Prayer Methods like ARRR or Ignatian Contemplation

What is Ignatian Contemplation?

Ignatian Contemplation is prayer with Scripture. It is meeting God through story. You become a participant in the story, and you continue in the story in your heart, mind, imagination, spirit and body after the reading ends.

ARRR- Acknowledge, Relate, Receive, Respond

St. Teresa of Avila said, “For mental prayer, in my opinion, is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.”  The A-R-R-R Prayer is a simple method of coming to the Lord as you are.  It can be used almost any time of the day and in just about any circumstance. It can also be used within any other method of prayer, such as Lectio Divina or Ignatian Contemplation, as a way of conversing with the Lord.  The “A-R-R-R” stands for different movements within the prayer:  Acknowledge, Relate, Receive, Respond.  Below, along with these steps, are illustrations of how these movements work, from the example of Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38).


Openly and honestly, without prejudice, acknowledge how you are before God.  What you are experiencing?  What is moving in your heart?

Marian Example:  At the Annunciation, Mary was “troubled” and pondered what the words of the Angel meant.


Bring yourself as you are into relationship with God by relating your experience to Him.  Speak to him from your heart.

Marian Example:  At the Annunciation, Mary asked, “How can this be?”


Listen to what God is doing with the movements of your heart. Receive His presence and the constancy of His love.

Marian Example:  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.”


What we receive impels us to respond in gratitude and with renewed heart.

Marian Example:  Mary’s fiat, “May it be done unto me…”

Imagination in Prayer – How To Get Started

Root and Bloom Forever