This Is The Biblical Reason Why You Must Make The Sign Of The Cross Before Praying


The Sign of the Cross is a well-known ritual that many Christians, especially Catholics, perform regularly, often without thinking much about its origins or meaning. As we go through the motions – touching our forehead, then the chest, and then each shoulder – it becomes almost second nature. Yet this gesture, far from being a mindless habit, is deeply rooted in Scripture and Catholic tradition. This article delves into the biblical foundation and theological importance of making the Sign of the Cross before praying.

The Historical Background

Before we dive into the biblical reason, let’s briefly touch on the history. The Sign of the Cross is one of the oldest Christian practices, dating back to the Apostolic Age. While the precise form has evolved over time, the essence remains the same: a declaration of faith in the Holy Trinity and the redemptive work of Christ on the cross.

Significance in the Holy Trinity

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

The Sign of the Cross isn’t just a ritual; it’s a proclamation of faith in the Holy Trinity. By saying, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” we are affirming one of the central tenets of Christianity. The Catechism states, “The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the ‘consubstantial Trinity'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 253).

Biblical Foundation in Matthew 28:19

This Trinitarian formula is rooted in the Bible. When Jesus commissioned His disciples, He instructed them to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). This divine mandate establishes the Trinitarian formula as a significant element of Christian life.

Sign of the Cross as a Symbol of Redemption

Marking Ourselves with Christ’s Sacrifice

The shape of the cross we make upon ourselves is a direct reference to the crucifixion of Jesus. The Catechism tells us, “The sign of the cross, on the threshold of the celebration, marks with the imprint of Christ the one who is going to belong to him and signifies the grace of the redemption Christ won for us by his cross” (Catechism, 1235).

Biblical Foundation in Galatians 6:14

Paul the Apostle highlights the importance of the cross in his letter to the Galatians: “But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14). Here, the cross is presented not merely as a historical event but as the focal point of Christian life.

Spiritual Warfare

Protecting Against Evil

Making the Sign of the Cross is also seen as a form of spiritual warfare. It’s a way of asking God’s protection against evil and temptation. The Catechism recognizes this when discussing the Sacrament of Baptism, as the priest makes the Sign of the Cross on the catechumen’s forehead, stating it’s a “sign of the divine life” and how they will “overcome the ‘world’ which the devil’s sin subjected to the power of evil” (Catechism, 1237).

Biblical Foundation in Ephesians 6:11

St. Paul speaks about the spiritual battle in Ephesians 6:11, stating, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The Sign of the Cross serves as a ‘shield of faith,’ a part of the armor of God, that helps to protect us from evil influences.

A Note on Theological Opinions

Up to this point, we have discussed teachings that are universal to the Church. Some theological opinions suggest additional layers of meaning or different historical perspectives on the Sign of the Cross, but these are not considered universal teachings.


Making the Sign of the Cross is not just a mechanical act or a superficial tradition. It is a powerful proclamation of belief in the Holy Trinity, a reminder of Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, and a spiritual shield against evil. It serves as a way of engaging our entire being – body, soul, and spirit – in prayer, orienting us toward God in a manner deeply rooted in Scripture and upheld by the teachings of the Catholic Church.

In a world that often sidelines faith, the simple yet profound act of making the Sign of the Cross serves as a bold statement of our identity as Christians and our commitment to live by the grace and wisdom that come from God alone. So the next time you make the Sign of the Cross, remember that you’re participating in a rich, spiritually significant practice that’s not only universal in the Church but also grounded in the Bible.

🙏 Your PayPal Donation Appreciated

Select a Donation Option (USD)

Enter Donation Amount (USD)


As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you.

Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Scroll to Top