Help from the East

The Jesus Prayer is a staple of Eastern (primarily Greek Orthodox) Christianity.

 

Jesus Prayer
Lifted from Methodist Church page.  I’m just so ecumenical.

Seeing it pop up on social media tonight gave me pause, as the prayer is a surprise guest in my  life of late.  I’ve been in a challenging season of changes, and there’s been considerable spiritual struggling.  In the midst of late night assaults of anxiety, doubt, shame and fear, this prayer (of which I’ve been aware but not a practitioner) asserted itself and gave me respite in God’s presence.

I’ve been seeking some guidance on the prayer, and found the website Chotkiwhich includes The Jesus Prayer Resource Library.  There are links to articles and books by recognized Orthodox authorities, such as the late Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, who oversaw Russian Orthodoxy in Great Britain.  He wrote,

…the Jesus Prayer aims at bringing us to stand in God’s presence with no other thought but the miracle of our standing there and God with us, because in the use of the Jesus Prayer there is nothing and no one except God and us.

That evokes what the prayer brought me on anxious nights.  It stopped my fixation on passing circumstances, silenced accusing and fretting thoughts, and gave me rest in the eternal and merciful God.

I’m not out to make it a fetish – The Lord’s Prayer is what Jesus gave us and is sufficient.  But The Jesus Prayer has been a precious gift in a time of need, so I share it not as an exhortation to do anything but to praise God for such kindness to me, a sinner.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s