Prayer and Life Workshops (PLW)

 

The Prayer and Life Workshops are a new form of Evangelization: alive and with a greater positive vision than what has previously been available. It is a more vibrant and vivid presentation of Jesus; a true adaptation of the needs of our present society. Its emphasis is on Love's transforming power rather than on fear and punishment. That is why unequivocally we say that Prayer and Life Workshops is an answer to today's world.

 

Workshops, Retreats and Talks

 

Prayer and Life Workshops is an association of laywomen and laymen who find a vocation in the evangelization and teaching to pray through workshops, retreats and talks. The Workshops, which go by the name of Prayer and Life Workshops, and the retreats we offer were designed by Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga, and they have been applied and revised for over 30 years in many countries around the world, originally in Latin America. The talks that we can offer are prepared from the wealth of knowgledge that Fr. Ignacio left us in his books and other material.

PLW offers mostly Workshops. These Workshops consist of 15 weekly sessions of approximately 2 hours. At the end of the 15 sessions, participants have a final retreat of one day to finish the Workshop. This retreat is usually held in a retreat center.

In a Workshop, participants learn to pray in a variety of forms as they advance towards contemplative prayer in a progressive and practical manner. In almost all the sessions a different prayer method is practiced. All the forms or methdos of prayer strengthen the participant's capacity to silence and to grow in their interior life, with a deep Carmelitian, Jesuit and Franciscan sense. In this way, the participant may acquire the daily habit of deep prayer. All the sessions of a Workshop are based on the Bible, using themes and readings carefully chosen for each session. The reading of the Word is followed by an audio message from Fr. Ignacio, in which the theme of the session is explained.

Hence, the participant incrementally achieves a deep sense of prayer, especially as a personal contact with the God who loves us.

Finally, the content of the Workshops is uniform all over the world. Thus, the participant who takes a Workshop in Santiago de Chile recieves the same material than a participant who takes the Workshop in Madrid, Mexico, Dallas or Toronto.

 

Mission

 

This service of Prayer and Life Workshops recognized and approved by the Holy See in 1997 and subsequently confirmed per Decree of Approval given by the Pontificial Council of the Laity in October 4, 2002, constitutes the pinnacle and crown of Fr. Larrañaga's entire apostolic activity by its expansive force, for its fruits and the high esteem towards them manifested by the Holy See and its Bishops. With over 18,000 Guides working in the Prayer and Life Workshops throughout the entire world, people are being taught to pray in a progressive and practical manner; introducing them in the liturgical prayer and sacramental life. The Guide's mission is to implant the living God in people's hearts while opening spring of peace, fortitude, and joy; both being an eminently evangelizing task as well as a humanitarian one.

 

Key Points

 

1. Based on the Bible: The Prayer and Life Workshops is an evangelization method that is wholly based on the Word. The central focus on each Session is reading and meditating on the Word. During four months, for each day of the week, the participants are given texts from the New and Old Testaments so that they can meditate and pray them in their homes, using the Brief Guidelines to meditate and live the Word.

2. Christ-centered: In the Workshops Jesus Christ is the beginning, the center and the end, in order that the participants feel, act, and love like Jesus did, with the eternal question in their hearts: What would Jesus do in my place?

3. Nursery of Apostolic vocation: Every experience ends in a testimonial. The Workshop not only wants to be a school of formation but an apostolic school as well: in such a way that the participants, once constituted into disciples and friends of Jesus, participate directly in the priestly, prophetic and regal mission of Jesus Christ and that wherever they make themselves present, by their conduct and deeds they plant the Kingdom of God. In this fashion, the Workshops are an instrument of revitalization for the local Church.

4. Exclusively a lay service: The Workshops, convinced that only with total autonomy they would be able to have a mature laity, opted from its beginning to have a lay government: giving it the entire responsibility to organize and govern the Workshops worldwide. Being eminently a lay service, the Workshops have always firmly insisted in mantaining fluid and cordial relations with the parish priests and Bishops.

5. Practical and experimental character: The Workshos is not a doctrine; neither is it a theory or theology. It works following the orientations of life and their applications. It is an experimental pedagogy, applied both in the Session and in the weekly practice. Praying does not consist in an intellectual reflection... it is a vital activity and things in life are learned by living them and putting them into practice. Due to this practical aspect we speak of Workshop, because as in a workshop one learns by practice and practicing what is learned; in our case, by praying we learn to pray.

6. Step by step prayer activity – adapted to the person: Praying, while a grace is also art. For this reason, it is subject to a methodical and progressive learning process. That is why we have made every effort to place in the internal organization of the Workshops, clear objectives, a progressive pedagogy, clear contents, and lots of discipline.

