“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).
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,
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOPKC Staff)
The most normal form of unceasing prayer in the Orthodox tradition is the Jesus Prayer. The Jesus Prayer is the form of invocation used by those practicing mental prayer, also called the “prayer of the heart”. The words of the prayer most usually said are “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”. The choice of this particular verse has a theological and spiritual meaning.
First of all, it is centered on the name of Jesus because this is the name of Him whom “God has highly exalted”, the name given to the Lord by God Himself (Лк. 1:31), the “name which is above every name” (Флп. 2:9-10, Еф. 1:21).
…for there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved (Деян. 4:12).
All prayer for Christians must be performed in the name of Jesus: “if you ask anything in my name, I will do it” (Ин. 14:13-14).
The fact that the prayer is addressed to Jesus as Lord and Christ and Son of God is because this is the center of the entire faith revealed by God in the Spirit.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
And Jesus answered, “Blessed are you… for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heave… and on this rock I will build my Church…” (Мф. 16:16-18).
That Jesus is the Christ, and that the Christ is Lord is the essence of the Christian faith and the foundation of the Christian church. To believe and proclaim this is granted by the Holy Spirit.
…no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit (1Кор. 12:3).
…every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Флп. 2:11).
In calling Jesus the Son of God is to acknowledge God as His Father. To do this is, at the same time, to have God as one’s own Father, and this too is granted by the indwelling Spirit.
And when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying “Abba! Father!” (Гал. 4:4-6).
When we cry “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit Himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God… (Рим. 8:15-16).
Thus, to pray “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God” is already to be a child of God, and already to be certain that the Holy Spirit is in you. In this way, the Jesus Prayer brings the Spirit of God into the heart of man.
“Have mercy on me a sinner” is the publican’s prayer. When uttered with humble conviction it brings divine justification (Лк. 18:9-14). Generally speaking, divine mercy is what man needs most of all. It is for this reason that the numberless repetition of the request for the Lord’s mercy is found everywhere in the prayers of, the Church.
And finally, all men are sinners. To know this is a fact, and to confess it with faith is to be justified and forgiven by God (Рим. 3:10-12, Пс. 14:1-3).
The Jesus Prayer basically is used in three different ways. First as the verse used for the “prayer of the heart” in silence in the hesychast method of prayer. Second as the continual mental and unceasing prayer of the faithful outside the hesychast tradition. And third as the brief ejaculatory prayer used to ward off temptations. Of course, in the actual life of a person these three uses of the prayer are often interrelated and combined.
In the hesychast method of prayer the person sits alone in a bodily position with his head bowed and his eyes directed toward his chest or his stomach. He continually repeats the prayer with each aspiration and breath, placing his “mind in his heart” by concentrated attention. He empties his mind of all rational thoughts and discursive reasoning, and also voids his mind of every picture and image. Then, without thought or imagination, but with all proper attention and concentration he rhythmically repeats the Jesus Prayer in silence – hesychia means silence – and through this method of contemplative prayer is united to God by the indwelling of Christ in the Spirit. According to the fathers, such a prayer, when faithfully practiced within the total life of the Church, brings the experience of the uncreated divine light of God and unspeakable joy to the soul. Its purpose is to make man a servant of God.
…the mind when it unites with the heart is filled with unspeakable joy and delight. Then a man sees that the Kingdom of heaven is truly within us.
When you enter the place of the heart… give thanks to God, and praising His mercy, keep always to this activity, and it will teach you things which you will learn in no other way.
…when your mind becomes established in the heart, it must not remain idle, but it should constantly repeat the prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me!” and never cease.
For this practice, keeping the mind from dreaming, renders it invincible against all suggestions of the devil and every day leads it more and more to love and longing for God (St. Nicephorus, Discourse on Sobriety).
To practice the hesychast method of prayer requires always and without exception the guidance of a spiritual guide, one must not use this method unless one is a person of genuine humility and sanity, filled with all wisdom and peace. To use this method without guidance or humble wisdom, is to court spiritual disaster, for the temptations that come with it are many. Indeed, the abuses of the method became so great in recent centuries that its use was greatly curtailed. Bishop Theophan tells that the bodily postures and breathing techniques were virtually forbidden in his time since, instead of gaining the Spirit of God, people succeeded only “in ruining their lungs” (The Art of Prayer, lgumen Chariton).
