top of page

The Three Pillars of Lent: Prayer


Today we begin the first full week of the Lenten Season, and with the season of Lent can also come the very Catholic anxiety about what we are “giving up for Lent.” Many of us focus so much on what we give up that we neglect the three pillars of Lent: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. This week we will focus on the first pillar: Prayer.


According to Saint Teresa of Avila, one of the Church’s great spiritual masters, prayer is a matter of coming into living contact with Jesus.


Throughout the season of Lent, we are called to deepen our prayer life. For some of us, this means beginning a habit of daily prayer, setting aside time each day to share our hopes, joys, fears, and frustrations with God. Praying first thing in the morning, while the house is still quiet, or talking to God while on your commute to work are simple ways to integrate prayer into everyday life. Praying the Rosary, visiting the Blessed Sacrament or attending a daylong silent retreat may bring you to new places in your relationship with God.


This Lent I offer you this challenge; increase your prayer life, for your own benefit, for your family, for the sake of the Church as a whole. You do not have to do all the below suggestions, try picking one or two of them and do it for 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, and then look back and I guarantee you will see much spiritual growth. Perhaps try picking one or two to do as a family this Lent, or help each child pick one that they would like to focus on this Lent.


  • Pray daily. Try to start every morning with a prayer. Pray before you fall asleep.

  • If you are praying daily already then start adding a few more minutes a day to your prayer time.

  • Say one decade of the Rosary as a family each day.

  • Pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy.

  • Try Lectio Divina. That is prayerfully reading and meditating on even just one verse of scripture.

  • Read a chapter of the Bible every day. What better way to get to know the heart and mind of God?

  • Attend Daily Mass once per week in addition to Sunday Mass.

  • Pray for priests, your parish priest especially, but also all priests around the world.

  • Pray for your bishop, and all the bishops. They are the shepherds of Christ’s church, and successors of the apostles.

  • Pray for the Pope.

  • Pray the stations of the Cross.

  • Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

  • Say the Morning Offering when you wake up.

  • Say the Angelus at noon.

  • Do an examination of Conscience and say the Act of Contrition at night.

  • Read the Sunday readings before Mass.

  • Read the Catechism each day.


This Lent try choosing to be deliberate about prayer and a dedicated time for prayer. Every day we all make choices. We can choose to follow God starting this Lent!


Resources from: Now That I am Catholic; Teaching Catholic Kids; Franciscan Media; Online Creighton University

bottom of page