Prayer with jesus

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In this Article:Praying the Lord’s PrayerBenefiting Emotionally From PrayerPraying TechniquesCommunity Q&A13 References

If you want to understand prayer life, or if you are just curious about choosing how to pray, you will learn about different techniques and methods you might use to pray to Jesus. You will learn many tips on where and when to pray. You can also pattern your prayers after Jesus’ recommendation on how to pray in the Bible. Most importantly, however, you’ll get to find out how prayer can help you manage your emotions in healthy ways.

Method 1 Praying the Lord’s Prayer

  1. prayer with jesus Know the context of the Lord’s prayer.

    This prayer is directed toward God; however, Jesus in John 10:30 says “I and my Father are one”. The Lord’s prayer is found in Matthew 5-7. These passages also contain the Sermon on the Mount and Beatitudes (blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted). The sermon on the mount is about the importance of God’s place in the inner life as opposed to doing religion for appearances.

    • Jesus condemns the religious officials who have been showing off their righteousness in public.
    • Jesus says true righteousness belongs to those who are the lowest: those who mourn, those who are poor, those who are meek, even though they do not give the appearance of righteousness.
    • For example, Jesus says in Matthew 6:5 “Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them.”
  2. prayer with jesus Try praying in your room with the door shut.

    This is one of Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 6:6 on how to pray. Jesus goes on to say, “And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.” Find a room or a private space where you can be alone, and pray to God there. Feel comforted by the presence of God “who sees in secret.”

    • This is not the only place you can pray. You can also “pray without ceasing” (wherever you may be you can be prayerful) as Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians.
    • Paul also described speaking in tongues as a good way to pray. He said, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all” 1 Corinthians 14:18.(See also 1 Corinthians 14:2,4-5, and14-15)
  3. prayer with jesus Keep the recitation of the Lord’s prayer concise.

    Jesus in Matthew 6:7 says “When you pray, do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that that by their many words they will be heard.” During this time people may have been praying using certain rituals, recitations, and incantations, but you do not need these to pray to Jesus.

    • Additionally, you do not need to talk about your problems when you recite the Lord’s prayer. When you pray in general, or at a different time, you can talk to Jesus about your problems.
    • Jesus follows up the previous verse with this warning in verse 8, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
  4. prayer with jesus Meditate on the Lord’s prayer.

    You can read the Lord’s prayer out loud or to yourself. Read it slowly so that the meaning of each verse can sink in. Jesus said in Matthew 6:9-13,

    Pray, then in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

    • “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” helps you direct your attention to God who is beyond your ability to see or comprehend.
    • ”Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” helps you form an attitude of willingness toward taking part in what is being done on earth and engaging with the world around you.
    • ”Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” means that you rely on the goodness of God to provide for you the things you need. You also let go of the things that needy people owe to you, thus you should not demand to receive payment. Not forgiving debts of the poor displeases God, for you were forgiven a debt of sin you could never pay.
    • “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” could mean different things for different people. Not everyone shares the same things they do that they wish they would not do. However, whatever things you struggle with, ask for God’s help to overcome those things.
    • “For yours is the kingdom and power and glory forever” is not found in early manuscripts; however, it can give closure to your prayer and refocus you on the awe inspiring nature of God.

Method 2 Benefiting Emotionally From Prayer

  1. prayer with jesus Talk to Jesus about your anger and difficult emotions.

    You can use your prayers to Jesus to tell Him about the difficult things that are going on in your life. Praying can be helpful for coping with emotions like frustration and pain. If you can let out your anger during prayer rather than in daily life or in your relationships, then it can become an emotional support that you can use to calm you down.

    • When something bad happens to you, for example, you lose your job, you can pray to Jesus to help process your emotions and find relief from your stress. Give your words of frustration, anger or fear over this loss to Him.
    • You can use the Psalms as guides in how to pray through hard times. For example, in Psalm 4 the Psalmist asks that God to give him relief for his distress.
  2. prayer with jesus Assure yourself that Jesus loves you.

    Remember that God made you in His image, and Jesus loves and His Spirit accompanies you on your journey. He wanted you to choose to repent, to seek to please God and acknowledge Him in all you do, just the way you are: Free to choose to follow His plan to be saved. When you are having a hard time loving yourself, remind yourself that Jesus came to this earth and died, in part, because of His great love for you. His grace passes all understanding.

