sacred heart of jesus novena prayers

When Christians pray for nine days for a special occasion or intention they are participating in novena prayers. The first novena ever prayed occurred immediately after Jesus ascended to heaven. The Sacred Scriptures tell us, “When they entered the city [of Jerusalem] they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” (Acts 1:13-14) 

The Apostles and other disciples gathered in the upper room together with Mother Mary and prayed for the descent of the Holy Spirit as Jesus had promised. For nine days, they prayerfully gathered until the feast of Pentecost. Certainly, this must have been a powerful nine-day experience as many present-day novenas are. Novena prayers also offer us some extra good news. In addition to obtaining a particular favor by praying a novena, there are five benefits of doing novena prayers that we gain and that I would like to share with you.


1. Gift of Hope…

Our decision to pray a novena is often the result of an urgent impulse of our soul, which longs for God’s presence and intervention in our lives. This longing develops into a hope that convinces us that the Almighty God will favor us with His divine assistance. Truly, the words of the psalmist describe this growing hope within the person praying: “Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!” (Ps. 27:14). When we pray a novena, we grow in the virtue of hope because we learn to “wait for the Lord” in prayer. Certainly, we can appropriate the beautiful words of hope found in Psalm 130 (vs 5-7), “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits and I hope for his word. My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak. More than sentinels for daybreak, let Israel hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is mercy, with him is plenteous redemption…”


2. Gift of Prioritization…

Taking up a novena can sometimes help us learn to put things in life in their correct order. We are reminded that our relationship with God takes precedence over other people, situations, activities, and things that occupy our time and energy. Our Savior says, “Seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” (Mt 6:33) A novena can help us understand that we must make time for God and prayer with Him. When we place God first in our lives, schedule several moments of prayer throughout the day, and regularly visit His House (i.e. church on Sundays and holy days of obligation), everything else falls into place sooner or later.


3. Gift of Commitment…

Novenas cannot be prayed without a willingness to engage in prayer until the end. When we start a novena, we are making a solemn promise or agreement to pray for nine days for a particular intention. This process requires commitment. Certainly, we are living at a time in which there is a deep crisis when it comes to commitment. Novenas can potentially teach us the importance of commitment – to God, to prayer, to work, and to service.


4. Gift of Perseverance…

An exhortation from the book of Ephesians offers a glimpse of the importance of perseverance: “With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones.” (verse 18) Saint Paul encouraged the Ephesians to live praying and begging to God at all times. When this is done at every opportunity in the Spirit, the Christian is persevering in prayer. Hence, novenas can potentially instruct us in the art of persevering in prayer and Christian discipleship until the end.


5. Gift of Devotion…

Father John A. Hardon, S.J. defined devotion as “the disposition of [the] will to do promptly what concerns the worship and service of God… Essential to devotion is readiness to do whatever gives honor to God, whether in public or private prayer (worship) or in doing the will of God (service).” (Pocket Catholic Dictionary – Abridged Edition of Modern Catholic Dictionary) Novena prayers have been known to increase devotion among the faithful. Furthermore, praying a powerful novena can transform our faith and prayer life so profoundly that our primary task gradually becomes glorifying God wholeheartedly whenever we pray or serve. A preference for God’s will and things saturates the heart of the Christian that develops this virtue of devotion through the regular rhythm of novena prayers.

The following novena prayer to the Sacred Heart is a favorite of mine. St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina was known to recite this novena on a daily basis for everyone who requested his prayers. I encourage you to pray this for nine days for a particular intention that is concerning to you.  I am certain you will appreciate this novena and am hopeful you’ll share it with others!

sacred heart of jesus novena prayers

Efficacious Novena to The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

  1. O my Jesus, You have said, ‘Truly I say to you, ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.’ Behold, I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of… (here name your special intention). Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be to the Father…

    “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.”

  2. O my Jesus, You have said, ‘Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, He will give it to you.’ Behold, in Your name, I ask the Father for the grace of… (here name your special intention). Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be to the Father…

    “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.” 

  3. O my Jesus, You have said, ‘Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.’ Encouraged by Your infallible words, I now ask for the grace of… (here name your special intention). Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be to the Father…

    “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.” 

Prayer: “O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us poor sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of You, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your tender mother and ours.”

Pray: “Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”

Then end, saying, “St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.”

God bless you.

5 thoughts on “5 Surprising Benefits of Doing Novena Prayers

  1. Thank you for visiting my site and for inviting me here to read your wonderful article on the benefits of saying a novena. I have always loved this type of devotion to Our Lord and His saints. When I was a girl, we actually had many different novenas that were said at church with Benediction following. My favorite was the Miraculas Medal Novena on Tuesday nights. I miss those days.

    Efficacious Novena to The Sacred Heart Of Jesus is one of my favorites too. God bless you and your ministry.

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