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Do I Always Have to Pray With an Intention?


A listener named Carol shares that she prays the Rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet daily, but sometimes doesn’t have specific intentions. She asks if we must have intentions each time we pray.

Father Dave explains that there are always intentions to be found, but they are not a requirement of prayer. “I guess I would find it hard to believe that there’s not anything on your heart, but prayer is a relationship with God, and look at it this way; if there is a couple that has been married for 40 years, do they have to have a topic of conversation picked out every time they talk to each other? Do we need to have an end in mind? No. Sometimes talking is just talking. So no, we don’t have to have an intention, but it sounds like you like that and want that.”

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Father Dave suggests praying for people more than once, even if she has already prayed for them. He also suggests looking at the news, getting inspired by the names of the ill, which are often published in parish bulletins, and praying for the Holy Father.

Christina shares that when she doesn’t have any intentions in mind, she offers her prayer up for the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She also notes that Jesus asked us to pray for the conversion of sinners when praying the Divine Mercy chaplet, so that is one intention that can always be used for that specific prayer.