with our prayer we have to understand and acknowledge that the Lord knows what is best for us.
What I especially love about novenas is that they are a persistent form of prayer. Novenas allow us to completely dive into prayer and specific intentions for nine days. Jesus encourages us to be persistent in prayer when He asks us to knock on the door and through novenas we can be persistent while knocking on His door for nine days straight. Through my time spent praying novenas I do have one suggestion; start each morning with your prayers in the novena, especially if you want to be consistent in all nine days. By starting each morning with the prayers you are guaranteeing yourself not to forget or become too busy during the day and accidentally miss a day.
I will finish by saying that novenas have been such a consolation and help in my life, but only after I understood that above all else, the Lord’s will is the most important detail and path in my life. Sisters, I encourage you to spend some time gathering your petitions and desires. Who should you be praying for and how can you unite your prayer with the Lord for the betterment of the Kingdom of God? My hope is that we become a community united in prayer through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Do not be discouraged in prayer, either. The Lord will always reward those who love Him and let me tell you, He loves each and every one of you.
Here is a link to various novenas: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/novenas
Reflect: Who can you pray for today? What special intentions has the Lord put on your heart?
Act: Find a novena that speaks to you. Make a resolution today to be consistent and persistent in your prayer, understanding that the Lord’s will takes precedence over our desires and intentions.