    • Remember John 15:11-13: These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment,
      • ‘That you love one another, as I have loved you, and greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,.
  3. prayer with jesus Understand the difficult things that have happened to you in a new light.

    In your prayers to Jesus, you have an opportunity to reconsider why things have happened to you. Perhaps when you reconsider your circumstances you will be better able to understand how God could be using something bad in your life for good.

    • For example, although you have lost your job, you have been able to spend a lot more time with your kids.
    • Consider the beatitudes. Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12) says that “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”.
  4. prayer with jesus Concentrate on your connection to Jesus in tough moments.

    Going to Jesus in prayer when you are going through a hard moment can help shield you from the negative emotions that you are experiencing. For example, if someone you love is

    sick

    or in surgery, you may need to take a moment and refocus on Jesus and take comfort in his presence and strength.

    • Although you should use Jesus as a support, continue to support others and allow other people you are with to support you as well. Continue to stay present with your loved ones and share with them the routine, the joy and pain of what they or you are experiencing.
  5. prayer with jesus Think about how Jesus would handle the situation you are in.

    It can be helpful to use the model of Jesus and his practices of love and compassionate to help give you the understanding you need to face your life. While you pray about the situations in your life, consider the ways Jesus would respond.

    • If you are having difficulty at work with someone who interrupted your career (such as by receiving the promotion you desired/deserved), you can think about Jesus-like responses to the situation. For example, in Luke 6:27, Jesus says “But I say to you who hear,

      Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

Method 3 Praying Techniques

  1. prayer with jesus Pray daily in a consistent place and at a regular time.

    Find regular times and places where you can take a break, and take time out to pray. Look for a quiet place in your building at work where you can go to pray during your breaks, for example. Or go into nature to pray, and find a place by a great tree in a park. You can mark off a consistent time in your schedule to go to this place.

    • Set a daily alarm to go off in your phone or make a repeating email reminder for yourself.
    • Go to the place you do your prayers, and sit there until you are ready to pray.
  2. prayer with jesus Take on whatever posture makes you feel comfortable.

    For instance kneel, fold your arms in front of you, and close your eyes to pray is a suggested posture.

    • Try different postures depending on where you are. For example, if you are praying in a park you might cross your legs, and lay your hands on your knees.
  3. prayer with jesus Express gratitude, and talk to God as He is your Father who cares about you.
    • Don’t make demands, instead ask for help from your father for guidance, peace, and comfort. End the prayer “in the name of Jesus” when you pray to God through Jesus.
  4. prayer with jesus Try letting your thumb and each of your fingers of either hand represent an important part of life that needs attention in prayer.

    Pray for your family, your teachers, your government officials, the poor, and yourself.

    • The thumb can represent your family and the close relationships that are your supports. It is the most sturdy finger, and that is why it represents the family.
    • The index finger, as a pointing finger, can be the finger that represents guidance in your life, or it might stand for those who show you the way and help you. For example, this could be bosses, pastors, teachers, mentors, friends, and even those who provide you health care like your doctors and nurses..
    • The middle finger is the tallest finger on your hand, and it can be used to remind you to pray for the people in power in your country and in the world: government officials, world leaders, politicians, etc.
    • The ring finger is the weakest finger and therefore may remind you to pray for those who are people who are suffering from poverty and any ailments they do not wish to have.
    • The last, smallest finger represents yourself. Don’t forget to pray for yourself.
  5. prayer with jesus Experiment with ways to pray that work the best for you.

    Use objects or play music to help focus you on your prayer. For example, pray while looking at a beautiful painting, if you are a visual person. You can also read a book on prayer or write in a journal. Don’t try to fit yourself into any container of what you think a prayer should be.

    • Perhaps you need to be doing something with your hands while you pray. You can use rosary beads and repeat prayers for each bead, or you can doodle flowers in your notebook as you pray.
    • You can also sing your prayers. Doing this is joyful and helps you express your feelings outwardly.

Community Q&A

Add New Question

  • Question

    What is the perfect time to pray?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    Any time at all! Sometimes it is best to sit in a room on your own where it is peaceful, or when you’re in a group of Christians.

