Jesus Prayer

The Jesus prayer. Ancient. Biblical. Catholic both in the sense of universal and in the sense of authorized. Simply profound.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” You can read about it in Wikipedia.

I am at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit today. Not in South Barrington, but at Sunset Presbyterian in Beaverton via satellite.

The worship leader just did his thing at the beginning of session 6, before Mr. Stearns talked about HIV/AIDS and Colin Powell spoke so powerfully on leadership. The leader told us we could pray or not pray, sing or not sing, whatever felt right to us. The individualism grated on me.

Then he went to the Jesus prayer. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” But he had to individualize it. Be merciful to my stress, my tiredness, my . . .

So where did the sin go? Where did the unity and catholicity go? The song he lead us in was quiet in a way I like. But no sin. Only mercy. You know me, you love me, it went on.

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

I’m feeling the reality of my sin a lot right now. Not that I’m choosing it. I hate it. My “want to” is Jesus stuff. I love helping, ministering grace even when it requires huge investment. But there are those who won’t talk to me, people for whom the very mention of my name brings a surge of anger, because of the pain I’ve caused despite my best efforts to help, to be gracious. Oh, there are those I have gone after intentionally, people who are hurting others. There are those I just don’t like. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about good people whom I love, but whom I have hurt despite every attempt to help. Others who resonate deeply with me, who are so alone, wrestling to hope when it seems so stupid. And I can do nothing to change these situations. Or can I?

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

And to the extent of possibility, I’ll do good wherever I go (Acts 10:38). I’ll officiate Peter and Julia’s wedding on Sunday. I continue to do committee work on the Western Multnomah Consolidation. I’ll meet with several people in whom God is doing miraculous work and I get a piece of the action. I’ll enjoy loving Sherry. Joel & Renata Burnell, Daniel, Erik and Amelia will fill our house next week before David and Sam come up for a Monday date night, leaving the grandgirls for us to watch. Tough . . .

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

1 thought on “Jesus Prayer

  1. This is a precious gem of a book on THE JESUS PRAYER!

    The Orthodox world – and beyond – is acquainted
    with the justly famous and righteous Elder Joseph the Hesychast,
    who reposed on the Holy Mountain in 1959. Less known outside Russia is
    Archbishop Golinsky-Michaelovsky, who was another
    committed practioner and teacher of The Jesus Prayer.
    The English Language Editor was Fr. Ambrose (Young) and the
    Publisher was The Skete of the Entrance of the
    Theotokos into the Temple
    in Haysville, Ohio.

    CLICK HERE for a preview!

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