In Eastern Christianity, the Jesus Prayer, also known as the Prayer of the Heart, is a mental invocation of the name of Jesus Christ that is regarded to be most potent when repeated continually. A common form of the prayer is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have compassion on me,” which means “Lord, have mercy on me.” It represents the biblical concept that the name of God is sacred and that invoking it means a direct encounter with the divine. According to the Jesus Prayer tradition, it originated with the “prayer of the mind,” which was advised by the ancient monks of the Egyptian desert, notably Evagrius Ponticus, in the first century AD (died 339).
As early as the 13th century, mental prayer was regularly associated with psychosomatic techniques, such as breathing discipline.
When reciting the Jesus Prayer, it is customary to use a prayer rope to assist you.
What is the Jesus Prayer and Why Do People Pray It?
According to Eastern Christian tradition, a Jesus Prayer (also known asPrayer of the Heart) is a mental invocation of the name of Jesus Christ that is regarded to be most effective when repeated repeatedly. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have pity on me,” is the most frequently recognized version of the prayer. It represents the biblical concept that the name of God is holy and that invoking it indicates a direct encounter with the Divine. According to the Jesus Prayer tradition, it originated with the “prayer of the mind,” which was advised by the ancient monks of the Egyptian desert, notably Evagrius Ponticus, who lived during the time of the Crusades (died 339).
The release of thePhilokalia(1782), an anthology of works by diverse authors on mental prayer, helped to promote the practice of the Jesus prayer in contemporary times.
Melissa Petruzzello has made the most recent revisions and additions to this page.
The Jesus Prayer consists of the words of the tax collector: “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
These words have evolved into powerful prayer words that may be used to focus on and pray to God. But, you might wonder, why? Alternatively, you may ask:
What is the Jesus Prayer and why do people pray it?
Throughout the history of the Orthodox Church, the roots of the prayer have been extensively transmitted to the faithful. The orthodox tradition taught followers that, in addition to being conscious of the heart pumping blood, the heart is a location of contact with God, which may be achieved by continual prayer.
This is based on Paul’s instructions in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which are paraphrased below. God’s will for you is to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all situations.” “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances.”
The prayer was part of the tradition known as Hesychasm.
In Eastern Orthodoxy, there is a kind of Christian mysticism known as hesychasm. It became very popular in the 1300s. Hesychasm relies on contemplative prayer, particularly the recitation of the Jesus Prayer in meditation, to help people experience oneness with God and achieve salvation. For this, one must shut down all senses and turn down their thoughts, all while concentrating on the words and meaning of the Jesus Prayer, which takes practice. According to various Church Fathers, the Jesus Prayer is “vital” to our spiritual development.
- We are humbled by the Jesus Prayer, which expresses our faith while also begs for pardon for our wickedness.
- While not nearly the same as Eastern techniques, it is more in accord with Buddhist principles.
- God, on the other hand, loves and appreciates individuals who are humble in spirit and who pray because they sincerely desire to communicate with God via prayer.
- The ultimate objective is to achieve union with God, which is to have a pure relationship with God.
- Jesus was implying that he did not want us to pray as a form of display, as the Pharisees did.
Contrary to Hesychasts and mysticism, Jesus didn’t want us to pray as a mere ritual or mediation technique.
He surely does not want us to believe that the only way to connect and converse is via our subjective experiences. Examples of a well-intended prayer life may be found in John 16:23-24, Philippians 4:6, Psalm 18:6, and James 5:16, among other places.
There are multiple benefits to the Jesus Prayer:
Practicing the Jesus Prayer for ten minutes a day for 30 days while sitting quietly, according to George Stavos, Ph.D., “The Impact of Contemplative Prayer on Psychological, Relational, and Spiritual Well-Being: A Study of the Jesus Prayer,” found that one’s perception of their closeness to God increases after practicing the Jesus Prayer for ten minutes a day for 30 days while sitting quietly. It has also been demonstrated to lower levels of aggression, interpersonal sensitivity, sadness, and anxiety.
“Unceasing calling upon the name of God cures one not only of passions, but also of actions,” writes St.
Barsanuphius the Great (6th century), “and just as medicine affects a sick man in a way that is beyond his comprehension, similarly the invocation of the name of God destroys passions in a way that is beyond our comprehension.”
When we pray the Jesus Prayer, we are honoring the fact that Jesus is our Lord.
He is the second person of the Trinity, and he is the Son of God. He is both entirely human and fully divine. He is the supreme ruler of our life. Our road to the Lord is freely directed by the Lord. His name, Jesus Christ, is the name that surpasses all other names in the universe. It is an abbreviation for Savior. When we pray, “Lord, Jesus Christ,” we are acknowledging his Lordship as well as the redemption we have received as a result of his sacrifice. He is the only one who has the ability to rescue us out of the abyss of sin and set us free from the entanglements that have entangled us.
- As we contemplate the phrase “Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” we are reminded of the Trinity and of Jesus’ incarnation.
- It serves as a reminder that Jesus was both wholly God and totally man, and that he was completely free of all sin.
- It reminds us of God’s love and humbles our hearts as we are filled with gratitude and amazement for who he is and what he has done to save us.
- When we implore him to have pity on us, it serves as a reminder that we are incomplete; we are broken if we do not have him.
- There are no prayers that our heavenly Father is incapable of hearing.