  • Question

    Can l pray in my heart without talking?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    Certainly, your heart and soul are easily heard by the Lord.

  • Question

    My mom raised me Christian, but growing up I had very hard times and I went atheist. How do I get back to Jesus? I feel hopeless.

    Marta Keyes

    Community Answer

    He never left you. God will not leave you nor forsake you. Start by accepting Him as your Lord and savior. Confess your sins, He is merciful. Read your Bible, and get to know Him more. You will find your real identity through Christ and will feel hope again.

  • Question

    Do I have to shout when I am praying?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    You do not have to shout, God is not hard of hearing in that sense. You can whisper or regularly speak your prayer. If you want to shout, you can, it’s totally up to you but unanswered prayers are not to do with deafness, they’re more to do with what you’ve asked for and how you need to discover they’ve been answered.

  • Question

    Will praying to Jesus help me clear my mind of the things I am afraid of?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    Yes. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but also the spirit of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). When you are afraid, your mind is not sound, so any fear of that sort doesn’t come from God. Christ will triumph over it for you.

  • Question

    How can I stay focused on praying?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    Pray like you are simply talking to a friend. Imagine Jesus sitting with you as you pray. If your mind wanders, ask for forgiveness.

  • Question

    I never know what to pray for or about. Can you help me to pray better?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    You can pray about your day, thank God about what He has given you, and what He did for you that day.

  • Question

    What should I say at the start and end of my prayer?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    Maybe start with “Lord, thank you for what you have given me” and end with “in Jesus’s name, amen.”

  • Question

    I often fall into deep sleep in my bed while praying at the end of day, and don’t get to the “praise you, God” and “thank you for everything, God” part of my prayer. Or close it with “Jesus, wonderful name, amen.”

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    Your main prayer time should be done in the morning so you can pray about the day ahead. You still may pray at the end of the day, but it doesn’t need to be very long.

  • Question

    How do I focus my mind while I am praying?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Community Answer

    I’d recommend turning off music and all the other things that might distract you. If you want to listen to music while praying choose some calm music (maybe for meditation). If you feel you can’t keep your mind from wandering include the things you unintentionally think about in your prayer.

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Categories: Christianity | Prayer

In other languages:

Español: orar a Jesús, Português: Orar a Jesus, Italiano: Pregare Gesù, Deutsch: Beten, Русский: молиться Иисусу, 中文: 向耶稣祷告, Français: prier Jésus, Bahasa Indonesia: Berdoa Kepada Yesus, Čeština: Jak se modlit k Ježíši, 한국어: 예수님께 기도하는 방법, Tiếng Việt: Cầu nguyện cùng Chúa Giêsu, Nederlands: Bidden tot Jezus

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“In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted’” – (Isaiah 12:4).

Dear intercessors,

Praying in the name of Jesus is powerful because when we pray in His name, we pray with His authority. God promises to answer whatever we ask in His name according to His will. This is why we must know the will of God in order to pray with the authority of Jesus. This truth is wonderful because we have the assurance that He hears our prayers. Through prayer in His name we shall make known among the nations what He has done. Have you taken advantage of this glorious promise in your own life circumstances? John 16:23-24 says:

“In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”A few years ago my husband, Norm, had an opportunity to test this promise at a movie theater with his nephews. Lord of the Rings was an exciting movie, but right in the middle of it, a teenage boy stopped breathing. Those in the theater could hear the agonizing cry of a father pleading for his son to start breathing. He cried out with all his heart, “David, breathe! David, breathe!” But David just lay there without moving, without breathing. 

The movie stopped abruptly, and people in the theater began to fear and panic. The atmosphere was extremely tense. Not knowing exactly what to do, Norm walked right over to where the boy was lying motionless. He then stooped down, and with an act of faith, he laid his hands on David and quietly said, “In the name of Jesus, breathe.” Suddenly David came to life and began to breathe! God had answered believing prayer.  

There is power in the name of Jesus when we link our faith with heaven.  On a more humorous note, the news reporter, Paul Harvey, told the story of a three-year-old boy at the grocery store with his mother. She sternly told him before entering the store,“No chocolate chip cookies, so don’t even ask!” In the store she put him in the little child’s seat in the cart, and they wheeled down the aisles. He was quiet until he got to the cookie aisle. He saw those delicious chocolate chip cookies, stood up and said, “Mom, can I have the chocolate chip cookies?” With a strong voice she said to him,“I told you not to even ask. No!” 

