Devotional Thoughts: The Jesus Prayer
I've heard that it can be as short as:
Lord, have mercy.
And as "long" as:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.
For classical music lovers, we hear the same thought in portions of liturgical music in the Kyrie. Here is an example in Gregorian Chant.
For a discussion of the history and practice of the Jesus Prayer, check out Frederica Mathewes-Green's essay on the topic.
I've taken to using the prayer at various times during a typical day.
Green put its benefit this way: Mostly, it gets rid of the clutter.
I definitely have my share of "squirrel moments" during a typical day!
And so the prayer helps me get settled.
More thoughts from Green ...
I think it is wise that the Prayer asks for mercy, to remind us of the necessity of humility, rather than the narcissism that can accompany the self-designation “spiritual.” So the Jesus Prayer is not an end in itself, but a way of training the mind to remain always in his presence, no matter what else life brings.Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.