7. A liberating and healing Workshop made possible through the knowledge of God and of oneself: Through the life experience of Surrender, the participant nears a profound peace; and through messages and exercises, the participant slowly is able to liberate himself from sadness and anxiety; to heal all wounds; to surpass fears and complexes, while recuperating the meaning of life and the joy of living.

8. Transformation enlightened by the Word: The workshop takes the participant and enlightened by the Word, introduced him into a complex framework of reflection, prayer, evangelical message and a self analysis of one's life. In this context, the participant, without realizing it, is driven into a vital transformation. Good and evil are born in the heart. The workshop invades the heart and transforms it into a bastion of harmony, serenity and peace. Once this heart is converted, the gifts are radiated to the family and from the family to the society. Whoever transforms a heart, transforms the world.

9. Commitment with the poor: Christ wanted to identify himself in a preferential way with the needy of the world (Mathew 25, 31-46). The needy are the privileged place where God manifests himself. The Workshops wish to do what Jesus did, those that he preferred will be the ones we prefer: his objectives will be our objectives. We also want to descend from the mountain of prayer and make ourselves present with word and presence, preferably amidst the poor and needy, in order to defend the weak, liberate the captives and announce a year of grace and salvation as stated in Isaiah.

10. Promotion of Gospel values.

 

A Prayer Workshop

 

PLW (Prayer and Life Workshops) is a service that helps you learn and deepen in the art of prayer. This learning has a highly practical character, like a workshop: by praying we learn to pray. In a workshop we learn to enter into a personal relationship with the Lord through different prayer methods, from the first steps of simple prayer to the heights of contemplation. Since prayer, besides being grace, is an art in regards to human nature, the Workshop is organized in a manner that offers a progressive way of learning, methodical in character, with a great deal of discipline. Results? Friends and disciples of Christ.

 

A Life Workshop

 

By means of a woven pattern of meditations on the Word, intensive prayer, community refflection and silencing excersises, the participants overcome, step by step, their inner anguishes and anxieties, fears and sadness... As a result of deeply living faith and surrender, the participants slowly become filled with a peace never before imagined. Result? Overcoming complexes, traumas, controlling your nerves, emotional stability, and joy of living. Starting from an intense contemplation of the figure of Jesus Christ, the Workshop sends the Christian into a sanctification process to become each the more like a Jesus: patient and humble like Jesus, sensitive and merciful, unconcerned with himself and concerned about others... asking each time What would Jesus do in my place?, in this way bringing about a vital transformation that will make many exclaim: my mother has changed!, our brother...! Therefore, it is also a Life Workshop.

 

Apostolic Workshop

 

The Workshop does not create ecclesiastic groups or prayer communities. It only offers a limited and humble service: teaching to pray and to live a Christian life. In the last sessions, the Workshop leads the Christian to directly participate in the priestly, prophetic ad regal mission of Jesus Christ. How we would like to make an apostle of each participant! We dream of transforming the Workshops into a nursery of apostolic vocations, and we are determined that the Workshops become a means for the vitalization of the church.

 

Characteristics

 

The Workshop commits the participant to live in three dimensions: with God, with himself, with others. In each session there are two fundamental lines: one descending, God speaks to man; and the other ascending, man speaks (responds) to God. The Workshop is eminently a lay service: most of the Guides are lay persons; all members of the Coordinating teams are lay people in close relationship with their Ministries. The Workshop is distinguished by the strict puntuality, order and discipline.

The Workshop is a service:
a) Limited. Once the fifteen Sessions are completed, our objective is reached, and we leave. b) Open. The people who attend the Workshop are ordinary Christian, catechists, Pastoral Ministers, Members of diverse Christian groups, those separated from the Church, excluded from the sacraments, Protestants from different denominations...

The Workshop not only contributes in building the Church but also in building a better society because it helps the unity and strength of the individual and the family. Therefore it has an evangelizing and humanitarian dimension.

 

Organization

 

Our ideal is: minimun structure, maximum efficiency. The Workshop consists of 15 Sessions. Each Session lasts for two hours. The ideal number of participants is between 15 and 20 people. The Workshops can be given in a parish hal, schoolroom, or in a private residence. The Workshop are conducted by a Guide, whose mission consists to put into practice the spirit and the contents of the Manual. Ahead of the Guides, is a Local Coordination, whose function is to authorize, organize and supervise the development of the Workshops. Ahead of the Local Coordination, are the National, Zone (several countries), and International Coordination.

 

Other services offered by PLW

 

Besides Workshops, PLW offers retreats and talks. For more information about these services in your area, please contact us using the form in our Contact page. Thank you!