He sat down. They went down the aisles but later had to come back to the cookie aisle again. He asked for them again. She told him,“Sit down and be quiet. I said no.” Finally arriving at the checkout lane, the little boy knew it was his last chance. He had to do something quick. So he stood up in his seat and shouted as loud as he could,“In the name of Jesus, may I have some chocolate chip cookies?” 

Everyone around him began to laugh and applaud that little boy. And because of the generosity of the other shoppers, the little boy and his mother left the grocery store with twenty-three boxes of chocolate chip cookies! He was very happy. God loves to answer persistent prayers that are prayed in the name of Jesus. This may be a funny story but let’s not forget the message. There is an authority attached to using the name of Jesus.

What does it mean to have the authority of Jesus?  Isn’t this something that can revolutionize our faith and give us great boldness and confidence in our prayers? Too often we pray very weak prayers because our eyes are on the impossibilities. In reality the God of the universe, the victorious Savior of man, is standing with us in strength and power. His name is a strong tower and a fortress that all the forces of darkness cannot withstand nor overcome. He can do anything!

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). Let this verse stimulate your faith to believe in the greatness and power of the name of Jesus in your own prayer life. You will touch heaven and change earth with your prayers when you pray in the name of Jesus. 

What It Means to Pray in Jesus’ Name“The name of Jesus is the gateway through which true prayers must enter heaven. His name is the ‘pass key’ that opens heaven’s account.” Eddie and Alice Smith

  • We pray with Jesus’ authority – We acknowledge His divinity and Calvary’s victory when we pray with His authority. We draw from His heavenly bank account when we pray in His name.

    “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” – (John 14:14).

     

  • We pray in His place and for His glory – We pray in accordance with all that He is, and according to His Word and character.

    “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father” – (John 14:13).

     

  • We live out our lives and bring forth our requests in His name – He will answer prayer when we live for Him and pray in His name.

    “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” – (Colossians 3:17).

     

  • We pray in the power of His name – We pray with faith because we pray in the power of His name. We know and experience in increasing measure the reality of answered prayers prayed in His name.

    “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong” – (Acts 3:16).

     

  • We get His assistance by using His name – Jesus comes to our aid when we call upon His name. He brings salvation and delivers. He sets free through the use of His name.

    “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”  – (Romans 10:13).

     

  • We remind ourselves of what His name represents.We claim God’s promises in Scripture and understand the authority inherent in His name.

    “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” – (Psalm 8:1).

     

  • We pray in relationship with Jesus – Our relationship with Jesus grows in strength as we experience His love and faithfulness in prayer. We pray on the basis of our relationship with Him when we pray in His name.

    “Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness” – (Psalm 115:1).

Several years ago I spent ten long days at the hospital while my father had open-heart surgery. Four days after heart surgery, he began to bleed internally and had to quickly go in for another operation. In the waiting room I prayed in the name of Jesus that the bleeding would stop, and it did. The operation was successful, and my father just had his 91st birthday!

Does God answer prayers in the name of Jesus? Yes. God had saved my father’s life. The name of Jesus is all-powerful. Let me assure you that the power of the name of Jesus meant much to us at that critical time.

Let us never forget that the name of Jesus is the key that opens heaven’s account. It brings forth His mighty power in our daily lives. As we pray in the coming weeks, let’s remember what it means to pray in His name and realize the authority we have in prayer. We are touching heaven with our prayers.      

“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” – (Mark 16:17-18).

Together in the Harvest,
 
Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOPKC Staff)

[email protected]

www.crosswalk.com

prayer with jesus

You have read about the Jesus Prayer, have you not? And you know what it is from practical experience. Only with the help of this prayer can the necessary order of the soul be firmly maintained; only through this prayer can we preserve our inner order undisturbed even when distracted by household cares. This prayer alone makes it possible to fulfill the injunction of the Fathers: the hands at work, the mind and heart with God. When this prayer becomes grafted in our heart, then there are no inner interruptions and it continues always in the same, evenly flowing way.

