The name litany is from the Greek word ‘litaneia’, which means a series of short prayers.
Litany Prayers are one of the great Devotional Prayer Jewels of the Catholic Church and was introduced into the Mass in the 5th century which the prayer “Lord have Mercy” is the sole surviving relic. The Litany also became a form of private prayer. The invocation of the Saints was a feature in many litanies.
(Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church under Litany)
The riches of these prayers were evident in a society where the general population had little access to the Bible or were not able to read or write.
The Leader proclaimed a Litany of Jesus’ Titles and the faithful responded with “Have Mercy on us.”
Each Title signifies a Truth and proclaims a promised blessing that is available for all believers through Christ’s Life, Death and Resurrection.
Throughout the centuries this traditional prayer has been prayed in public and in private for the spiritual needs of a family, parish or country.
In this century the prayer blessings of a Litany are being rediscovered for the prayer Ministry of Healing.
God the Father gave to Jesus His Name and its meaning. The Name and the Person of Jesus is identical. The Name ‘Jesus’ sums up in one word and in one person what the Father has for His other children. His Name means “YHVH”.
God is saving His people in the Person of Jesus. Jesus contains within Himself all that we need for He is God’s Saviour for the World.
On the night before He died Jesus raised His eyes to Heaven and prayed for those who believe and know the Father has sent Him into the world.
“Father the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify You. Through the Power over all mankind that You have given Him, let Him give eternal life to all those You have entrusted to Him.” (John 17:1b-2)
“Now at last they know that all You have given Me comes indeed from You; for I have given them the teaching You gave to Me; and they have truly accepted this that I came from You, and have believed that it was You who sent me. I am not for the world but for those
You have given to me because they belong to You. (John 17:7-9a)
Praying a Litany under the guidance of the Holy Spirit introduces us to the Power of God’s Word for healing and sets us free from the being captive to sinful ways.
Only God knows our weaknesses and vulnerability. Satan uses them to deceive us. When we Sit/Wait/Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and connect with a specific Title, Jesus is revealing and offering us His Healing Power for ourselves and how to pray for others.
Jesus is both human and Divine and every action of His human life has a Divine Blessing. These acts or actions of Christ’s Life, Death and Resurrection redeem us from the effects of sin and have no use-by-date.
We can proclaim the individual acts or actions of Jesus named in a Litany prayer as a Healing prayer and for deliverance for when we are heavily burdened or spiritually oppressed.
Each title is pregnant with Grace. When prayed in faith as a meditative prayer we are receiving the grace to be restored to wholeness.
Litany prayers are like antibiotics in our modern world of medicine. They go to the core of the infection within our spirit.
The Holy Spirit instructs us on a daily basis or over a period of time to meditate on the same Title. He may prompt us to pray two or three complimentary Titles for our healing.
The depth of our emotional pain is rarely from one simple event. It is usually from a series of events that has happened and has registers within us as layers of unresolved hurts.
The variety of Litany Titles addresses those suppressed issues and heals them just like antibiotics heal a variety of infectious bacteria.
We are not alone; we are the progeny of a family tree. The life choices of our ancestors can bring blessings or spiritual burdens from the effects of their sins.
We can be predisposed to their sinful traits too and litany prayers empower us to overcome the temptations to act in similar ways. (Exodus 34:6-7)
Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest.
- Visit the Prayer Exercises section
- Visit the Prayer Ministry section
- Visit the Litanies section
- Listen to an Audio Prayer on How to Pray a Litany.