Prayer Workshop: The Pirate Prayer

Here’s a great assistant to your prayer. It’s called the Pirate Prayer. Okay, it’s not actually called that. But if you know how pirates speak, then you’ll never forget this prayer. “ARRR!” Here’s what those letters mean:





Acknowledge your feelings. What emotions are you feeling right now? Admit to yourself that you are feeling them (or maybe it’s just one, or maybe it’s a million at once). These feelings/emotions might be the result of reading a particular passage from Scripture, they might be the result of some interaction with a family member, friend, or stranger, they might be the result of a particular personal achievement or failure, or they might be the result of something else.

Relate them to the Lord. “Jesus, I’m feeling ________ right now. Help me understand why.” “Father, this is how I feel:  __________. Help me understand why.” Offer your feelings to the Lord. They can be positive or negative.

Receive from him. Sit in silence and see if he gives you any insights, such as why you’re feeling those things, or what it’s such a big deal to you that you’re feeling those things. (For example, maybe you’re feeling annoyed because you think that you should be perfect right now. You think you need to be perfect right now because of something that happened during your upbringing. What does Jesus say about what happened during your upbringing? What does he say about your expectations of being perfect right now? What does he say about you feeling annoyed? Does he have anything else to offer you?)

Respond to his grace. You’ve just had a conversation with the Lord about things that are going on in your soul and heart. He (hopefully) told you about what he thinks. How do you respond to the truths he told you and the potential lies you believed? Where do you go from here?

A person could repeat this entire prayer a million times a day. And I think it could be very helpful for anyone who gets caught in emotions frequently. It’s good to slow down and recognize that sometimes I am ruled by my emotions. By slowing down and dissecting them, I am actually taking control of the very things that are trying to control me.

Prayer Workshop: Lectio Divina

For other posts concerning the Prayer Workshop, click HERE.

I frequently recommend praying with the Scriptures (aka the Bible), but I haven’t always done a good job of explain how to pray with the Scriptures. Sorry about that. Here’s an attempt to remedy this problem.

In today’s Prayer Workshop, we’re going to talk about one of the more popular ways to pray with a passage from Scripture, namely Lectio Divina, which is Latin for Divine Reading. There are many ways to pray with the Scriptures, but this is one I’ve found to be most helpful for my life of prayer. Here’s a basic outline of Lectio Divina:

  • Pick out a passage of Scripture. Something from one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) will probably be best if you haven’t prayed in this way very often in the past.
    • A great option may be the Gospel passage from Mass for the day or for the upcoming Sunday. You can find that HERE.
  • Start with a simple prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind and heart during this time of prayer.
    • Example: “Come, Holy Spirit! I ask that you help me remain focused during this time of prayer. Make this passage come alive in my mind and heart. Show me whatever you want me to know. Amen.”
  • Read the passage, either out loud or silently. Rest in silence for 2-3 minutes. Meditate on the passage you just read. Is there a word or phrase that stands out to you? Let that word or phrase penetrate your mind.
  • Read the passage again. Rest in silence for 2-3 minutes again. This time, are there any images that come to your mind? Are there any particular emotions that come up? Or any ideas about what Jesus has said or how the people are responding to him?
  • Read the passage a third time. Rest in silence for 2-3 minutes again. How does the Lord want this passage to change your life? Do you sense a particular invitation from Jesus? What does he want you to do now that you’ve spent this time being refreshed by him? How is this passage of the Word of God piercing your heart?
  • Finish your time with a prayer of thanksgiving.
    • Example: “Thank you, Holy Spirit, for giving me this time to rest in the Word. Give me the grace I need to keep this Word at the front of my mind and heart. Let it penetrate everything I say and do. Amen.”

Prayer Workshop: Spontaneous Prayer & Holy Thoughts

Silent Prayer

(For an explanation of the Prayer Workshop, click here.)

Direct all of your hopes to God by brief, ardent upliftings of your heart. These are very simple prayers and do not need to be longer than 1 or 2 short sentences.

Praise his excellence: “You are everything, Lord. I need nothing more than your love.” “You are God and I am not.”

Invoke his aid: “Jesus, redeem my life!” “God, come to my assistance! Lord, make haste to help me!”

Adore his goodness: “Praise God!” “God, you are so good.”

Offer your soul to him: “I give you everything, Lord.” “All is yours, Jesus.” “Be my God.”

Let him lead you as a father leads a child: “Lord, I give you control. Let your will be done. Reveal your will to me.” “Lead me where you want me to go.”

Kindle by every possible act your love for God! Speak with your heart or mouth whatever springs forth from the love within you. Let everything lead your memory back to God and his glory.

Let your conversation with the Lord last throughout the entire day, even if you speak only one or two sentences at a time. Let him remain present in your mind all day long, so that he may speak to you and tell you of his love.

Prayer Workshop: Spiritual Rest

Silent Prayer

For an explanation of the Prayer Workshop, click here.

(I’ve mentioned this topic before, as you can see here, but I’ll mention it again because it is very important.)

Read what our teacher has to say about this:

This is a matter…to which I am very anxious to win your attention, for in it lies one of the surest means of spiritual progress.

At various points during the day, stop what you are doing and place yourself in the Presence of God. Of course, he is always with you and you with him, but we so easily forget this fact. Our lives are so busy with work, chores, technology, family, friends, etc. and our minds are too easily distracted from recalling our resolutions made during our Morning Prayer. That is why this phase of the Prayer Workshop is so important. We must strive always to remember the Ultimate goal, which is eternal life in Heaven.

When you stop what you are doing and recall the Lord’s Presence, recall also that he breathes life into you and looks upon you with incomparable love at every moment. Close your eyes and rest in his embrace. Perhaps you may go to Calvary and see him looking with love upon you from the Cross as he dies for your salvation. Or perhaps you may go to the stable in Bethlehem and behold the Baby who has come to save you from eternal damnation. Or perhaps still you may see him ascending into Heaven so that he may send the Holy Spirit to dwell in your soul.

Find rest in these places, even while you are in the middle of your most busy day, or while you are in such a huge crowd that no rest seems possible. Pray these words (or something like them):

You, Lord, are my refuge, my castle, my stay, my shelter in the storm and in the heat of the day. Let me remain in your presence this entire day. Give me grace to recall your love for me and for all of your people. Give me unfailing rest.

Prayer Workshop: Introduction

Silent Prayer

Prayer is one of those basic activities every Christian disciple longs for, even if not knowing how to do it. After all, Jesus invites his disciples to be his friends:

No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)

Now, to be a friend with someone comes with some demands, though the friendship makes the demands seem easy to fulfill. Who doesn’t want to spend time with their friends?? The best way for friends to communicate with each other is by spending time with each other and having a conversation.

Many people, desiring to be disciples of Jesus Christ, do not know how to spend time with their Friend. This must be corrected! I’m turning to the wisdom of St. Francis de Sales, who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries and was well-known for his spiritual advice. He wrote a great book, Introduction to the Devout Life, which was meant for the average person living in the world. (You can find it here.) St. Francis was known to be a great spiritual guide and his wisdom is quite expansive.

My next few posts, prefaced by “Prayer Workshop,” will highlight a few of his chapters concerning briefer periods of prayer that a disciple may take throughout the day. For the most part, these times of prayer do not require deep spiritual knowledge, nor do they require heaping amounts of time, since our spiritual master knows how busy are the people of God. Still, friends of Jesus want to spend time with Jesus and must learn how to do so.

It’s also worth noting that these next few posts will not cover the entirety of the spiritual life and are not meant to. Instead they are simply showing ways which will allow all disciples, no matter how busy, to spend more time with their Lord and Friend.

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