Leading Spontaneous Prayer – You, Who, Do, Through

During our Webinar – Leading Prayer as a Catechist – we explored a formula to help us lead spontaneous prayer: remembering the words YOU, WHO, DO, THROUGH. Liturgical/Eucharistic prayer includes these 4 elements: YOU (we address God and praise him using divine titles), WHO (we describe the great things that God has done), DO (we pray for God to do something for us now), THROUGH (we pray to the Father, through his Son, Jesus, with the Holy Spirit).

I then invited participants to get some practice. First, I invited them to type in suggestions of how God can be addressed using various divine titles. Here’s a sampling of some of the wonderful ways that participants address God when they pray. What’s your favorite way to address God when praying (especially when leading a group in spontaneous prayer)?

  • Dear Lord
  • Generous Creator of all that is good and beautiful…..
  • Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • Lord God in Heaven…
  • Dear loving God
  • Almighty Father and ever loving Lord…
  • Lord our God
  • Our Heavenly Father
  • Loving Father…
  • All powerful and loving God…..
  • Almighty God and Father
  • Dear God in Heaven
  • Precious Lord,
  • Ever-present Lord
  • Awesome God who reigns from heaven above
  • Lord Jesus, maker of all things
  • Our Father
  • Glorious and loving Father …
  • Good and Gracious God
  • Lord of all, giver of life
  • Father of mercy and love…
  • Almighty Father
  • most loving God
  • Dear Blessed Father
  • God of All Creation
  • Heavenly Father
  • Dear God Almighty
  • Tender God, ….
  • Prince of Peace
  • God Our Eternal Guide
  • God of light and life and love
  • Dear God who is always present
  • Creator of our universe
  • Loving and Compassionate God
  • Our friend and guardian Jesus
  • Our Savior
  • Divine Lover
  • Ever loving God
  • Parent of all earth’s children
  • Creator of all that is good.
  • God, source of all good things
  • All-knowing Lord
  • Most Gracious and Ever Living God
  • Lord of lords
  • God of all that is holy…
  • Most powerful and merciful Lord
  • Wonderful teacher and friend
  • Abba, Father, Creator of all living things
About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. During an 8th grade Confirmation class we discussed trust as in ‘total trust in a person.’ The students came up with ideas like: parents, family members, some teachers, religious, polcemen, friends, etc. Then the students made lists of what made us think these people deserved our trust. Were we trustworthy? One recurring idea was dependability. Did the person react as expected? After our lists, the students started comparing good traits of the saints. Trust will be an ongoing theme during the school year.

  2. I would like to thank you Mr. Paprocki. I’m a seminarian and in different classes we are called upon to lead the prayer prior to beginning class. In my homiletics class, the professor is a very particular man. He doesn’t seem to be content with most of our prayers. I have led prayer and he has certainly let me know it was not to his liking, but he did not show me how to do it. When I asked, he said “just speak to the Lord” which is what I felt I had done. I tried to look for a formula that would help me to facilitate this and yours is the clearest. In all my years in seminary formation, no one has ever taught me this. Thank you.

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