Ignatian Hip-Hop: “Radical Prayer”

by | Mar 12, 2021 | Justice, Music, Pop Culture, Prayers, Spirituality, The Jesuits, Topics

When I was a Jesuit novice, I once eagerly asked one of our Province’s most socially committed Jesuits what the most “radical” thing I can do today as a Jesuit? His response wasn’t what I expected: “Pray!” he said.  I think he meant something other than praying more “Our Father’s” and “Hail Mary’s.” This track is an attempt to unpack his response.

As you listen and pray with the song, I invite you to ask for the grace to live an authentic faith that does justice.


“Radical Prayer” is taken from Mike Martinez SJ’s latest Hip-Hop album “Worship Real” streaming now on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube and Soundcloud.



Lyrics for “Radical Prayer”

The definition of the word “radical” 

Comes from the Latin, “radix”

Meaning “the root”

And when you live from your deepest center

You live… 

… Radically 


What do I do to be radical? Pray! 

How do I do to be radical? Pray!

What do I need to be radical? Pray!

What does it mean to be radical? Pray! 


This ain’t no prayer mechanical

Relight your candle 

And rewrite a canticle 

More like a catapult 

Throwing you off of your comfortable attitude

Showing you how to discover the latitudes 

That you just never seen, heard of, or thought of before 

This ain’t about memorizing up all the beatitudes

Or all the commandments you broke 

Where do you put your hope?

Is it in God or in how are you gonna cope?

I’m putting prayer up under the microscope

Is it in really reciting a creed 

And fulfilling your needs?


Is it in living the creed

And forgetting your needs for the people in need?


Isn’t it odd?

God took an oath, and He chose 


Flesh and spirit  

How do we live it?

Let’s take a vote 

Radical sacrifice

Am I the G.O.A.T?

Or is it God?

Get on his boat 

Cuz the storm that this prayer is bringing afloat (yes!) 

God in control, but he’s never remote (blessed!) 

God never broke, but he’s going for broke (test!) 

This is a radical’s radical prayer…


Prayer is more about giving yourself away 

Than counting how many times you sin a day

Well, okay now, 

What am I to say? 

When I count how much I’ve been loved today 

By my God! 


What do I do to be radical? Pray!

How do I do to be radical? Pray! 

What do I need to be radical? Pray!

What does it mean to be radical? 



Let me just plant a seed

If you concede 

That the Word of God 

Has a power indeed 

That we can’t control 

Or really see,

But that same Spirit that wrote it all

Showed me to read


Let me ask you 

Like 21 questions

The passion, the death, resurrection, ascension 

Class in session 


Between what I do and what I mention

This is what repentance looks like

Got a hard verse, but the hook’s nice 

An epic narrative like a book right 

Gotta cook right 

But I followed the recipe wrong 

Cuz I could right

Then again, I took flight

(Good night!)

Taking off a big bite

(Good bite!)

This is but a “Thank You” letter to God 

With the letters of God 

‘Bout to lose beef — “Mardi Gras” 

From Alpha to Omega 

Feeling like an “Alpha” when I’m all paid up 

Really more Alfalfa, when I’m rascaled up 

That is what they call 

The Paschal what? 


You’re missing 

Convincing me history don’t repeat itself

Misery don’t compete to sell 

More views and clickbait 

More news, but real fake

I break the mold, the old

Behold the new, the only truly true 

Good News

Let me take one take

For Christ’s sake like 


Prayer is more ‘bout giving God the victory

“For God alone is the only one Holy” (Luke 4:34) 

See there’s “no longer me 

But He that lives in me” (Galatians 2:20)

Down to my core

What more You want me to be?

My God…


Pray!  1


Reflection Questions: 

  1. What does it mean for YOU to “live from your deepest root”? 
  2. Has the word “radical” been overly ideologized or can it be redeemed in a Christian context? Is it useful for understanding our Christian calling or can you think of a better word? 
  3. How do you balance a deep prayer life with a life of deep commitment to the work of justice? 
  4. What does the phrase “Contemplative in Action” mean to you? Pray with the following Scripture passages to explore this explicit connection between faith and justice: Is 58:6-14 (Authentic Fasting), Matthew 5:23-24 (First Reconcile with Neighbor)Matthew 25: 31-46 (Judgment of Nations). 

Want to learn more about the Ignatian Prayer method of contemplating Scripture and the meaning of “Living Eucharistically” for a “Faith that does Justice” today? Listen to Mike Martinez SJ’s workshop on “Radical Prayer: A Faith that does Justice” (Episode 4) from an Ignatian Discernment Series produced for College students and Young Adults. Click here for the entire four-part Ignatian Discernment Series.

Editor’s note: This article updated on Mar 12 2021 06:03:30

  1.  Song Credits: Lyrics: Mike Martínez SJ // Beat Producer: Chris Rich // Producer, Vocal, Sound and Mixing Engineer: Oliver Kid

Mike Martinez, SJ

mmartinezsj@thejesuitpost.org   /   All posts by Mike