The Jesus Prayer

also known as
“The Prayer of the Heart”
“The Prayer of the Most Holy Name”

The Jesus Prayer is a prayer that developed in the early monastic tradition, but quickly spread throughout the Church. Today, it is practiced by thousands of faithful, laity as well as religious and monastics, all over the world.

The Jesus Prayer is a very simple and easy prayer to learn. It consists of just a few powerful words repeated over and over again:

“Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,”
or  “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us,”
or  “Lord, Jesus, have mercy,”
or “Jesus.”

The exact wording is not important, as long as it includes the most holy name of JESUS. If we persevere in saying the prayer frequently, we will find a formula that best suits our particular needs and speaks to us the most.

Although very simple, the Jesus Prayer is also a very profound prayer. In one brief sentence, it expresses the essence of our Christian faith and summarizes the entire Gospel message. When we say, “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God,” we proclaim that Jesus is indeed Lord, the eternal and unbegotten Son of the living God. He is the Christos, the Anointed One promised by our Heavenly Father — the Saviour of the world. When we say, “have mercy on me, a sinner,” we confess our faith and our trust in His infinite mercy and love. The Lord God will pour out an abundance of His mercy and loving kindness upon us; He will love us, forgive us, heal and comfort us. All we need to do is to ask. Each time we sincerely call upon His name, we receive His grace, His forgiveness and peace. The Jesus Prayer is a holy, wonderful prayer, and it is a great gift from God to be able to pray it.

With the help of the Jesus Prayer, we begin to believe and experience the presence of God dwelling within our heart and around us. The prayer sows deep within our souls the great truth, that God is always present within us, and that we are truly, in the words of St. Paul, “living temples of the Holy Spirit.”

 

The Rule of Saint Pachomius

As given to the Venerable Father Pachomius the Great, according to tradition, by an Angel of the Lord.

Blessing
Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord, Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Beginning Prayers
†Glory be to You, our God, glory be to You!
Heavenly King, Advocate, Spirit of Truth, Who are everywhere present and fill all things, Treasury of Blessings, Bestower of Life, come and dwell within us; cleanse us of all that defiles us, and, O Good One, save our souls.
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From Holy Pascha to the Feast of the Ascension, instead of the prayer “Heavenly King” we recite the Paschal Troparion: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death by death; and to those in the tombs giving life. (3)
From Ascension Thursday to Pentecost Sunday we proceed directly to “Holy God” omitting “Glory be to You, our God,” and “Heavenly King.”
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†Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us. (3)
†Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Trinity most holy, have mercy on us. Cleanse us of our sins, O Lord; pardon our transgressions, O Master; look upon our weaknesses and heal them, O Holy One; for the sake of Your name.
Lord, have mercy. (3)
†Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Lord, have mercy. (12)
†Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

A Call to Worship
†Come, let us bow in worship before the King, our God!
†Come, let us bow in worship before Christ the King, our God!
†Come, let us bow in worship and fall down, before the very Lord, Jesus Christ our King and God!

Psalm 50  Prayer of contrition
Have mercy on me, God, in Your kindness. In Your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.
My offences truly I know them; my sin is always before me.
Against You, You alone, have I sinned; what is evil in Your sight I have done.
That You may be justified when You give sentence and be without reproach when You judge.
O see, in guilt I was born, a sinner was I conceived.
Indeed You love truth in the heart; then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean; O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones You have crushed may thrill.
From my sins turn away Your face and blot out all my guilt.
A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence, nor deprive me of Your Holy Spirit.
Give me again the joy of Your salvation; with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
That I may teach transgressors Your ways and sinners may return to You.
O rescue me, God, my helper, and my tongue shall ring out Your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall declare Your praise.
For in sacrifice You take no delight, burnt offering from me You would refuse.
My sacrifice, a contrite spirit. A humbled, contrite heart You will not spurn.
In Your goodness, show favour to Zion: rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You will be pleased with lawful sacrifice, burnt offerings wholly consumed, then You will be offered young bulls on Your altar.

Confession of Faith
I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father.
Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven:
By the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father.
With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Jesus Prayer
Using the prayer rope (chotky) recite the Jesus Prayer slowly, with inner attention and reverence.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, (a sinner). (100)
Other variations:
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Lord, Jesus, have mercy.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us and upon Thy world.

