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Jesus Prayer

“The Jesus Prayer – ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner’ - is an ancient meditative prayer that is meant to draw the deepest part of ourselves to Christ.” (Sacramental Living)

“I would say that there are three levels, all important, of what we might mean when we call ourselves “the sinner” in the Jesus Prayer. The third of these levels will be especially significant in helping us master the challenge of moral luck. First, by calling ourselves “sinners,” we are simply confessing our creatureliness, our total dependence on God. We were created out of nothing, and our very existence is a result of God’s mercy and love. Second, we are, indeed, sinners; we do bad things. No man lives without sinning. Saint Paul, in fact, called himself “the chief of sinners.” Of course, he meant in particular that he had earlier persecuted the Church of Christ. But we all must admit that the limitation of our sinfulness has more to do with God’s mercy than with our own good character. Thus, identifying ourselves as “the sinner” is not unrealistic. But most importantly of all, by calling ourselves “the sinner,” we willingly identify ourselves with Christ who “became sin” for the life of the world…Christ’s expiation of our sin consisted in his willingness to take all human sin upon himself. The result was that He conquered death, and was seated in glory at the right hand of the Father. He was willing to die as if our sin were his fault. It is this that makes him our Savior.” (Timothy G. Patitsas)

“Prayer is our ongoing encounter with God, so it includes everything (prayers, services, akathists, stillness, reading, tears). Certainly we pray with our own words, at times, but such prayer is limited by our own experiences, fears, desires, ignorance, etc. The Church gives us words to pray because we don’t really know what we should pray. The Church’s prayers teach us how and for what to pray. However, the best and most perfect prayer is the Prayer of the Heart. The Jesus Prayer teaches us to pray, first with words, then in our mind and finally in the quiet stillness of our heart.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“ If you are like me, you have too much in common with the Pharisee and not enough in common with the publican. The truth is that we all have a long way to go in developing that kind of honesty before God that we see in him. We find it so easy to accept the lies, half-truths, and excuses that we tell ourselves in order to avoid the reality about where we stand before the Lord and in relation to others. That is one of the reasons why the Jesus Prayer is at the heart of our spiritual life, for we need to let the truth sink in that we are sinners in need of Christ’s mercy and help. No, that is not a sign of obsessive guilt, but simply of honesty.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“Being at the ‘end of your rope’ means you have reached the limit of your patience or endurance. The expression evolved from tethering a horse not a noose. But sometimes when you are at the ‘end of your rope’ it feels like a noose around your neck. I was in a recent conversation where a monk recommended to a person to use a prayer rope when praying the Jesus Prayer. Though nothing to do directly with being at the ‘end of your rope,’ the association of a rope with Christ was a gentle reminder to me to dismiss the lie of the enemy that tells us to succumb to despair when life’s circumstances are too much for us. The prayer rope reminds us to give our burdens to Christ and receive His rest (Matthew 11:27-30).” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


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