The path to achievement of a systematic interior order is very hard, but it is possible to preserve this (or a similar) state of mind during the various and inevitable duties you have to perform; and what makes it possible is the Jesus Prayer when it is grafted in the heart. How can it be so grafted? Who knows? But it does happen. He who strives is increasingly conscious of this engrafting, without knowing how it has been achieved. To strive for this inner order, we must walk always in the presence of God, repeating the Jesus Prayer as frequently as possible. As soon as there is a free moment, begin again at once, and the engrafting will be achieved…

The Jesus Prayer, and the warmth which accompanies it

To pray is to stand spiritually before God in our heart in glorification, thanksgiving, supplication, and contrite penitence. Everything must be spiritual. The root of all prayer is devout fear of God; from this comes belief about God and faith in Him, submission of oneself to God, hope in God, and cleaving to Him with the feeling of love, in oblivion of all created things. When prayer is powerful, all these spiritual feelings and movements are present in the heart with corresponding vigor.

How does the Jesus Prayer help us in this? 
Through the feeling of warmth which develops in and around the heart as the effect of this Prayer…

When we pray we must stand in our mind before God, and think of Him alone. Yet various thoughts keep jostling in the mind, and draw it away from God. In order to teach the mind to rest on one thing, the Holy Fathers used short prayers and acquired the habit of reciting them unceasingly. This unceasing repetition of a short prayer kept the mind on the thought of God and dispersed all irrelevant thoughts. They adopted various short prayers, but it is the Jesus Prayer which has become particularly established amongst us and is most generally employed: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner!’

So this is what the Jesus Prayer is. It is one among various short prayers, oral like all others. Its purpose is to keep the mind on the single thought of God. Whoever has formed the habit of this Prayer and uses it properly, really does remember God incessantly.

Since the remembrance of God in a sincerely believing heart is naturally accompanied by a sense of piety, hope, thanksgiving, devotion to God’s will, and by other spiritual feelings, the Jesus Prayer, which produces and preserves this remembrance of God, is called spiritual prayer. It is rightly so called only when it is accompanied by these spiritual feelings. But when not accompanied by them it remains oral like any other prayer of the same type.

What is the meaning of this warmth which accompanies the practice of the Prayer? 
In order to keep the mind on one thing by the use of a short prayer, it is necessary to preserve attention and so lead it into the heart: for so long as the mind remains in the head, where thoughts jostle one another, it has no time to concentrate on one thing. But when attention descends into the heart, it attracts all the powers of the soul and body into one point there. This concentration of all human life in one place is immediately reflected in the heart by a special sensation that is the beginning of future warmth. This sensation, faint at the beginning, becomes gradually stronger, firmer, deeper. At first only tepid, it grows into warm feeling and concentrates the attention upon itself And so it comes about that, whereas in the initial stages the attention is kept in the heart by an effort of will, in due course this attention, by its own vigor, gives birth to warmth in the heart. This warmth then holds the attention without special effort. From this, the two go on supporting one another, and must remain inseparable; because dispersion of attention cools the warmth, and diminishing warmth weakens attention.

From this there follows a rule of the spiritual life: if you keep the heart alive towards God, you will always be in remembrance of God. This rule is laid down by St. John of the Ladder.

The question now arises whether this warmth is spiritual. No, it is not spiritual. It is ordinary physical warmth. But since it keeps the attention of the mind in the heart, and thus helps the development there of the spiritual movements described earlier, it is called spiritual- provided, however, that it is not accompanied by sensual pleasure, however slight, but keeps the soul and body in sober mood.

From this it follows that when the warmth accompanying the Jesus Prayer does not include spiritual feelings, it should not be called spiritual, but simply warm-blooded. There is nothing in itself bad about this warm-blooded feeling, unless it is connected with sensual pleasure, however slight. If it is so connected, it is bad and must be suppressed.

Things begin to go wrong when the warmth moves about in parts of the body lower than the heart. And matters become still worse when, in enjoyment of this warmth, we imagine it to be all that matters, without bothering about spiritual feelings or even about remembrance of God; and so we set our heart only on having this warmth. This wrong course is occasionally possible, though not for all people, nor at all times. It must be noticed and corrected, for otherwise only physical warmth will remain, and we must not consider this warmth as spiritual or due to grace. This warmth is spiritual only when it is accompanied by the spiritual impetus of prayer. Anyone who calls it spiritual without this movement is mistaken. And anyone who imagines it to be due to grace is still more in error.

