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Prayer is Response to God Reaching for Us

"Let us not grow tired of praying. Jesus taught us to 'pray always without becoming weary.' ( Luke 18:1) We need to pray because we need God. Thinking that we need nothing other than ourselves is a dangerous illusion. If the pandemic has heightened the awareness of our own personal and social fragility, may this Lent allow us to experience the consolation provided by faith in God, without whom we cannot stand firm.'(Isaiah 7:9)" — Pope Francis, 2022 Lenten Message

Updated March 7, 2024

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that God initiates prayer. "The living and true God tirelessly calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer. In prayer, the faithful God's initiative of love always comes first; our own first step is always a response" (no. 2567). Lent is designed to help us respond to that invitation. There are as many ways to pray as there people in the world. We all have a unique prayer language in our relationship with God. St. Thérèse of Lisieux said that for her, "prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy." According to the catechism, there are five distinct forms of prayer that have been revealed in the apostolic and canonical Scriptures and remain normative for Christian prayer (2625-2643). They are blessing and adoration; petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise. Ten Pointers on Prayer

Prayer Suggestions During Lent

If you are struggling in your prayer life, Lent is a good time to start something new. The following offers a variety of ways to pray.

Bible Study

This Lent, check out the offering from Little Rock Scripture Studythe internationally recognized Catholic program that began in the Diocese of Little Rock. Start an online or in-person study using these free articles, available in English and Spanish, that offer questions for group study. Looking to explore on your own? Use this helpful Q&A and guide for reading the Bible in chronological order. Do you like podcasts? If so, check out the "Bible in a Year Podcast," from Father Mike Schmitz. Other options include: "Lectio Divina" ("Divine Reading"), praying the daily readings accompanied by daily video or audio reflections from the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lectio: The Case for Jesus from Augustine Institute or Ascension Press, which also has some great offerings.

Bishop's Homilies

Using the Sunday readings, reflect on the homilies of Bishop Anthony B. Taylor preached at Masses in parishes across Arkansas and beyond in English or Spanish.

Eucharistic Adoration

Have you tried eucharistic adoration? If not, Lent is a great time to grow your relationship with Jesus, who is truly present, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Blessed Sacrament at a Catholic church near you. In 2022, Arkansas Catholic focused its Lent section on the Eucharist. Read how the real presence has touched the lives of priests and laypeople, examples of eucharistic miracles and how to show proper respect and reverence with our hearts and actions toward the Eucharist. Go deeper by joing a "Jesus and the Eucharist" study in a parish near you or visit the new Shrine of Divine Mercy in Little Rock which offers adoration every day by Monday. Find additional resources from the National Eucharistic Revival through 2025.

Guided Lenten Studies, Reflections and Apps

Several Catholic companies offer Lenten reflections, videos, prayers, apps and more for parishes, schools or individuals that can downloaded to your phone, watched online or received via email for those who prefer variety in their prayer and have no time to organize it on their own. Some of these include: Whole 40: Making a Spiritual Plan for Lent from FORMEDBest Lent Ever from Dynamic CatholicBishop Robert Barron Daily Lenten Reflections, Busted Halo, Ascension Lenten homilies and companion reflections and Hallow

Liturgy of the Hours, Centering or Charismatic Prayer

Lent is a good time to try a new approach to prayer. Arkansas Catholic gives a good overview of the Liturgy of the Hours, the universal prayer of the Church, "Lectio Divina" ("Divine Reading") of the Scriptures, Centering Prayer, a contemplative prayer form that uses a prayer word or "mantra" to rest in God's presence and Charismatic Prayer, which focuses on the nine charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit. (See also Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2003) See also "Lent 2021: Pray Without Ceasing," from Arkansas Catholic, which offers several additional resources on prayer.

Prayer Book of Intentions Online

Submit your prayer needs or join Bishop Anthony B. Taylor in praying for all the intentions added daily. Submit a prayer request in English or Spanish.

Pray Penitentially

Given the penitential nature of Lent, praying the Seven Penitential Psalms and the Songs of the Suffering Servant help us recognize our sinfulness, express our sorrow and ask for God’s forgiveness. In addition to the stations of the cross on Good Friday, consider these options: Praying the Steps: A Good Friday TraditionStabat Mater; and Tantum Ergo.

Online Retreats

Retreats are a good way to take a break from the busyness of daily life and are a natural fit with Lent, which calls us into the desert to deepen our relationship with God. Arkansas religious communities and parishes offer Lenten retreats and missions during Lent. Contact a religious community or a parish near you for details. The diocese's annual Ignatian Silent Directed Retreat will be held in April. Several online options are also available, such as the one from Catholic Relief Services, Creighton University or the Ignatian Workout for Lent.

Pray for Ukraine and Holy Land

Pope Francis has repeatedly asked everyone to pray for peace in Ukraine and the Holy Land. During Lent, "consider lifting the people of Ukraine up in prayer to the Lord in the context of the stations of the cross," said Bishop Anthony B. TaylorPray "for an end to the conflict, for peace and justice, for all who have died and for all who are in harm’s way." Consider using the prayer the bishop used when he led the stations in March 2022. Other options include praying for the intercession of Mary through the rosary or praying a novena. Or offer up a day of prayer and fasting for peace in the Holy Land.

MOMMS Prayer Watch

Join this group and lift up the Diocese of Little Rock seminarians in prayer each week in English and Spanish.

Way of the Cross: Stations and Meditations From Arkansas

Enjoy reflections from Catholics in Arkansas and photos from churches and monasteries across the state; follow along on our website or watch the videos on our YouTube channel. Or find out how this ancient devotion began and how it has evolved to be one of the most popular ways to enter into Christ's passion and death in the Catholic Church. Or walk in the footsteps of Christ with this prayer feature that offers a map of the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem along with photographs from the path taken during the Arkansas Catholic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

What's New

On Good Friday we relive Jesus' suffering and death so we never forget God's...
Deepen your friendship with the Lord in sacred stillness and quiet through...
From the earliest days of Christianity, pilgrims have journeyed to Jerusalem...

Calendar of Events