FROM THE FIFTH CENTURY on, spiritual guides taught the use of the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The Jesus Prayer comes from two scripture sources. One is the prayer of the tax collector in the Temple: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). The other is the cry of the blind man by the road near Jericho who calls out to Jesus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:38).
A short form of the prayer is “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” The prayer’s shortest form is simply the name Jesus. Especially in Eastern Christianity people have been taught to repeat this prayer constantly as a way of praying without ceasing. With the help of a teacher, people learn to coordinate the prayer with breathing so as to “inhale” the presence of Christ and to “exhale” all that keeps one from loving God.
– J. David Muyskens
Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God
From page 49 of Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer by J. David Muyskens. Copyright © 2006 by J. David Muyskens. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Pray the Jesus prayer during your devotional time today. Share your thoughts.
[Give] thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20, NRSV
This Week: pray for church study groups and Sunday school classes. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Maximilian Kolbe (August 14).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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