- What he can accomplish is not restricted, and neither are the words or absence of words in our petitions, which are not limited either.
- Complete and confident prayer, believing that God hears our petitions and is more than capable of satisfying every request in accordance with his will, is the way we should pray.
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The Jesus Prayer is straightforward: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have pity on me, a sinner,” says the speaker (For different languages) According to various Church Fathers, the Jesus Prayer is “vital” to our spiritual development. The Jesus Prayer both declares our faith and humbles us by pleading for forgiveness on our behalf because of our wickedness. The Jesus Prayer is said to be as old as the Church itself, according to popular belief. According to Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, “more than any other prayer,” the Jesus Prayer assists us in being able to “stand in God’s presence.” To put it another way, the Jesus Prayer assists us in focusing our thoughts only on God, with “no other idea” occupying our minds other than the notion of God.
- The Name of Jesus Christ has great power.
- It is a public declaration of our beliefs.
- Make careful to talk with and heed the advise of your spiritual Father before making any decisions.
- Learn more about the importance of humility in the practice of the Jesus Prayer.
- The first is worship, which includes all forms of prayer.
- The second function is discipline, which helps our soul gain control over our busy minds and establish calm, allowing the Holy Spirit to operate through us and assist us in living out the virtues in connection with God.
- You begin reciting the Jesus Prayer by saying the words of the prayer aloud or at the very least moving your lips as you repeat them.
When the Jesus Prayer is spoken silently or mentally, it is simply repeated in the mind, and it is no longer considered sacred.
Last but not least, the Jesus Prayer is transformed into a constant prayer in our hearts, the innermost center of our beings.
When you are ready, this will happen of its own accord.
learn more about the three steps of the Jesus Prayer by reading this article Prayer to Jesus in Practice Our holy Fathers remind us that when we do the Jesus Prayer as part of our daily prayer routine, we repeat it hundreds of times over and over again until it becomes second nature.
Begin by repeating the Jesus Prayer aloud, paying close attention to each word.
You will encounter the difficulty of coping with your thoughts, as well as the propensity for your mind to stray.
Make your prayer sincere, and repeat it several times with repentance.
Jesus Prayer is a Protracted and Difficult Journey.
As with all ascetic practices, the practice of the Jesus Prayer is a difficult one that requires dedication of time, patience, and perseverance on the part of the practitioner.
read more about the difficult path of practicing the Jesus Prayer in this article.
You will eventually find yourself praying the Jesus Prayer throughout the day, and you will notice that your life changes as a result of doing so.
Jesus Prayer is not a type of Eastern meditation in the traditional sense.
The Jesus Prayer, like all Orthodox prayers, is about seeking a personal relationship with a God who is based on faith and love.
The History of Jesus’ Prayer Articles and Books on the Jesus Prayer Saint Theophan the Recluse, St.
Gregory Palamas, St. Ignaty (Brianchaninov), Mother Alexandra, Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Father Paisios the Athonite, and many others are mentioned. Trifold Brochure on the Jesus Prayer (pdf) for use in your parish bookstore.
What Is the Jesus Prayer?
In the Orthodox churches, the “Jesus Prayer” is a mantra-like prayer that invokes the name of Jesus Christ for mercy and forgiveness. It is a cornerstone of the Orthodox faith. It is possibly the most common prayer among Eastern Christians, both Orthodox and Catholic, and it is spoken in many different languages. Additionally, this prayer is performed in both Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism. Instead of praying the rosary, Orthodox Christians utilize a prayer rope to recite a sequence of prayers in succession, similar to how Catholics do the rosary.
The “Jesus Prayer”
Please, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have pity on me, a sinner, in your name.
Origin of the “Jesus Prayer”
It is thought that the Desert Mothers and Desert Fathers, ascetic or reclusive monks of the Egyptian desert who lived in the fifth century A.D. and were known as the Desert Fathers, were the first to utilize this prayer. According to Saint Paul, who writes in Philippians 2, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, things on earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,” the power derived from the invocation of Jesus’ name can be traced back to his writings.
Saint Paul exhorts you to “pray without stopping,” and this prayer is one of the most effective methods to begin doing so right away.
As a Christian believer, if you fill the empty times of your day with the holy name of Jesus, you will be able to keep your mind on God and progress in His grace.
Jesus’ “Jesus Prayer” is paralleled in a prayer said by a tax collector in a parable about the Publican (tax collector) and the Pharisee (religious scholar) that Jesus relates in Luke 18:9-14: “I pray for you, Father, that you may be forgiven your sins.” This story was also spoken by Jesus to a group of individuals who were persuaded of their own goodness and loathed everyone else.” Pharisee and tax collector, respectively, went up to the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, while the other was a tax collector.
‘God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men, who are extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector,’ the Pharisee said to himself as he stood and prayed.
‘I contribute tithes from all I earn.’ However, the tax collector, who was a long distance away, refused to even lift his eyes to heaven, instead beating his breast and pleading with God, ‘God, be compassionate to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man walked down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” —Luke 18:9-14, according to the World English Bible A sinner like me, the tax collector pleaded with God, “Be gracious to me, God!” Interestingly, this sounds quite similar to the “Jesus Prayer.” It is implied in this narrative that the Pharisee scholar goes above and beyond his peers in his observance of Jewish law, fasting more frequently than was needed and offering an additional tenth on all of his possessions, even when the religious regulations do not demand it.
