Invocations: Super-short prayers for when life gets crazy

You’ve got a baby in one arm, groceries in the other, your toddler somehow got your phone, which is ringing—quick, what do you do?

When you need to pray but don’t really have time to sit down and compose yourself, an invocation might be just the ticket.

Invocations (or “pious invocations”) are very short prayers—usually a phrase or sentence—that can be said once (as a quick, spontaneous prayer during stressful or busy times) or repeated over and over as a way of meditating on the presence of God.

Teach your kids these quick prayers, perhaps focusing on one a week. You can find extensive lists of invocations online or in Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers. Here are a few examples:

► “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

► “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.”

► “All you holy men and women, pray for us.”

► “Holy Spirit, give me strength.”

► “Save me, Lord!”

► “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:13)

► “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)

► “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I trust in you.”

► “All for you, Lord.”

► “I love you, Lord.”

► “Teach me to give and not count the cost.” (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

► “Lord, let me be what I should be.” (St. Catherine of Sienna)