The Jesus Prayer can help us progress in our spiritual maturity by coming closer to a unity with God.
The prayer is very simple.
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
It can be said by anyone at anytime.
Here are the words in Greek, the language in which the Prayer was probably first spoken by early Christian monks:
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a (the) sinner."
The Prayer is inspired by the words of the blind beggar who calls out to The Lord:
‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me’ (Gospel according to S Luke 18:38)
It sums up the whole message of the Christian Gospel of Christ.
‘Lord’ – recognising that Christ is Lord of our lives and the Universal King.
‘Jesus’ – acknowledging Christ as our Saviour, using the Name above every other Name (Phil 2:9-11)
‘Christ’ – recognising that Jesus is ‘the Christ, the Son of the Living God’ (S Matt 16:16-18).
‘Son of God’ – for Christians, Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed Son of God.
‘Have mercy on me’ – we realise our need of God, of his mercy, his help, his forgiveness, his grace.
The Prayer helps to focus and still our minds as we concentrate on and seek God in prayer.
We begin by reciting the words out loud slowly, thoughtfully. We repeat the phrase over and over and over.
After a time, we may start to mouth the words without saying them aloud.
Sometimes, it helps to shorten the phrase of the Prayer to:
‘Lord Jesus, have mercy’
‘Lord, have mercy on me’
We often use a string of beads or a knotted rope (similar to a Rosary) to track the repetition of the Prayer and again, give a tactile focus to the ‘movement’ of the Prayer within us.
Many find this form of prayer brings them to a place of prayerful stillness. It has been used by Christians since the days of the Desert Fathers and so, has stood the test of time. Give it a go and God will bless you as you turn your mind, your heart, your will and your life towards Him through Christ His Son, your Lord and Saviour.