Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Novena?
The word novena is taken from “novem,” the Latin word for nine. A novena is made up of nine days of prayer and meditation usually to ask God for special prayer requests or petitions. Novenas are often used to ask specific saints to pray for us. The Saint Jude Novena, for example, is prayed to ask Saint Jude to intercede on behalf of a request that seems especially dire.
Novenas are an ancient tradition that goes back to the days of the Apostles. Jesus told His disciples to pray together after His ascension into heaven, so they went to an upper room along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, (Acts 1:14) and joined constantly in prayer for nine days. These nine days of constant prayer by the Apostles at the direction of Jesus led up to Pentecost. This is when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples as “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:1-4). This pattern of 9 days of prayer is the basis the novenas we pray today.
Thus, the novena is an imitation of the Lord’s command to the Apostles when they prayed for 9 days in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
How do I pray a Novena?
If you sign up for novenas here, we will send you the announcement for each novena, a reminder, and the daily prayers for the 9 days of the novena. We will also send you an e-mail on the feast day or last day of the novena, as well as share answered prayers with you from other people in the community.
All you need to do is to say the daily prayers with a sincere heart. It is not necessary to pray at the same time every day (although you can), or to fast, or to pray the rosary in addition to novena; however, you can still do all of these things in addition to praying, but they are not required. If they are, we will tell you in our e-mails.
Novenas should not be seen as magical incantations that guarantee desired results. God controls the universe and we certainly do not control God. He is not a genie in a bottle, but rather He is a loving Father in heaven. This means that whatever good intentions we pray for, we must accept the fact that God knows what’s best for us, whether we understand His divine intention or not. “Thy will be done” is the proper posture of all Christian prayer. Any so-called novena prayer circulating around that contains guaranteed results, and threatening misfortune for those who fail to devote themselves to it is merely a chain-letter; these should be ignored.
Nonetheless, Jesus reminds us in the Gospel to be persistent in prayer and a novena is a great aid in doing just that!
What if I miss a day?
That’s okay, it happens! If you a miss a day, you can do one of a few things…
You can either: 1) skip the day you missed altogether, 2) say two of the daily prayers in one day to catch up, or 3) say the prayer of the day you missed and just be one day behind everybody else.
It’s up to you, and whatever you choose to do is okay. There are no “rules” and there are no “consequences.” God is forgiving and merciful!
What if I can’t check my e-mail on the weekends to read the daily prayers?
You can always find the entire novena here, so you can look up those daily prayers beforehand so you have them when you need them.
Our Special Members also receive a special printable version of the novena each month before we begin praying.
Have people’s prayers really been answered by praying a novena?
They sure have! You can read my personal answered prayer HERE.
And here are a few other places where you can read through many answered prayers from some of the novenas we have prayed together:
Why wasn’t my prayer answered? Did I do something wrong?
I am so sorry your prayer wasn’t answered. I assure you that you didn’t do anything wrong. God absolutely heard your prayer and He knows your every need — even before you whisper it to Him. Please do not give up on hope.
As you are carrying your cross, Jesus is carrying you in His hand.
For every answered prayer we share, we know there are at least as many unanswered prayers — if not more; and we know that unanswered prayers can be discouraging.
But we don’t want you to lose hope, or to stop praying.
In fact, many of the Saints that we ask for intercession are great examples that we should persist in our prayers, and keep our faith strong. St. Monica, for example, prayed for nearly two decades before her prayers were completely answered.
Now, if you have had some prayers go seemingly unanswered (you’re not alone), and you’ve been asking yourself, “Should I just stop praying?” — here’s a post I wrote that may be able to help: Unanswered Prayers
Why is there an extra 'final prayer' on the last day of the Novena?
We pray this prayer at the end of every novena - it's sort of like a celebration, and most of the novenas we pray end on a feast day, so it's a final feast day prayer as well. The reason why we pray for nine days leading up to the final day of prayer (the 10th day) is based on (Acts 1:14) and (Acts 2:1-4). Jesus asked His disciples to pray for 9 days, and on the 10th day, He sent them the holy spirit. So we pray for nine days, and then have a final prayer on the 10th day in commemoration of that first novena, the Holy Spirit Novena.
Who is the Patron Saint of…
All of the holy men and women in Heaven are good intercessors for any intentions, but here are the patronages of some of the more popular intentions and saints:
- Impossible Causes: St. Jude, St. Rita, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
- Looking for a job: St. Joseph, St. Cajetan
- Looking for a home & selling a house: St. Joseph
- Looking for a spouse & discerning marriage: St. Anne
- Discerning a vocation: St. Therese of Lisieux
- The youth, children: St. John Bosco, St. Maria Goretti, St. Aloysius Gonzaga
- Depression & Anxiety: St. Dymphna, St. Therese of Lisieux
- Cancer Patients: St. Peregrine
- Married Women & Difficult Marriages: St. Monica, St. Rita, St. Anne
- Infertility & Parenthood: St. Anne, St. Rita
- Pregnancy & Childbirth: St. Gerard Majella
- Healing: St. Anne, St. Jude, St. Rita, St. Peregrine
- Alcoholics: St. Monica
- Addicts: St. Maximilian Kolbe
- Animals & Nature: St. Francis of Assisi
- Athletes: St. Sebastian
- Death: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, St. Joseph
- Lost items: St. Anthony
- Military members: St. Joan of Arc
- Parish priests: St. John Vianney
- The Poor: St. Lawrence, St. Anthony of Padua
Which novenas do you pray?
There are some novenas that are so popular that we pray them every year, like the Divine Mercy Novena or the St. Therese of Lisieux Novena and St. Jude Novena. Other than that, we do take suggestions and prayerfully discern which novenas to pray as a community.
Who are you?
We’re John-Paul & Annie, a husband and wife team, and we run Pray More Novenas. You can read more about us HERE.
Will you pray for me?
Absolutely, we will and we are praying for you!
Are other people in this community praying for me too?
Yes, they are! For every novena we pray, we ask the community to pray for others who are joining us in prayer — that means you! We also invite you and everyone else to post their prayer intentions online so that others can see those, and pray for them.
How can I contact you?
The best way to reach us is through e-mail, and our e-mail address is: [email protected] We read every e-mail we receive, and we try our best to respond to questions as soon as possible. Please be patient with us, though, as it’s just the two of us, and we receive a lot of e-mails as this ministry has grown. :)
How can I change, update or cancel my donation?
The best way to this is through e-mail. Just send us an email at [email protected] and let us know how we can help. Be sure to include the name you used when making the donation so we can find it in the system. Please be sure you never send credit card information via email. It is not secure. If you need to update your card, we will provide you with a secure form to use after you email us :) God bless you!