Jesus Prayer of the Desert Monks

Jesus Prayer of the Desert Monks

My painting with the Jesus Prayer of the Desert Monks

I’m going to start posting prayers regularly as a time for reflection. I know this blog is not a conservative blog, which is why it needs Jesus, so all the more reason to pray. Honestly, you don’t have to be holier than thou, judgmental, frigid, sheltered from the world, type of person to believe in Christ, or a God-Head that represents goodness, mercy, compassion and love as the reigning force of power in the universe. It doesn’t matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, the important thing is that you sit back and reflect in a prayer-like manner ever so often.

“A well-known study done in 2008 by Brandeis University reports that 90% of Americans believe in prayer.” 

I got this prayer at a time of desperation from a local priest. It is the Jesus prayer of the desert monks, and they say it’s a direct line to Jesus as if other prayers are not? Either way, I say this like a mantra. I breathe in the first half, and breathe out the second half. Everyone who I have given this prayer to says they received a lot of clarity using this prayer. I’m not sure how many times they repeated this or how long they did this (like 3 times a day for a month), but I personally found more and more clarity with each use. I have been saying it regularly for quite some time, and now when I say it, I feel a glow inside, if that makes any sense at all.

The prayer is simple and easy to remember:

Breathe In: Jesus, Son of the Living God,

Breathe out: Have mercy on me, a sinner. 

I think the prayer means that when we say this, we A, recognize Christ as the Living God, and by that I think it also means recognizing all the things Christ taught us (love, peace, understanding, tolerance, kindness, compassion) as the most powerful things in the universe. In other words, if you don’t believe in Jesus, but you believe in everything He stood for, you can still use this prayer with an emphasis on Love behind what you mean when you say Jesus.

The second part of the prayer, we are recognizing ourselves as less than perfect beings who fall, not exactly from grace, but we still fall all the time, and we just want Jesus to help pick us back up. This is recognizing that we make bad decisions, and we would like mercy for that.

The reason the breathing is important outside of the fact that it relaxes you for meditative prayer: we breathe in the Jesus, and we breathe out the sin. Embrace the Jesus, let go of the sin.

Everyone I know seeks both Love and Truth, usually in all the wrong places. I just don’t know yet if it’s enough to be considered seeking Christ when one seeks for Love and Truth without recognizing it as Christ, but I’d like to think it should be enough. Regardless, all I can say to you is if you don’t recognize Christ as God, please try this prayer and see if any answers come to you. I don’t care if you choose Christ or not, but I want it to be an informed decision. The fact is everyone deserves love, and love always hopes. No matter what you believe, do not let your fears and insecurities stand in your way to Love and Truth.

You can Learn More about the Desert Fathers this prayer originates.

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