Prayer doesn’t have to be the final request for help – it can be the moment you decide to step out of the way and let help in. This is a new way of praying. Instead of being stuck in the fear that your situation isn’t going to be resolved, you become the resolution. Prayer is that moment you create an altar to your guardian angels. The altar isn’t external, it’s internal – within your mind.
— Kyle Gray
Jesus Christ — who, let’s be honest, is the world’s foremost expert on the power of prayer — says in Mark 11:24, “what things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.”
Prayer can be as powerful as you allow it to be, and it can take many shapes. The ritual can be as simple as reciting your favourite spiritual affirmations, or as casual as having a quick conversations with God in your car, or as profound as deep, silent meditation on a Bible verse. That’s the great part about prayer: you can take from it whatever resonates with you!
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of readings and spiritual explorations of angel prayers. One of my favourites at the current moment is the Chaplet of Saint Michael, who is one of the great archangels. A Portuguese Carmelite had a visitation from Michael, who told him that whoever recites the chaplet in the archangel’s honour would have assistance, guidance and protection from him and nine angels. While it’s new to me, the prayer has actually been around for a while, having been approved in the 1800s by Pope Pius IX.
But first, what are angels?
“‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do, ‘angel.’ With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they ‘always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven’ they are the “mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word.”
— Saint Augustine
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes our spirit guides well, saying:
From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.
Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: “The angels work together for the benefit of us all” (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 114, 3, ad 3).
The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being.
When I was a young boy, I used to be visited by an angel. I used to wake up with my entire bedroom awash in blindingly bright light. It terrified me and I would call my parents in for help. They never saw it, which made me more scared. But now I know that there’s nothing to fear. While angels in the Bible have always appeared intimidating and powerful, they’re on our side!
Try your own prayers, to angels or to God, today and see what kind of miracles they invite into your life. If you need a starting point, read the chaplet below. It’s beautiful!
The Chaplet of St. Michael
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen.
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection. Amen.
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen.
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions. Amen.
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. Amen.
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven. Amen.
By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven. Amen.
[Say one Our Father in honor of each of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and our Guardian Angel.]