Many years ago I was given a book to read which introduced me to this Eastern Orthodox prayer. The Way of a Pilgrim introduced me not only to this prayer but also on ways to pray this prayer.
It is a short prayer that is to be repeated and meditated on, contemplated on. Repeat the prayer with your eyes closed, thinking of the meaning of the words. I have often prayed this way, but it doesn’t end there. It is an easy prayer to pray while going about your day – while walking, eating, driving, washing dishes, folding clothes. It is a way to “pray constantly” as written in 1 Thessalonians 3:17.
After a while you will find that this prayer matches your breathing pattern. (Inhale) Lord Jesus Christ (exhale) have mercy on me. Over and over. Deeper and deeper. You will find new meaning to God’s mercy, to His limitless love, to the very holiness of God. You will draw peace, humility and joy from the prayer. Then comes the next stage.
Now you will find that this prayer matches the beating of your heart. (Beat) Lord Jesus Christ (beat) have mercy on me. Over and over. Deeper and deeper. The prayer will course through your veins with your blood until the prayer fills your whole being. No part of you will be separate from God. God will fill you. You will be united.
Now your thoughts will be united with God. Your actions will be united with God. Your emotions will be united with God. Your soul will be united with God. “For in Him we live and move and have our being” Acts 17:28.
I love the simplicity of this prayer. Anyone can pray it, anywhere, anytime. Yet it is powerful enough to draw the worst sinner into the presence of God. It is life changing.
I encourage you to take time each day to pray the Jesus Prayer. You will not be disappointed.