‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner’
The Jesus Prayer components
- ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me , a sinner’
- Christological hymn of Philippians 2:6-11
- The parable of the Publican and the Pharisee, in which the Pharisee demonstrates the improper way to pray by exclaiming: “Thank you Lord that I am not like the Publican”, whereas the Publican prays correctly in humility, saying “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:10-14).
The Jesus Prayer
- Paul teaches us to ‘pray unceasingly’ (1 Thess 5:17)
- It is also linked to the Song of Solomon’s passage from the Old Testament: “I sleep, but my heart is awake” (Song of Solomon 5:2)
- The analogy being that as a lover is always conscious to his or her beloved, people can also achieve a state of “constant prayer” where they are always conscious of God’s presence in their lives.
- Prayer of the heart
- The Jesus Prayer is composed of two statements. The first one is a statement of faith, acknowledging the divine nature of Christ. The second one is the acknowledgment of one’s own sinfulness.
- Out of them the petition itself emerges: “have mercy.”
- The Jesus Prayer is, first of all, a prayer addressed to God. It’s not a means of self-deifying or self-deliverance.
- The aim is not to be dissolved or absorbed into nothingness or into God, or reach another state of mind, but to (re)unite with God (which by itself is a process) while remaining a distinct person.
- It is an invocation of Jesus’ name, not vain repetition
- Acknowledging “a sinner” is to lead firstly to a state of humbleness and repentance, recognizing one’s own sinfulness.
- Practicing the Jesus Prayer is strongly linked to mastering passions of both soul and body, e.g. by fasting.
- Unlike mantras, the Jesus Prayer may be translated into whatever language the pray-er customarily uses. The emphasis is on the meaning, not on the mere utterance of certain sounds.
- There is no emphasis on the psychosomatic techniques