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Praying a Novena

Jul 18, 2008
How do you pray a novena? The word Novena comes from the Latin word novem which means nine. So a novena is generally prayed for nine consecutive days " most often in preparation for a great feast day, or for a special prayer request or need.

Some novenas are prayed for nine consecutive weeks and the day of the week when it is prayed depends on the day associated with a devotion to a particular saint. For instance, a weekly novena to St. Joseph is usually done on a Wednesday since this is the day traditionally associated with devotions to him.

There are also novenas which are done over nine months, and usually on the First Friday of each month. Some novenas are even hourly and a good example is the novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague which is prayed for just a day for nine consecutive hours.

Moreover, there are novenas which are not limited to nine hours, days, weeks or months. Some are prayed for 30 days like the 30-day novena to St. Joseph.

The praying of a novena apparently was derived from the Holy Scriptures. In Acts 1:14, Jesus asked His disciples to pray together in the upper room and so they prayed for nine consecutive days, ending in Pentecost or the Descent of the Holy Spirit.

Praying a novena is simple. Instructions are provided in novena prayer booklets and even online. Some are so simple that all you have to do is pray a short prayer, mention your prayer intention and pray it again the following day up to nine days.

Other novenas contain long prayers. There is usually an opening prayer and a different prayer for each day or week of the novena. Some novenas also prescribe the praying of the Lords Prayer, Hail Mary and Glory Be a certain number of times.

So everybody can learn how to pray a novena. There are well known novenas such as the novena to the Mother of Perpetual Help and the Sacred Heart Novena. These novenas are known to be efficacious in having ones prayer granted. But whatever novena you intend to pray, pray it from the heart. God sees whats inside our hearts and answers prayers according to His will.
About the Author
For various novenas and prayers, go to St. Joseph's Site. If you're wondering why inspite of praying novenas, still your prayers are not granted, click here to find out why and what to do for your prayers to be granted.
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