Warmth which is filled with grace is of a special nature and it is only this which is truly spiritual. It is distinct from the warmth of the flesh, and does not produce any noticeable changes in the body, but manifests itself by a subtle feeling of sweetness.

Everyone can easily identify and distinguish spiritual warmth by this particular feeling. Each must do it for himself: this is no business for an outsider.

prayer with jesus

The easiest way to acquire unceasing prayer

To acquire the habit of the Jesus Prayer, so that it takes root in ourselves, is the easiest way of ascending into the region of unceasing prayer. Men of the greatest experience have found, through God’s enlightenment, that this form of prayer is a simple yet most effective means of establishing and strengthening the whole of the spiritual and ascetic life; and in their rules for prayer they have left detailed instructions about it.

In all our efforts and ascetic struggles, what we seek is purification of the heart and restoration of the spirit. There are two ways to this: 
 the active way, the practice of the ascetic labors; and 
 the contemplative way, the turning of the mind to God. By the first way the soul becomes purified and so receives God; by the second way the God of whom the soul becomes aware Himself bums away every impurity and thus comes to dwell in the purified soul. The whole of this second way is summed up in the one Jesus Prayer, as St. Gregory of Sinai says’: 
‘God is gained either by activity and work, or by the art of invoking the Name of Jesus.’ He adds that the first way is longer than the second, the second being quicker and more effective. For this reason some of the Holy Fathers have given prime importance, among all the different kinds of spiritual exercise, to the Jesus Prayer. It enlightens, strengthens, and animates; it defeats all enemies visible and invisible, and leads directly to God. See how powerful and effective it is! The Name of the Lord Jesus is the treasury of all good things, the treasury of strength and of life in the spirit.

It follows from this that we should from the very first give full instructions on the practice of the Jesus Prayer to everyone who repents or begins to seek the Lord. Only following on from this should we introduce the beginner into other practices, because it is in this way that he can most quickly become steadfast and spiritually aware, and achieve inner peace. Many people, not knowing this, may be said to waste their time and labor in going no further than the formal and external activities of the soul and body.

The practice of prayer is called an ‘art’, and it is a very simple one. Standing with consciousness and attention in the heart, cry out unceasingly: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me,’ 
without having in your mind any visual concept or image, believing that the Lord sees you and listens to you.

It is important to keep your consciousness in the heart, and as you do so to control your breathing a little so as to keep time with the words of the prayer. But the most important thing is to believe that God is near and hears. Say the prayer for God’s ear alone.

At the beginning this prayer remains for a long time only an activity like any other, but in time it passes into the mind and finally takes root in the heart.

There are deviations from this right way of praying; therefore we must learn it from someone who knows all about it. Mistakes occur chiefly from the attention being in the head and not in the heart. He who keeps his attention in the heart is safe. Safer still is he who at all times clings to God in contrition, and prays to be delivered from illusion.

‘Techniques’ and ‘methods’ do not matter: one thing alone is essential

The prayer, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me’ is an oral prayer like any other. There is nothing special about it in itself, but it receives all its power from the state of mind in which it is made.

The various methods described by the Fathers (sitting down, making prostrations, and the other techniques used when performing this prayer) are not suitable for everyone: indeed without a personal director they are actually dangerous. It is better not to try them. There is just one method which is obligatory for all: to stand with the attention in the heart. All other things are beside the point, and do not lead to the crux of the matter.

It is said of the fruit of this prayer, that there is nothing higher in the world. This is wrong. As if it were some talisman! Nothing in the words of the prayer and their uttering can alone bring forth its fruit. All fruit can be received without this prayer, and even without any oral prayer, but merely by directing the mind and heart towards God.

The essence of the whole thing is to be established in the remembrance of God, and to walk in His presence. You can say to anyone: ‘Follow whatever methods you like-recite the Jesus Prayer, perform bows and prostrations, I go to Church: do what you wish, only strive to be always in constant remembrance of God.’ I remember meeting a man in Kiev who said: ‘I did not use any methods at all, I did not know the Jesus Prayer, yet by God’s mercy I walk always in His presence. But how this has come to pass, I myself do not know, God gave!’