Such abusive and abortive used of the method – itself something genuine and richly rewarding were already known in fourteenth century Byzantium when St. Gregory Palamas defended the tradition. And evidence exists from as early as the fourth century to show that even then people were using the prayer foolishly and to no avail by reducing it to a “thing in itself” and being captivated by its form without interest in its purpose. Indeed, the idolatrous interest in spiritual technique and in the pleasurable benefits of “spirituality” and “mysticism” are the constant temptations of the spiritual life – and the devil’s most potent weapon. Bishop Theophan called such interest “spiritual hedonism”; John of the Cross called it “spiritual gluttony” and “spiritual luxury”. Thus, by way of example from various times and places, come the following admonitions.
Those who refuse to work with their hands under the pretext that one should pray without ceasing, in reality do not pray either. Through idleness… they entangle the soul in a labyrinth of thoughts… and make it incapable of prayer (St. Nilus of Sinai, Texts on Prayer).
As long as you pay attention only to bodily posture for prayer and your mind cares only for the external beauty of the tabernacle (i.e. proper forms), know that you have not yet found the place of prayer and its blessed way is still far from you.
Know that in the midst of all spiritual joy and consolation, that it is still more necessary to serve God with devotion and fear (St. Nilus of Sinai, Texts on Prayer).
It is natural for the mind to reject what is at hand and dream of something else to come… to build fantasies and imaginings about achievements before he has attained them. Such a man is in considerable danger of losing what he has and failing into self-delusion and being deprived of good sense. He becomes only a dreamer and not a man of continual prayer (i.e. a hesychast) (St. Gregory of Sinai, Texts on Commandments and Dogmas).
If you are truly practicing the continual prayer of silence, hoping to be with God and you see something sensory or spiritual, within or without, be it even the image of Christ, or an angel, or some saint, or if an image of light pervades your mind in no way accept it… always be displeased with such images, and keep your mind clear, without image or form… and you will suffer no harm. It has often happened that such things, even when sent by God as a test before victory, have turned into harm for many… who have then done harm to others equally unwise… leading to pride and self-conceit.
For the fathers say that those who live rightly and are faultless in their behavior with other men… who seek God with obedience, questioning and wise humility… will always be protected from harm by the grace of Christ (St. Gregory of Sinai, Instructions to Hesychasts).
The use of the Jesus Prayer outside the hesychast method for unceasing prayer is to repeat the prayer constantly and continually, whatever one is doing, without the employment of any particular bodily postures or breathing techniques. This is the way taught by St. Gregory Palamas in his short discourse about how unceasing mental prayer is the duty of all Christians. Anyone can do this, whatever his occupation or position in life. This also is shown in The Way of the Pilgrim.
The purpose and results of this method of prayer are those generally of all prayer: that men might be continually united with God by unceasing remembrance of His presence and perpetual invocation of His name, so that one might always serve Him and all men with the virtues of Christ and the fruits of the Spirit.
The third method of using the Jesus Prayer is to have it always ready for moments of temptation. In this way, as St. John Climacus has said, you can “flog your enemies, i.e. the temptations, with the name of Jesus for there is no stronger weapon in heaven or on earth” (The Ladder of Divine Ascent). This method works best when one practices the prayer without ceasing, joining “to every breath a sober invocation of Jesus’ name” (Evagrius of Pontus). When one practices the continual “prayer of the heart”, and when the temptations to sin enter the heart, they are met by the prayer and are defeated by grace.
Man cannot live in this world without being tempted. When temptation comes to a person, there are only three possible results. Either the person immediately yields to the temptation and sins, or he tries to ward off the temptation by the power of his will, and is ultimately defeated after great vexation and strife. Or else he fights off the temptation by the power of Christ in his heart which is present only by prayer. This does not mean that he “prays the temptation away”. Or that God miraculously and magically descends to deliver him. It means rather that his soul is so filled with the grace and the power of God that the temptation can have no effect. It is in this sense that the Apostle John has written: “no one who abides in Christ sins” (1Ин. 3:6).
