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BIS LIVES Blog

How to Pray the Litany of Trust

litany of trust catholic

A year ago, I would have said I didn’t have any problem trusting God. That sometimes, sure, I balked a bit at His will or His plans. But in general, I was pretty apt to trust Him with my dreams, desires, hopes, and disappointments. With everything! Fully Trusts in God: party of one. Yay for me!

And then I stumbled upon the Litany of Trust.

The Litany of Trust

The Litany of Trust is a prayer penned by the Sisters of Life, a religious order based in New York (it is specifically attributed to Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, S.V.). I don’t even remember how I came across it, but ever since it crossed my path, I have prayed it every morning. It’s been nearly a year now.

Praying this prayer daily has revealed just how much I need to grow in the trust-in-God arena. And while that may seem defeating, it’s actually been incredibly fruitful. The prayer hits on so many areas where we might struggle to fully trust the Lord. And every time I recite the prayer, I’m moving closer to full and total surrender and trust in Jesus, even if that movement is imperceptible to me.

If you feel discouraged about how hard is it to trust in God, take heart! The Bible and Church history are full of Apostles, leaders, and Saints who also struggled to trust God. He doesn’t demand or expect perfection. He simply asks for a heart turned toward Him and for us to continue to seek Him with all our heart, mind, and soul. The Litany of Trust will help you on your way.

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How to Pray the Litany of Trust

If you want to incorporate this beautiful prayer into your life, here are three of my favorite ways to pray the Litany of Trust!

Pray a couple of lines per hour throughout your day.

One of my favorite ways to pray this prayer is to use my phone to create a series of reminders throughout my day, at each hour interval. I add a note to the reminder with a few lines of the prayer, and make those lines my focus for that hour. There are 29 lines in the prayer, so you could have ten hours worth of prayers if you pray roughly three lines per hour. But, feel free to divvy it up however you want!

Here’s an example:

I’d set a reminder on my phone for 8:00 a.m., and include in the reminder’s note the first three lines of the prayer:

From the belief that I have to earn Your love … Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear that I am unlovable … Deliver me, Jesus.
From the false security that I have what it takes … Deliver me, Jesus.

When the alarm goes off, I silently recite those three lines, and continue to focus on those throughout that hour.

Listen to the audio version while you walk, drive, or do chores.

The sung litany is short, just five minutes, but I love to listen to it a couple times through while walking with my kids, driving in the car, or doing chores. Or—if I’m being completely transparent—locked in the bathroom while taking deep breaths in the middle of a chaotic morning.

It is a great prayer to center yourself and reorient things if your day (or week, or month!) has gone off the rails.

Match Scripture to each line.

One of the most powerful ways I’ve prayed this prayer was to meditate on it, line by line, for a good month. During this time, I seek out Scripture to accompany the theme of each line. It took the prayer much deeper. It also helped me commit some verses to memory to recall when I struggle in certain areas (discouragement, anxiety, fear).

For example, for the line that reads:

From the fear of what love demands, deliver me, Jesus.

I meditated on the following Scripture passages about what it means to love as Jesus commands:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. -1 Corinthians 13:4-5

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. -1 John 3:16-18

 

For the line that reads:

That not knowing what tomorrow brings is an invitation to lean on You, Jesus, I trust in you.

I meditated on the following Scripture passages about not knowing or fearing the future:

He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. -Deuteronomy 31:8

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Phillippians 1:6

 

How to Find Relevant Scripture Verses

You get the picture! As for how to find verses that coincide with each line, good old Google has always been my standby. We also have some posts about verses for different situations. Scripture verses to pray when you’re mad at God are perfect for the line, “From all suspicion of Your words and promises, Deliver me, Jesus.”

There’s also a post about Scripture verses to pray in times of scandal. These would work well for any seasons when you feel angry about something that occurred and anxious or unsure about what the future might look like. This post has some great options for several lines of the prayer, including, “from anxiety about the future, deliver me, Jesus,” and, “from resentment or excessive preoccupation with the past, deliver me, Jesus.”

As mentioned, there are 29 lines in the prayer. So it’s nearly perfect to spend an entire month meditating on one line per day!

Have you ever prayed the Litany of Trust? Do you have a favorite way to pray it? Chime in with a comment—we’d love to learn from you!

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Valerie Keinsley is a wife to a police officer and mama to two little ones living in central Indiana, where she and her husband are currently doing a massive renovation of their 116-year-old home. She loves WWII novels, decaf chai lattes, and trying to keep houseplants alive. She is striving to find and name beauty in the midst of the mundane, and loves to share her “good lists” on instagram. You can find out more about her here.

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