It is most important to realize that prayer is always God-given: otherwise we may confuse the gift of grace with some Achievement of our own.

People say: attain the Jesus Prayer, for that is inner prayer. This is not correct. The Jesus Prayer is a good means to arrive at inner prayer, but in itself it is not inner but outer prayer. Those who attain the habit of the Jesus Prayer do very well. But if they stop only at this and go no further, they stop half way.

Even though we are reciting the Jesus Prayer, it is still necessary for us to keep the thought of God: otherwise the Prayer is dry food. It is good that the Name of Jesus should cleave to your tongue. But with this it is still possible not to remember God at all and even to harbor thoughts which are opposed to Him. Consequently everything depends on conscious and free turning to God, and on a balanced effort to hold oneself in this.

Why the Jesus Prayer is stronger than other prayers

The Jesus Prayer is like any other prayer. It is stronger than all other prayers only in virtue of the all-powerful Name of Jesus, Our Lord and Savior. But it is necessary to invoke His Name with a full and unwavering faith-with a deep certainty that He is near, sees and hears, pays whole-hearted attention to our petition, and is ready to fulfill it and to grant what we seek. There is nothing to be ashamed of in such a hope. If fulfillment is sometimes delayed, this may be because the petitioner is still not yet ready to receive what he asks.

Not a talisman

The Jesus Prayer is not some talisman (a ring or stone with magic powers). Its power comes from faith in the Lord, and from a deep union of the mind and heart with Him. With such a disposition, the invocation of the Lord’s Name becomes very effective in many ways. But a mere repetition of the words does not signify anything.

Mechanical repetition leads to nothing

Do not forget that you must not limit yourself to a mechanical repetition of the words of the Jesus Prayer. This will lead to nothing except a habit of repeating the prayer automatically with the tongue, without even thinking about it. There is of course nothing wrong in this, but it constitutes only the extreme outer limit of the work.

The essential thing is to stand consciously in the presence of the Lord, with fear, faith and love.

Oral and inner prayer

One can recite the Jesus Prayer with the mind in the heart without movement of the tongue. This is better than oral prayer. Use oral prayer as a support to inner prayer. Sometimes It is required in order to strengthen inner prayer.

Avoid visual concepts

Hold no intermediate image between the mind and the Lord when practicing the Jesus Prayer. The words pronounced are merely a help, and are not essential. The principal thing is to stand before the Lord with the mind in the heart. This, and not the words, is inner spiritual prayer. The words here are as much or as little the essential part of the prayer as the words of any other prayer. The essential part is to dwell in God, and this walking before God means that you live with the conviction ever before your consciousness that God is in you, as He is in everything: you live in the firm assurance that He sees all that is within you, knowing you better than you know yourself. This awareness of the eye of God looking at your inner being must not be accompanied by any visual concept, but must be confined to a simple conviction or feeling. A man in a warm room feels how the warmth envelops and penetrates him. The same must be the effect on our spiritual nature of the all-encompassing presence of God, who is the fire in the room of our being.

The words ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me’ are only the instrument and not the essence of the work; but they are an instrument which is very strong and effective, for the Name of the Lord Jesus is fearful to the enemies of our salvation and a blessing to all who seek Him. Do not forget that this practice is simple, and must not have anything fanciful about it. Pray about everything to the Lord, to our most pure Lady, to your Guardian Angel; and they will teach you everything, either directly or through others.

Images and illusion

In order not to fall into illusion, while practicing inner prayer, do not permit yourself any concepts, images, or visions. For vivid imaginings, darting to and fro, and flights of fancy do not cease even when the mind stands in the heart and recites prayer: and no one is able to rule over them, except those who have attained perfection by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and who have acquired stability of mind through Jesus Christ.

Dispel all images from your mind

You ask about prayer. I find in the writings of the Holy Fathers, that when you pray you must dispel all images from your mind. That is what I also try to do, forcing myself to realize that God is everywhere-and so (among other places) here, where my thoughts and feelings are. I cannot succeed in freeing myself entirely from images, but gradually they evaporate more and more. There comes a point when they disappear completely.

Source: Orthodox Prayer

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