He who sins is of the devil… The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God commits sins; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin for he is born of God. By this may be seen who are children of God, and who are children of the devil (1Ин. 3:8-10).
One becomes a child of God, born of God in the Church through baptism. One continues as a child of God and does not sin only by continual prayer: the remembrance of God, the abiding in Him, the calling upon His name without ceasing in the soul. The third use of the Jesus Prayer, like the first two, is to accomplish this end: that man might not sin.
Orthodox Church in America
The Jesus Prayer, also called the Prayer of the Heart, the Prayer of a Single Thought, or simply The Prayer, is a short, simple prayer that has been widely used, taught and discussed throughout the history of Eastern Christianity. The exact words of the prayer have varied, from a simple form such as “Lord, have mercy” to an extended form:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.”
The form most in use on Mount Athos is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.” It is particularly used in the practice of the spiritual life known as hesychasm.
It is, for the Orthodox, one of the most profound and mystical prayers and is often repeated endlessly as part of a personal ascetic practice. There have been a number of Roman Catholic texts on the subject, but its usage has never achieved the same degree of devotion as in the Eastern Church. A more elaborate version known to some Roman Catholics by the same name goes: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Your mercy.”
The prayer is most reflective of the lesson taught by the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee; in which the Pharisee demonstrates the improper way to pray by exclaiming, “Thank you Lord that I am not like the Publican.” While the Publican in humility prays correctly “Lord have mercy on me, the sinner” (Luke 18:10-14). And likewise in the Gospels, Peter crying out as he sank into the sea, “Lord, save me.”
In the Orthodox tradition the prayer is said or prayed repeatedly, often with the aid of a prayer rope. It may be accompanied by prostrations and the sign of the cross. As such, it is used as a means of finding contrition and as a means of bringing about humility in the individual; hence the words “the sinner” are sometimes added as if no other sinner existed but the person praying (though there is no indefinite article in Greek, thus leading to some controversy about whether the translation in English should be “the sinner” or “a sinner”).
Monastics often have long sessions praying this prayer many hundreds of times each night as part of their discipline, and through the guidance of an elder, its practitioner’s ultimate goal is to “internalize” the prayer, so that one is praying unceasingly there-by accomplishing Saint Paul’s exhortation to the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). The use of the Jesus Prayer in this way is the subject of the Russian classic The Way of a Pilgrim. For many, after a time, the Jesus Prayer enters into the heart, so that it is no longer recited by a deliberate effort, but recites itself spontaneously.
Table of contents
- Prayer rope
- The Jesus Prayer, a very straightforward exposition
- On Practicing the Jesus Prayer by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov
- Saying the Jesus Prayer by Albert Rossi
- More articles on the Jesus prayer – Fr. Thomas Hopko, Steven Peter Tsichlis, Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh, and Father Kevin Hunt, OCSO
- Introduction to the Jesus Prayer by Mother Alexandra
- How to pray the Jesus Prayer and many articles and links
- The Jesus Prayer Resource Library, Orthodox Christian library that provides access to selected resources about the Jesus Prayer
Welcome to the Prayer Warriors web pages. My vision for this website is a prayer request system where individuals can post their prayer request, for Prayer Warriors to read and lift their prayer needs to Jesus. All prayer requests will not go live until I review each request to protect integrity of the prayer requests.
Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate by praying for the requests being posted on this website.More importantly, we encourage every visitor to seek God’s leadership in their prayer life, and experience the transformation that your life will have, as your prayer time and faith grows! By each pair request there will be a button that you can click after praying for their prayer requests, to let the individual who left the prayer request know that you have prayed for their need.
You are invited to go to the contact and leave me a message of encouragement, or any errors that you find on these pages. I am truly excited about this opportunity that God has provided for reaching out to individuals worldwide, as well as prayer warriors were willing to lift others up in prayer. There is no doubt that God is in the creation and development of this website, and he will always honor His Word and hear our prayers.