Tuesday 19 May 2020

An update on the Jesus Prayer

I first wrote about the Jesus Prayer some ten years ago; on the one hand, I have continued to say it; on the other hand my usage is very different.

The (usual) Jesus prayer is repetition of a prayer consisting of, at the briefest, the word Jesus - up to various lengths of the phrase: Lord Jesus Christ/ Son of God/ Have mercy on me/ A sinner.

For a while, my practice was to say this prayer as much as I could, whenever I remembered. I did not find this valuable, and stopped.

Nowadays, I use it when I am mentally blocked, my head is 'full', I cannot concentrate, I am in a depression, utterly uncreative, unmotivated, dissipated...

In sum, I say the Jesus Prayer when I am driven to it, and cannot do anything else.

What happens is that I repeat and repeat the prayers, and then suddenly I get a spiritual impression (but not in words) distinctly along the lines of:

Okay, okay! I hear you. No need to shout! Please Stop.

(I stop.)

Now... (kindly and - as it were - quietly) What is it?  How can I help?

And at that point I can engage in a proper, properly respectful, usually brief, personal 'dialogue' with Jesus/ the Holy Ghost (but not in words).

So, the Jesus Prayer has become a last resort; but remains valuable, as such.

1 comment:

Sean G. said...

The Jesus prayer was very helpful to me early on but too often I would cling to it fearfully, which was not good in my estimation. I still stay it often but mostly as a quiet repentance when I notice myself sinning, and to keep me spiritually aiming towards Christ when I am distracted (also sinning).