The Pharisee, secure in his religious convictions, begs God for nothing and, as a result, obtains nothing.
Nevertheless, because the tax collector saw his own unworthiness before God and approached God in humility, he is granted God’s forgiveness.
The Jesus Prayer – Prayer & Spiritual Life – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Jesus’ “Jesus Prayer” is paralleled in a prayer said by a tax collector in a parable about the Publican (tax collector) and the Pharisee (religious scholar) that Jesus relates in Luke 18:9-14: “I pray for you, Father, that you may be granted forgiveness.” This tale was also told by Jesus to a group of individuals who were persuaded of their own goodness and loathed everyone else.” In order to pray, two men walked up to the temple, one of them was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
- ‘God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men, who are extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector,’ the Pharisee said as he stood and prayed to himself.
- The majority of what I earn goes to charity as tithes.
- I tell you, this man walked down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted, and everyone who exalts himself will be exalted.” According to the World English Bible (Luke 18:9-14).
- This sounds eerily similar to the “Jesus Prayer,” and it is.
- Pharisees are self-assured in their religion, so they beg for nothing from God and receive absolutely nothing in return.
- However, God’s kindness is extended to the tax collector because he acknowledged his unworthiness before God and approached God in humility.
The Challenge Of St. Paul
Nonetheless, this attitude to prayer has nothing in common with the Christianity of St. Paul, who exhorts the Christians of first-century Thessalonica to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). And, in his letter to the Christian community in Rome, the Apostle tells them to “pray without ceasing” (Rom. 12:12). He not only expects continual prayer from the Christians under his supervision, but he also engages in it himself. “We continuously praise God for you,” he says in his letter to the Thessalonian community (1 Thess.
Paul refers to prayer in his letters, two Greek terms arise repeatedly: PANTOTE (pantote), which means “always,” and ADIALEPTOS (adialeptos), which means “without interruption or without ceasing to pray.” It, in this case, is not only a component of our lives that we can readily ignore when something more important comes along; prayer is our entire lives.
- This raises a number of significant issues.
- After all, we are a pretty busy bunch of folks.
- In our already overburdened schedules, how can we squeeze in extra time for prayer?
- To pray does not imply that we should think about God more than we should think about other things, or that we should spend more time with God than we should spend with our families and friends.
We must take on the form of prayer-prayer embodied.” In his letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul says, “whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.” This is what he means when he, “whatever you do, do it for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
The Jesus Prayer
The Jesus Prayer, also known as the prayer of the heart, is offered by the Orthodox Tradition as a means of entering more deeply into the life of prayer and of coming to terms with St. Paul’s invitation to pray without stopping. When we pray the Jesus Prayer, we are offering ourselves a means of focus, a focal point for our inner lives. Despite the fact that there are both lengthier and shorter versions of the Jesus Prayer, the most commonly used form is: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” It is anchored in the Scriptures as well as the new life supplied by the Holy Spirit, and it is simple and straightforward in its expression.
Paul explains in his letter to the Corinthians, “no one can proclaim ‘Jesus is Lord’ save by the Holy Spirit.” Because the prayer addresses Jesus as Lord, Christ, and Son of God, it is first and foremost a prayer of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.
The Scriptural Roots Of The Jesus Prayer
Both the physical form and the theological content of the Jesus Prayer are derived from the Scriptures. Four aspects of it may be traced back to the Scriptures:
- Because of its brevity and simplicity, it satisfies Jesus’ admonition that “while prayer,” we are not to “load up meaningless terms like the heathen do
- For they believe that they will be heard for their numerous words.” Do not follow in their footsteps. (Matt. 6:7-8
- Luke 6:8) A foundational element of the Jesus Prayer is its use of the Lord’s name. In the Scriptures, the name of God is associated with the presence of God’s might and glory. If you consciously and attentively utter God’s Name in the Old Testament, you were putting yourself in God’s Presence, according to the Bible. It is the living Word, Jesus, whose name in Hebrew means “God rescues,” that is directed to people. In the end analysis, Jesus is the last Name of God. In the Bible, Jesus is referred to as “the Name that is above all other names,” and it is written that “all beings should bow their heads before the Name of Jesus” (Phil. 2:9-10). This Name is invoked for the casting out of demons (Luke 10:17), the answering of prayers (John 14:13-14), and the healing of the lame (Acts 3:6-7). “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me,” cries out the blind man sitting by the side of the road near Jericho (Luke 18:38)
- The ten lepers who “called to him, ‘Jesus, Master, take pity on us,'” (Luke 17:13)
- And the cry for mercy of the publican, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke 18:14). It is a It is a prayer in which we acknowledge our terrible need for a Saviour and ask for His help. Because, according to 1 John 1:8, “if we pretend we have no sin in us, we are misleading ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.”
