Praying for Oneself?

I was quite taken by this recent Apologetics question and the answer.

I feel the same way as the OP. My prayers don’t get answered because I’m just praying for myself – I am not devoting myself (if that’s the right term). Though I understand the reply, I don’t know how to get there and “feel” what is missing. I feel it’s selfish to pray for myself so I know something is missing.

Would anyone care to comment?

If this is the wrong forum, it was the only one I could think of that addressed the question.

The question you linked to asks whyare my novenas (prayers) not answered… I recently heard two replys to similar questions 1. “NO” is an answer ( but I prefer )2. God answers in three ways: “Yes”, “not now” and “I have something better in mind”.

I pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit every day. Lord knows, I need it. I also pray to my Guardian Angel, asking for protection and guidance. And, of course, I pray to Jesus for help on many fronts.

And I pray that you find true Peace. God Bless You.

I pray for myself, but myself to do God’s work.

For example, Father, I need your help in order to start up this new fellowship at Church, please guide me. Amen


Father, I am being tempted terribly, please give me strength and wisdom to survive these difficult times. Amen

What are you praying for exactly? There’s a difference. Remember that in Scripture Jesus says ask and it shall be given.

[BIBLEDRB]Matthew 7:7-14[/BIBLEDRB]

By the way, also above all remember


You can talk to your Father, and tell him how you feel, and what is it that you may require. However, YOUR FATHER knows EXACTLY what you need. You won’t get all that you pray for, or at least not necessarily in the way you want.

Thank you all. I guess what concerned me was that prayer for oneself without devotion comes across as bordering on superstition. I can suffer from scrupulosity – not of my own making. But when I see something like this, it brings it on. I then become concerned that my prayers are bordering on the superstitious if I pray for myself.

I grew up in a home that was this was the one topic to avoid – any seemingly supersititious activities (a form of idolatry). For that reason, I never play around with fortunes or horoscopes and avoid anything even seemingly suspect. So, that part of the answer kind of made me “think.”

When I pray for personal intentions that are centered on myself, I keep in mind God’s great font of love and mercy. He knew us before we were born…we know He loves us. Therefore, when I pray, I try to keep in mind that, whatever I am praying for, His answer will be good enough for me. As a poster said above, “No” or “Not yet” is a perfectly valid answer…the beauty comes from knowing it is given with all of God’s generous and gentle love.

Just think on it for a second! God loves us, every last one of us. Prayer, when the focus is on the love and mercy of God, for me becomes a sweet and gentle release of all that worries and bothers me. Whatever happens to me, right now, right here, or tomorrow, or ten years from now, God is watching. Nothing is hidden from His sight. I try to praise our dear Father as much as I can even while stating my own little needs. “Hallowed be thy name!”

I hope that helps a bit.

If praying for oneself is bad, then we’d better get rid of a bunch of the Psalms.


I do a lot of praying for myself, because until certain issues are resolved, I have no faith that any of my prayers for others will have any effect.

I feel my prayers for others are effective, but it was my own that made me wonder. The answer in Apologetics confused me when she brought up bordering on superstition.

Thank you. It’s not “things” that I want. I suffer from depression all my life, but I used to be able to just go forward. Now I need some relief because it’s gotten worse. I also have been out of work for 2 years with very little part-time work now. 6 months ago I lost even my major part-time work after a major injury. I don’t want a car or new furniture. I’m afraid I’m going to be out on the street.

I have few temptations right now because I’m too depressed to sin. That would require action on my part.

I’m making some steps, I can’t reveal everything, but about one small step per day is all I can take right now. For the last 2 weeks I have been unable to pray. Then when I read that reply to the person who said his prayers were not working, it made me think that I was going about this in the wrong way.

Thank you; it does.

I’m so sorry to hear of your misfortune and I will pray for you. Try praying the memorare
to our mother Mary every waking hour for nine days with trust.

Remember O most gracious virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, employed your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence I fly unto you O virgin of virgins our Mother. To you I come before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O mother of the Word Incarnate, dispise not my petition but in your mercy hear and answer my prayer. Amen.

A favorite of Mother Teresa.

You are being deceived… GREATLY.

Now it is the time to PRAY. When God sent Abraham to an unknown territory, leaving everything behind… How did Abraham feel? Happy?

When Adam and Ever were thrown out of the paradise, how did they feel?

When Peter and the apostles were in the boat during this terrible storm, how did they feel?

Ye so little of faith!


NOW, it is the time to surrender to God, and pray!. It is the time to act!. Apply for jobs, Do what you must do! while praying to God to guide YOU.

[BIBLEDRB]Matthew 14:31[/BIBLEDRB]

NOW, it is the time to be PROACTIVE, to BE STRONG in FAITH.


I will pray for you.


Leegal is WEAK. Leegal is losing all faith. Leegal is falling into despair, and believing the deceptions of the Evil one. LORD!, OPEN LEEGAL’S HEART, let Leegal feel You insie his heart. Open the eyes of his heart to YOU. Lord, help Leegal surrender to YOUR WILL, and May YOUR WILL BE DONE ON HIM.


Most welcome.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit