The Prayer Guide

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The Jesus Prayer

The Jesus prayer is a very short, very simple prayer. Yet it can be a key to unlocking a spiritual doorway that leads us to pray from the heart, rather than from the mind.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

The words of the Jesus prayer fall into two halves. The first half expresses the core truth of our faith in Jesus Christ, that he is the incarnate Son of the Creator God, and that we ascribe to Him Lordship of ourselves.   The second half sums up the wonder of God's love, that though we are sinners, yet He has mercy upon us and forgives us. The twelve words the prayer leads us into a balanced expression of both praise and thanksgiving to our Lord, yet also into penitence and confession, seeking his forgiveness and mercy.
Pointers for Prayer :
As you pray the prayer, simply recite it over and over again, and you will discover three levels of prayer, first described by the 19th C. Russian spiritual teacher, Theophan. The prayer begins as words, then as we recite it further, we move onto pray the prayer as our own, owning the thoughts and expression of the prayer. Finally, our hearts take over the prayer, where the prayer is no longer a series of words and concepts, but gives way to a touching of our Spirit with God's Spirit.