The Three Levels Of Prayer
Because prayer is a living reality, a very intimate contact with the living God, it should not be reduced to a predetermined classification or strict analysis, but rather be embraced as it is. A 19th century Russian spiritual writer named Theophan the Recluse distinguished three levels of prayer in the Jesus Prayer in order to provide some broad, general instructions for individuals who are interested in utilizing the Jesus Prayer to improve their inner life:
- It all starts with oral prayer, often known as prayer of the lips, a simple recitation that Theophan describes as the “verbal form and shape” of petitions. However, despite its importance, this level of prayer is still external to us and is therefore merely the first stage, because “the essence or soul of prayer resides within a man’s mind and heart.” As we get more completely immersed in prayer, we reach a point where we are able to pray uninterrupted by external distractions. He observes that at this time, “the attention is concentrated onto the words” of the Prayer, and that we are “saying them as if they were our own.” Prayer from the heart is the third and ultimate degree of prayer. At this point, prayer is no longer something we do, but rather something that we are. As the prodigal son returned to his father, so should such prayer, which is a gift of the Spirit, be offered (Luke 15:32). It is the prayer of adoption that occurs when “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit that cries out ‘Abba, Father!'” (Abba, Father!). (Galatians 4:6)
The Fruits Of The Jesus Prayer
It is the purpose of all Christian spirituality to achieve this reunion with the Father via Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is to be open to the presence of the Kingdom in our midst, as described in the Bible. A very tangible influence on his worldview, according to the anonymous author of The Way of the Pilgrim, is the Jesus Prayer, which has two very definite implications on his worldview. To begin, it transforms the way he interacts with the tangible creation around him; the world is transformed into a transparent sign, a method of proclaiming God’s presence to others.
The trees, the grass, the birds, the air, and the light all appeared to be telling me that they were there for man’s sake, that they were a testament to God’s love for man, and that everything prayed to God and sung his praises in unison with one another.” His relationship with his fellow human beings is transformed as a result of the Prayer, as well.
However, I did not proceed in the same manner as previously, with caution.
The prayer of the Name of Jesus made my path more pleasant. Everyone was quite nice to me. If anybody attempts to hurt me, all I have to do is remember, ‘How lovely is Jesus’s Prayer!’ Then both the hurt and the fury go away, and I forget everything that happened.”
“There is no limit to the growth that occurs in prayer,” Theophan assures us. “If this growth comes to an end, it indicates that life has come to an end.” The path of the heart is limitless because the God we seek is limitless in the depths of his splendor, and so is the path of the heart. The Jesus Prayer is a waypoint on the spiritual journey, which is a trip that each of us must do on our own.
The objective of this leaflet is to present the practice of the Jesus Prayer in a straightforward manner. The Jesus Prayer is inextricably linked to the sacramental life of the Church and the practice of asceticism. It is advised that you read the following books for additional study:
- The Art of Prayer, edited with an introduction by Kallistos Ware (Faber and Faber, London, 1966)
- The Power of the Name, edited with an introduction by Kallistos Ware (Faber and Faber, London, 1966)
- (SLG Press: Oxford) R. M. French’s translation of The Pilgrim’s Way was published in 1974. (Seabury Press: New York) In 1965, Father John of New Valaamo published Christ is in our Midst (St. Vladimirs’ Seminary Press, New York), which was a spiritual classic. 1980
- Per-Olof Sjogren’s “Jesus Prayer” is a beautiful piece of music (Fortress Press: Philadelphia) Prayer of the Heart, written by George A. Maloney in 1975. (Ave Maria Press: Notre Dame) 1980
What is the Jesus Prayer?
QuestionAnswer “Pray without ceasing,” as instructed by the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, is a short mental prayer or chant that is repeated over and over again in order to help one “pray without ceasing,” to focus one’s thoughts on Jesus, to tap into divine power, or (in Hesychasm) to achieve union with God. The Jesus Prayer is particularly popular among Eastern Orthodox Christians, however it is also used by Roman Catholics. Generally speaking, the Jesus Prayer is said after the prayer of the publican in Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, with various variations on the theme (Luke 18:13).
- The prayer might serve as a practical approach to remind ourselves that we require God’s assistance throughout the day.
- Despite the fact that we do not deserve mercy, we beg Jesus to offer it for us.
- In contrast, the Jesus Prayer, like any other liturgical prayer, can readily devolve into a mantra, a pointless repetition (see Matthew 6:7), or a meaningless collection of words.
- The Jesus Prayer is employed in Hesychasm (a mystical movement within Eastern Orthodoxy) to achieve a total emptying of the mind, which is an unbiblical practice in the Bible.
- Another risk associated with the repeated recitation of the Jesus Prayer is that the practitioner may get perplexed as to the source of supernatural power being employed.
- Increasingly, it appears to be more of a magical incantation than it is a sincere prayer.
- Although the Bible instructs us to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17), this does not imply that we must repeat the same phrases over and over all day.
- “In every circumstance, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, offer your requests to God,” we are commanded to do (Philippians 4:6).
Despite the fact that the Jesus Prayer contains scriptural truth, no amount of reciting will get one any closer to the Almighty Christ. Questions about Prayer (return to top of page) What is the Jesus Prayer and how does it work?
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The Jesus Prayer: A Heartfelt PetitionTo Our Lord
IN ADDITION, THIS WEBSITE IS AVAILABLE AS A PODCASTHERE. The Jesus Prayer is a brief, straightforward prayer that might help you get in the correct frame of mind to begin your journey toward God’s presence. Furthermore, because it is only one line in length, it is incredibly simple to memorize! Please, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have pity on me, a sinner, in your name. An almost identical form of this prayer may be found in our Lord’s parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, as is pictured above, in Luke’s Gospel.
- What is it that the tax collector is pleading with God to accomplish here?
