The Jesus Prayer

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This may be the world’s simplest prayer: The Jesus Prayer. It is a brief statement:

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God,

Have mercy on me, a sinner.

This little phrase is called “The Jesus Prayer” and has its roots in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. (The story goes that originally, the old monks prayed only the first phrase of the prayer. However, when a number of young whipper-snapper monks joined, they added the humble line to help the novices maintain perspective- they didn’t know it all- haven’t “arrived” yet, everyone is a work in God’s progress…  good thoughts for us all.)

As I have learned to pray The Jesus Prayer, it has become a lovely way to relax with God and ready myself to listen to Him.

I simply breathe in slowly while saying (I say it silently), “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God”.

Then I exhale slowly while saying, “Have mercy on me, a sinner”.

I find that my body slows down, and after a few repetitions of the prayer, my mind slows down, too. Soon, I am able to put aside the chaos of life and simply concentrate on the meaning of the two lines.

And then, amazingly, I am feeling relaxed and trusting. And can listen when God directs.

Give it a try!

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God,

Have mercy on me, a sinner.

2 responses »

  1. So awesome! I like to say this as I walk to and from school. I match the speed I say the prayer with my breathing and steps. Saying this or other repetitive prayers as I walk helps keep my mind from wandering to stupid things, or from worrying.

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