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Prayer to Our Lord, Jesus Christ

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.
or
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
 
The Jesus Prayer is an invocation to the living Christ. In the Jesus Prayer we confess Christ as Lord and ask Him for His mercy. The Jesus Prayer combines St. Paul's doxology (Phil 2:11), the tax collector's spirit of repentance (Lk 18:33), and the blind man's plea for enlightenment (Mk 10:47,51). "The divine name of Jesus Christ holds in itself the whole gospel truth," wrote the author of The Way of a Pilgrim. The Jesus Prayer is appropriate for every Christian and may be recited in all circumstances-while kneeling, sitting, standing, walking, eating, traveling, working, or falling asleep. It may be offered at regular prayer times, during breaks at home and office, even in the bustle of commuting to and from work or while shopping and preparing meals. Its brevity makes it useful as a way of centering the inner consciousness on Christ, guarding against temptations and finding ready spiritual strength. The effectiveness of the Jesus Prayer comes from the power and the grace of Christ who hears our fervent invocation, cleanses our heart from evil and comes to dwell in us as personal Lord. The fruits of the Jesus Prayer are repentance, contrition, forgiveness, joy, peace and above all, as the pilgrim put it, "a burning love for Jesus Christ and for all God's creatures. "Developed to maturity, the Jesus Prayer becomes a mystical prayer of the heart, an unceasing breath of the Holy Spirit praying within the believer, an inner spiritual fire energizing the Christian in all things. From the believer's side the Jesus Prayer requires a sincere and humble spirit rather than a particular method. In quiet moments of concentrated prayer it may be recited rhythmically in order to establish inner attention. (Pray "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God," while breathing in, and "have mercy on me," while breathing out.) But far more important are the constant attention to the words of the prayer and the fervent personal appeal to Christ for whom the soul yearns. Trust in the love and mercy of God. Seek the presence of Christ in your heart. Pray to Christ calmly and unhurriedly by enclosing your thoughts and feelings in each word of the Jesus Prayer.
 
This content is under copyright and used with permission, all rights reserved: The Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. 'My Orthodox Prayer Book.' Brookline, MA, 2012


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