- The Jesus Prayer, which is not included in the Gospels, may be traced back to the Eastern Orthodox Church, which dates back to the 4th century.
- John Climacus in his treatise The Ladder of Divine Ascent, which was written in 600AD.
- For its simplicity, it is frequently said on knots on prayer ropes in the Eastern Church, where it is used as a concentration aid to assist people in “pray without ceasing,” as St.
- The Jesus Prayer is also the subject of the 19th century Russian classic, The Way of a Pilgrim, which is set in the same time period.
- Paul’s counsel as outlined above, with the goal of achieving oneness with God.
- Indeed, it has been appropriately described as a “prayer of the heart.” As an added bonus, it’s extremely adaptable!
( The Jesus Prayer is also beneficial in that it is focused on His Holy Name, which, as the Catechism points out, is a wonderful form of prayer in and of itself (CCC 2668), as previously mentioned.
It is so easy for us, especially in this day and age, to lose sight of the fact that we are all sinners in desperate need of God’s mercy.
To obtain it, all we have to do is ask for it in a sincere and heartfelt manner.
Faustina, a Polish nun to whom he appeared on a regular basis during the 1930s, that he would “pour out a whole ocean of graces” to those who came to the fountain of His mercy, and he meant it.
It is both very easy, and very seductive, to fall in to the trap of moral relativism, to fall into the “I’m OK You’re OK” mentality, in which we see everyone as basically pretty good, and not as fellow sinners.
In this regard, Bishop Fulton Sheenbewailed the tendency of people to seek to have their sins explained away by psychoanalysis rather than to have them forgiven by our Lord in the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) (Confession).
(This is not meant to disparage legitimate needs for therapy and psychiatry, only their abuses, and the degree to which these breed excuses for people to shut God out of their lives.) Denying our sinful nature only makes things worse.
We either suppress our sense of remorse or, thinking that God couldn’t possibly forgive us, refuse to ask Him for His mercy.
Don’t let your sins harden your heart!
Faustina “Let themnot fear to approach Me; they are in most need of My mercy.” It is important to keep in mind as well, that Christ instituted the Sacrament of Penance, also known as Confession, for us to be able to unburden ourselves of our sins to a priest acting in His name.
While the Church only requires us to confess any mortal sins at least once a year, remember that in Confession, Godnot only pardons your sins,but also gives you the graces to resist temptation in the future!
Praying theact of contrition, both in Confession and at home, perhaps in evening prayers, is a powerful way to ask God for His mercy.
Speaking of one’s heart, keep these words from the prophet Joel from the Old Testament in mind: “Rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy” (Joel 2:13).
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The Jesus Prayer – The Lutheran Witness
IN ADDITION, THIS WEBSITE CAN BE USED AS A PODCASTHERE. In a nutshell, the Jesus Prayer is a brief, straightforward prayer that can help you get into the correct frame of mind in order to grow closer to Christ. Furthermore, because it is only one line in length, it is very simple to remember! Have compassion on me, a sinner, O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God. In our Lord’s story of the Pharisee and the tax collector, which is depicted above, we find a comparable form of this prayer in Luke’s Gospel.
- I’m not sure what the tax collector is pleading with God about in this situation.
- It is possible to trace the Jesus Prayer back to the Eastern Orthodox Church, which dates back to the fourth century, apart from its origins in the Gospel of Matthew.
- John Climacus in his treatise The Ladder of Divine Ascent, which was written in 600 AD.
- This simple prayer is frequently said on knots in prayer ropes in the Eastern Church as a means of concentrating on one’s prayers in order to enable people “pray without ceasing,” as St.
- According to the Way of a Pilgrim, a 19th century Russian classic, the Jesus Prayer is the central theme of that work.
- Paul’s counsel as outlined above, in order to achieve oneness with God.
- The phrase “prayer of the heart” has been used to describe it appropriately.
When chanted continuously, it can be used as an aid to meditation by religious, or just as a simple method for anybody to “check in” with our Lord during a busy day, to be conscious of His presence, and to benefit from His comfort and strength.
The Jesus Prayer demonstrates the path that leads to real humility and acceptance of others.
Our request has been met with enthusiasm by him.
It is true that Christ promised St.
In today’s society, it appears that many individuals have lost their sense of sinfulness.
Others attempt to place the blame for their sins on society as a whole or on some type of “complex” inside themselves.
Imagine how much worse this propensity has become in the intervening years.
Instead of asking God for his graces to help us deal with our sins, temptations, and worries, we are more likely to turn away from Him in the face of these difficulties.
This puts us at risk of plunging even farther into the depths of immoral activity, such as alcohol or drug abuse, while also succumbing to despair, believing that we would never be able to turn to God for help in our plight.
If you hear the word of the Lord today, do not harden your hearts,” as the Psalmist says (Ps 95:8).
Faustina, “Let them not be afraid to approach Me; they are in desperate need of My mercy.” In addition, it is crucial to remember that Christ created the Sacrament of Penance, commonly known as Confession, in order for us to be able to unburden ourselves of our sins before a priest acting in His name.
The Church only asks us to confess any deadly sins at least once a year; nonetheless, it is important to remember that when we confess, God not only forgives us for our sins, but also grants us the power to resist temptation in the future!
A strong approach to implore God for His compassion is to pray the act of contrition both at Confession and at home, possibly during evening prayers.