Concluding Prayers
It is truly right to bless you, O God-bearing One, as the ever-blessed and immaculate Mother of our God. More honourable than the cherubim and by far more glorious than the seraphim; ever a virgin, you gave birth to God the Word, O true Mother of God, we magnify you.
†Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever Amen.
Lord, have mercy. (3)
Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord, Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

 

 Short Rule

This Short Rule for the Jesus Prayer may be accompanied with simple metanies, or with full prostrations.

Beginning Prayers
†God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
†God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
†I have sinned without number, forgive me, O Lord.
Then:
†Most holy Lady, Virgin Mary, Mother of God, save us.
†Angel of God, my holy guardian, from all evil protect me.
†Holy Apostle, (name), pray to God for me, a sinner.
†Holy Martyr, (name), pray to God for me, a sinner.
†Holy and venerable Father (name), pray to God for me, a sinner.

Jesus Prayer
Using the prayer rope (chotky) recite the Jesus Prayer slowly, with inner attention, contrition and great reverence.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, (a sinner). (100)
Other variations:
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Lord, Jesus, have mercy.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us and upon Thy world.

Concluding Prayer
It is truly right to bless you, O God-bearing One, as the ever-blessed and immaculate Mother of our God. More honourable than the cherubim and by far more glorious than the seraphim; ever a virgin, you gave birth to God the Word, O true Mother of God, we magnify you.

 

Arrow Prayers

Any of these short “arrow” prayers can be used as an alternative to the Jesus Prayer. Depending on the situation or need as it arises, select one prayer and repeat it attentively, as long as you wish.

Praise and Thanksgiving
Glory be to God!
Glory be to You our God, glory be to You!
My God and my everything!
Holy, holy, holy are You, O God; heaven and earth are full of Your glory!
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is, and is to come” (Rev 4:8).
“O Lord our God, how wonderful is Your name in all the earth! For Your majesty is exalted above the heavens” (Ps 8:2).
“I will thank You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:2-3).
“You are my God and I will praise You; You are my God, and I will exalt You; I praise and thank You that You have answered me and have become my salvation” (Psalm 117:28).
“I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live” (Psalm 145:1).
The Father is my hope. The Son is my refuge. The Holy Spirit is my protection. Most Holy Trinity, glory be to You (St. Joannicius the Great, †846).

Adoration
My God, I love You!
Jesus, my God, above all else, I love You!
My whole heart is Yours, Jesus.
Jesus, I know that You love me.
“My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
“I love You, O Lord, my strength” (Psalm 17:1).
“O God, You are my God, for You I long; for You my soul is thirsting” (Psalm 62:2).

Faith, Trust & Hope
O Lord, Jesus!
Jesus, I trust in You.
“Keep me, O Lord, for my trust is in You” (Psalm 15:1).
“The Lord is my support, my refuge, and my deliverer. My God is my helper, in Him I will trust” (Psalm 17:3).
“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust” (Psalm 24:1-2).
Lord, teach me to do Your will, for You are my God.
According to Your will, O Lord, let it be done to me (St. Isaac the Syrian).
“Your ways, O Lord, make known to me, and teach me Your paths” (Psalm 24:4).
“Guide me in Your truth and teach me; for You, O God, are my Saviour.” (Psalm 24:5).
“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 26:1)
“Into Your hands I commend my spirit: You have redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth” (Psalm 30:6).
Deliverance & Mercy
“O Lord my God, in You I put my trust; save me from all who persecute me, and deliver me” (Psalm 7:1).
“Give joy to Your servant, O Lord, for to You I lift up my soul” (Psalm 84:4).
“Let Your mercy come upon me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your word” (Psalm 118:41).
“Forsake me not, O Lord my God: do not depart from me. Attend to my help, O Lord, the God of my salvation” (Psalm 37:22).
“O Lord, be merciful to me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against You” (Psalm 40:5).
“My God, come to my help; O Lord, make haste to help me” (Psalm 69:1).
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18).
Lord, have mercy.
God, be merciful to me a sinner.
Our Father, through the wounds of Your beloved Son, deliver us.
Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.

To the Theotokos
O Most Holy Mother of God, save us!

2 thoughts on “The Jesus Prayer

  1. St Josaphat,please grant my sister miraculous Healing of her acute spondylosis nerve pain from her neck right thru her calves and please heal her of her giddiness, I plead for yr intercessions in Jesus mighty name.Amen

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