The Jesus Prayer and the Acquisition of Inner Peace
The Jesus Prayer, also known as the Prayer of the Heart, is the central prayer for monastics. One of the early desert fathers, Saint Macarius the Great, said of the phrase from the Psalms, “The meditation of my heart is in your sight”, “There is no other perfect meditation than the saving and blessed Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ dwelling without interruption in you, as it is written ‘I will cry out like the swallow and I will meditate like the turtledove!’ This is what is done by the devout (person) who perseveres in invoking the saving Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The profound simplicity of the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner” makes it the perfect prayer, allowing us to follow the injunction of the Apostle Paul, that we “should pray always”.
The prayer can be said in various shortened versions, such as “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.”, or simply, “Lord Jesus Christ.”
Over the years I’ve heard so many people tell me that they have difficulty concentrating on their daily prayers. They’ve shared that they struggle with thoughts coming into their minds that distract them from prayer. Others have said the same thing happens during the public services in the temple. The Prayer of the Heart can help, for it is a way to dispel outside thoughts and bring our attention back to the Holy Name of Jesus.
This Prayer enriches our lives in every way as it can be used throughout the day, and in every situation. We can pray the Jesus Prayer while working, driving to the store in heavy traffic (it is a splendid way to refrain from road rage), and even while sitting in boring meetings at the office. I use this prayer when hearing confessions, or when counseling, since it is a way of seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit when giving spiritual direction.
I promise you, if you take up this Prayer for yourself, it will contribute to peace of heart, stillness of the mind and keep you centered in things of God. It will also allow you to participate in a spiritual practice that is as old as the Church herself.
In this Prayer we are not only asking for God’s mercy, but declaring a confession of Faith. The Lord Jesus Christ is God and able to grant mercy and forgiveness of our sins. He is Lord of our lives and the imparting of his mercy gives us life.
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.”
Love in Christ,
Photos: We are having our first snow of the season!
Sunday February 14, 2021 / February 1, 2021
36th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone three.
Synaxis of All Saints of Perm Metropolia (movable holiday on the Sunday after January 29th).
Forefeast of the Meeting of Our Lord
Martyr Tryphon of Campsada near Apamea in Syria (250).
New Hieromartyr Archpriest Peter Skipetrov, of Petrograd (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1938).
Martyrs Perpetua, a woman of Carthage, and the catechumens Saturus, Revocatus, Saturninus, Secundulus, and Felicitas (202-203).
Venerable Peter of Galatia, hermit near Antioch in Syria (429).
Venerable Vendemianus (Bendemianus), hermit of Bithynia (512).
Venerable Tryphon, bishop of Rostov (1468).
St. Brigid of Ireland (523) (Celtic & British).
St. Seiriol, abbot of Penmon (Anglesey) (6th c.) (Celtic & British) .
St. Basil, archbishop of Thessalonica (895) (Greek).
Venerable Timothy the Confessor (Greek).
New Martyr Anastasius at Nauplion (1655) (Greek).
Martyrs Theion with 2 children at Kariona (Greek).
Martyr Elias the New of Damascus (779).
Sts. David (784), Symeon (843), and George (844), confessors of Mitylene.
The Scripture Readings
Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord
9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
Jesus Appears to Two Disciples
12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.
The Great Commission
14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Christ Ascends to God’s Right Hand
19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
1 Timothy 4:9-15
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.
Take Heed to Your Ministry
12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.
Jesus Comes to Zacchaeus’ House
19 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”