“For the Lord your God is compassionate and generous, patient and rich in mercy,” says the prophet (Joel 2:13).
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Son of God
When compared to the history of the prayer, its biblical underpinnings are more easily traced back to their source in Scripture. You may hear echoes of the prayer coming from a variety of locations. During Jesus’ questioning of the disciples about who they believed He was, Peter stepped up for the disciples and for all of us by proclaiming: “You are Christ, Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Lord and Savior.
Our text for today comes from Matthew 15, where we read of the Canaanite woman’s repeated appeal to Jesus, which reads: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is badly tortured by a demon” (Matt. 15:22). Lord and Son of David are titles she uses to refer to Jesus, which is a euphemism for “Lord Christ.” Was she attempting to pass herself off as a Jew by the usage of the title? If that was the case, as you are aware, it did not function. No amount of deception will ever succeed when dealing with Him, to whom all hearts are open and all desires are known, and from whom no secrets are hidden.
When she returned, she recited the following invocation: “Kyrie, Lord, help me.” And when He has the audacity to refer to her as a dog rather than a kid, she accepts everything He offers.
To put it another way, she is saying, “Give me the crumbs, the dog’s due.” Have compassion on us, O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.
Upon me, the sinner
A story of two men who walk up to the temple and pray is told by Jesus in Luke 18. “And when you hear, forgive,” says King Solomon in his famous dedication prayer, which rings out throughout the reading: “And when you hear, forgive” (1 Kings 8:30). However, one guy in Luke 18 does not ask for forgiveness or mercy, and this is significant. He expresses his gratitude to God for having such a loyal servant as himself, saying that God must be quite lucky. Instead, the tax collector, who would not dare to lift his eyes to the heavens but instead pounded his breast, said only a single, brief prayer.
- The Greek, on the other hand, does not utilize the usual “mercy” term that we are accustomed to hearing, such as in Kyrieeleison.
- And then, instead of praying for a sinner, he prayed for THE sinner, which was pretty literal.
- Please, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have pity on me, a sinner, I beg you.
- Instead, they appear to be attracting His attention.
- “I did not come to summon the virtuous, but sinners,” Jesus stated emphatically (Matt.
- It is sinners who repent that provide the most delight to the angels, far more than those who do not need to repent at all (Luke 15:7).
As a result, the old sinner’s prayer does not just mark the beginning of a Christian life (as our evangelical brothers and sisters believe), but rather serves as the ongoing cry of the Christian: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have pity on me, the sinner,” says the Christian.
A bit selfish?
But isn’t it a little self-centered to pray for compassion on a consistent basis for oneself? The Canaanite mother came to Jesus, pleading for mercy on behalf of her daughter (Matt. 15:21–28). The Roman centurion treated his servant in the similar manner (Matt. 8:5–13). Throughout Matthew 17:14–21, the father of the epileptic begs Jesus to intervene on his son’s behalf, which he does. The sinner is a person who has done something wrong. We are all one in Adam, as Franzmann’s magnificent hymn reminds us: “We have all been one, One big rebellious man” (LSB569).
- If intercession is standing with our brother or sister in their time of need, grief, suffering, or predicament, it also entails acknowledging our common need for God’s grace and forgiveness.
- When a prayer is offered in the name and on behalf of another, it is referred to as intercession.
- In Romans 8, Paul remarks that there are times when we just do not know how to pray in the way that we should.
- Anytime we feel like it, we may pick it up and pray for it.
- It gives me great comfort to know that even when I have no idea what to pray for, I may still come to Jesus and ask Him for mercy, both for myself and for others.
Luther writes in the Large Catechism on the Second Commandment that the devil “hates to hear God’s name and cannot remain long when it is pronounced and called upon from the heart,” and as a result, Luther encourages the virtuous practice of “always having this holy word in our tongue” (LC I 71). (LC I 72). He doesn’t mean in the meaningless rambling style of merely saying it again, but rather in the sense of genuinely evoking it on a regular basis. Without stopping, we implore the compassion of God through the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.
People who are beloved by God, keep in mind this lovely and appropriate supplement to saying the Our Father in your personal prayers.
For me, I am never without the need to implore our heavenly Father’s compassion, both for myself and for others, at any time.
No, I don’t believe so. Please, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have pity on me, a sinner, I beg you. On YouTube, you may hear a setting of the so-called Jesus Prayer, which is as follows:
Biblical Roots of the Jesus Prayer. Seraphim Hamilton
Apologia Pro Ortho Doxa is the source of this information. The 20th of February, 2016 What strikes me as astonishing about the Jesus Prayer is how truly biblical it is: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have pity on me, the sinner.” The focus placed on the Holy Name of the Lord is a biblically grounded stress on the Lord’s name. During the building of the Tower of Babel, for example, we are informed that God split both the people’s language and their lip shape. This means he fractured their cohesiveness by introducing several types of polytheistic religion into the mix.
It is clear from the way the Psalms employ the word “lip” that it alludes to a religious confession: David exclusively uses the term Yahweh on the inside of his “lip.” In the eschaton, Zephaniah predicts that the Gentiles would worship with a real “lip,” and Isaiah predicts that Egypt will do the same in the eschaton.
- In the book of Genesis, when Abraham returns from Mesopotamia, he is assured that God would give him a great “Name,” much as the builders of Babel intended to “create a name for themselves.” Following this response, Abraham begins to “call upon the name of the Lord” and constructs altars.
