Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Jesus Prayer

In today's gospel from Luke, the Tax Collector utters the most beautiful and heart felt prayer in the midst of his feelings of inadequacy in the Presence of God--

Oh God, be merciful to me, a sinner. 

This prayer forms the basis of the Jesus Prayer which is said by Eastern Christians.  The practice uses the Holy Name of Jesus, which is very powerful, to begin this prayer of the heart, and is said continually throughout the day to fulfill St. Paul's admonition to pray without ceasing.  

Practice
Some form of 
Lord Jesus Christ, 
Son of God,
have mercy on me, 
a sinner, 
is used.  It could be 
Lord Jesus Christ, 
have mercy 
on me
or even as simple as, 
Jesus, mercy.  

It is often said on an Orthodox prayer rope, usually with either 33, 100 or 300 knots.  The smaller prayer rope is sometimes worn as a bracelet, which would be a wonderful reminder to pray during the day.  




2 comments:

intostillness said...

Dymphna,

Thank you for calling to mind the power of the Name and this prayer. When I don't know how to pray or have no words to express my prayer, I simply pray,"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.." The Name says it all, "Savior."

Dymphna said...

Exactly.

Dymphna's favorite quotes


"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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