- According to Exodus 6, the patriarchs did not know God by the name “Yahweh,” but rather by the name “El Shaddai.” Why?
- Yahweh is the name of the one who keeps His promises and is trustworthy: God made promises in Genesis, but in Exodus, He faithfully carried out those promises as He had promised.
- (See Exodus 34:5-7 for further information.) The Lord descended in a cloud with him and stood with him there, proclaiming the name of the Lord in a loud voice.
- The revelation of Yahweh’s Name is the revelation of His most fundamental characteristics, or energies, as well as His most fundamental attributes, or energies.
- All of God’s procession are “goodnesses,” says St.
- That the terms “proclaim the Name of the Lord” and “call on the Name of the Lord” are connected is a fascinating coincidence.
It is revealed in the Gospel of John that Jesus is the ultimate manifestation of the Divine Name.
Yahweh is known as the Name of Remembrance, according to Exodus 3.
It is revealed in John that the Name of Remembrance in the New Covenant is “Jesus Christ.” This is the first time this has been disclosed.
Anything you want me to do in my name, I will gladly oblige.
God revealing His Name to you and you calling it back to Him is all centered on the Holy Name of Jesus Christ, which is the most important name in the Bible.
Paul will say the following: (Philippians 2:9-11) As a result, God has elevated him and given him the name that is above all names, so that at the mention of Jesus’ name, every knee should bend, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(See Isaiah 45:23-25 for more information.) Every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will swear loyalty to me because I have vowed by myself; a word has gone forth from my lips in righteousness that will not be returned: ‘To me every knee will bow, and every tongue will swear allegiance.’ “ There is just one place where righteousness and power can be found, and that is in the Lord; those who are enraged against him will come to him and be humiliated.
“All of Israel’s descendants will be righteous and will be exalted in the Lord.” “Lord Jesus Christ” is the name of Yahweh, which means “Lord of the Universe.” It’s important to recall that the Greek word “Kyrios” is the LXX version of the Hebrew word “YHWH.” Whenever we pray, we are invoking the Name of Yahweh, which is now most completely revealed in the person of “Lord Jesus Christ” (Lord of the Rings).
- That these elements exist precisely in the revelation of God’s Name in Exodus 34: “God is gracious and kind” is what makes the phrase “have pity on me, the sinner” so astounding.
- As a result, it serves as a reminder of God’s covenant faithfulness towards the Creation as well as towards His children.
- This includes cities, people, and harvests alike.
- Nonetheless, forgiveness is included in the notion of Exodus 34.
It is for this reason that God is said to “forgive wickedness and sin.” It is no accident that when we invoke the Holy Name of Jesus Christ, we ask Him to behave precisely in the way indicated by His name: kind, merciful, forgiving of iniquities and sins, among other things.
10 Prayers of Jesus in the Bible [+Audio]
One of the greatest advantages of being a disciple of Jesus is the knowledge that He is now interceding on their behalf before the Father on their behalf (Roman 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). While we do not know what Jesus speaks to the Father in his prayers, we do have instances of many of Jesus’ prayers from the Bible, which we might use as a guide. As an illustration, in John 17:
First, Jesus prays that the Father would protect His church.
He not only prays for physical security, but he also prays for spiritual protection, namely that the church’s faith would remain strong after Jesus has returned to His Father (17:11).
Second, Jesus prays for His church to be sanctified…
That they would be purified; that they would come to understand the truth of God; and that they would reflect the glory of God on earth (17:17,19).
Third, Jesus prays for those who will believe through the message of that disciples (17:20).
Jesus prays for the expansion of his church and the conversion of a large number of people across the entire world as a result of the loyal work of all of His disciples. How incredible it is for believers today to be able to read this prayer and know that Jesus was, and continues to be, interceding directly and personally on their behalf before the Father. The following is an extract from The Jesus Bible.
There are at least 10 of Jesus’ prayers recorded in the Gospels:
Here’s a sample clip from The Bible Experience Complete Audio Bible: The Prayers of Jesus, narrated by Blair Underwood in the role of Jesus, and taken from the book of Matthew.
Jesus’ three prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane
- Jesus prays for the glory of God (John 17:1-5)
- Jesus prays for His followers (John 17:6-19)
- Jesus prays for all believers (John 17:20-26)
- Jesus prays for the salvation of the world (John 17:27-28)
Jesus’ three prayers on the Cross:
- “Father, pardon them, for they are unaware of what they are doing.” “My God, My God, why hast thou deserted me?” says Jesus in Luke 23:34. “Father, into thy hands I surrender my spirit” (Luke 23:46)
- “Father, into thine hands I commit my spirit” (Matt 27:46, Mark 15:34)
Jesus’ prayer of thanks
It is because of your gracious will that these things have been concealed from the wise and knowing and shown to young children; yes, Father, for such was your generous purpose.” (Matthew 11:25-26, New International Version)
Jesus’ prayer before the raising of Lazarus (John 11:41-42)
“Father, I am grateful that you have heard my prayer. I was aware that you were constantly aware of my presence, but I stated this for the benefit of the individuals there, so that they would believe that you had sent me.”
Jesus’ prayer after entering Jerusalem
Father, I thank you for listening to me and for your forgiveness.” I was aware that you were always aware of my presence, but I stated this for the benefit of the people gathered here, so that they would believe that you had sent me.
When Jesus teaches us how to pray – The Lord’s Prayer
“Our heavenly Father.”, we say. (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 6:9-13) When you pray, however, retire into your room, lock the door, and focus your thoughts on your heavenly Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees everything that is done in secret, will reward you for your efforts. In addition, while you pray, refrain from talking incessantly like pagans, who believe that their numerous words will make them more noticeable. Do not be like them, for your Father already knows what you require before you ever ask.
We beg you to forgive us our debts, just as we have forgiven our creditors.
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Do any of Jesus’ prayers stick out to you as particularly meaningful? Why is it important to study Jesus’ examples of prayer?
What does studying Jesus’ examples of prayer teach you about the way He prayed, why He prayed, and what He prayed for? Which one do you identify with the most? Please leave a comment and share your opinions on the subject of Jesus’ prayers with us!
What Did Jesus Pray?
Jesus’ public career lasted only three and a half years, yet his intercessory ministry will have an indelible imprint on the church for all time. What method did he use to pray? What was it that he prayed for? Who was it that he prayed for? These are the kinds of questions that believers should be asking themselves in order to figure out the best approach to interact with our heavenly Father. Let us consider the kind of prayers that Jesus gave up to God in the heavenly realm.
1. Prayers to Resist Temptation
Before beginning his public ministry, Jesus journeyed into the desert, a location that would serve as his spiritual boot camp (Matthew 4:1-11). You could believe that Jesus didn’t require any type of instruction, but keep in mind that He was demonstrating to us how to put our confidence in God no matter what the situation. Yes, he was totally God, but he also took on the shape of a man and relinquished His divine abilities in order to survive the test of time as a simple mortal being. During this 40-day period, He fasted, and as anybody who has gone a few days without eating will attest, the frailty that results from a lack of food makes one more susceptible to temptation.
Despite the grumbling of his empty stomach, Jesus stood on the words of Scripture to warn Satan that “man does not live on food alone” (Matthew 4:4).
Although it is not strictly a prayer, when we pray, He serves as a model for how to combat temptation using God’s word.
2. Prayers ofForgiveness
Jesus had to forgive people who came into contact with him an undetermined number of times. Daily or perhaps hourly, as the priests and Pharisees repeatedly attempted to test Jesus and trip him up, it’s likely that they were doing so. One of the most powerful prayers the Son of God ever prayed took place at the foot of the cross, while Roman soldiers gambled for his clothing. “Forgive them since they are aware of what they are doing,” he says in his prayer for them (Luke 23:34). Jesus prayed for people who had trivialized his mission and insulted his suffering when he was nailed on a cross, writhing in agony.
3. Prayers of Praise
In Luke 10:21, Jesus expresses gratitude to God for concealing wisdom from the wise and revealing truth to tiny children. He also opened the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) with the words “Hallowed be thy name,” which means “Hallowed be thy name.” There aren’t many recorded examples of Jesus extolling the virtues of his heavenly Father in the Scriptures, to be sure. The opening line of the Lord’s Prayer, on the other hand, serves as an example of praise. “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,” Jesus says at the outset of his prayer (Matthew 6:9).
As defined by Dictionary.com, the term “hallowed” refers to the act of making something holy, sanctifying it, consecrating it, honoring it as holy, considering it sacred, or venerate it: to hallow a battlefield.
4. Prayers of Submission
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed a prayer of submission that is considered to be one of the greatest examples of prayer in history. He was well aware that his time on this planet was drawing to a close. And, as a human being, he recognized that the end would be painful. “Going a little further, he fell to the ground with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken away from me.'” Matthew 26:39 says, “Going a little further, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken away from me.'” ‘However, not as I will, but as you will’.” Jesus could have adopted a stoic attitude, allowing pain to pass him by.
Instead, we witness His humanity as He grappled with the reality of His impending death.
5. Prayers of Intercession
If you want to witness Jesus’ Fatherly love for his people, go no farther than John 17. In a moving prayer, Jesus brings his people closer together, preparing them for a day when they will be without Him. “I say a prayer for them. I am not praying for the entire world, but rather for those whom you have given me, for they are yours to keep and cherish. Everything I have is yours, and everything you have is mine. And it is through them that I have received honor. I shall no longer be present in the world, but they will continue to be present in the world, and I will come to you.
Knowing that his time on earth was limited, Jesus prayed for his followers.
One was impetuous and afraid, while the other was driven by ambition to establish himself as a successful businessman.
In this prayer, Jesus prepared his tiny band of men for the task of spreading the gospel throughout the globe.
“I say a prayer for them.
Everything I have is yours, and everything you have is mine.
I shall no longer be present in the world, but they will continue to be present in the world, and I will come to you.
Because Jesus was the only real representation of God on earth, it makes sense to model our prayers after His as we seek to speak with the Almighty God in our own lives.
The author, reporter, and freelancer Carol Stratton works in a variety of genres.
She is now working on a sequel to her first novel and keeping up with her blogging activities.
She is married to her writing muse, John, and they live in North Carolina with their four children and eight grandkids.
She enjoys boosting the confidence of new authors and readers who have recently relocated. Connect with her at her website, CarolGStratton.com, as well as on social media platforms Twitter and Facebook. Photo courtesy of Aaron Burden via Unsplash.