The Jesus Prayer (Greek: Η Προσευχή του Ιησού, i prosefchí tou iisoú) or "The Prayer" (Greek: Η Ευχή, i efchí̱ – literally "The Wish") is a short, formulaic prayer esteemed and advocated within the Eastern Orthodox & Oriental Orthodox churches:
|“||Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν.||”|
|“||Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.||”|
The prayer has been widely taught and discussed throughout the history of the Eastern Churches. It is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice, its use being an integral part of the eremitic tradition of prayer known as Hesychasm (Ancient Greek: ἡσυχάζω, hesychazo, "to keep stillness"). The prayer is particularly esteemed by the spiritual fathers of this tradition (see Philokalia) as a method of opening up the heart (kardia) and bringing about the Prayer of the Heart (Καρδιακή Προσευχή). The Prayer of The Heart is considered to be the Unceasing Prayer that the apostle Paul advocates in the New Testament. St. Theophan the Recluse regarded the Jesus Prayer stronger than all other prayers by virtue of the power of the Holy Name of Jesus.
While its tradition, on historical grounds, also belongs to the Eastern Catholics, and there have been a number of Roman Catholic texts on the Jesus Prayer, its practice has never achieved the same popularity in the Western Church as in the Eastern Orthodox Church, although it is said on the Anglican Rosary. Moreover, the Eastern Orthodox theology of the Jesus Prayer enunciated in the 14th century by St. Gregory Palamas has never been fully accepted by the Roman Catholic Church. Nonetheless, in the Jesus Prayer there can be seen the Eastern counterpart of the Roman Catholic Rosary, which has developed to hold a similar place in the Christian West.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "The name of Jesus is at the heart of Christian prayer. All liturgical prayers conclude with the words 'through our Lord Jesus Christ'. The Hail Mary reaches its high point in the words 'blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus'. The Eastern prayer of the heart, the Jesus Prayer, says: 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' Many Christians, such as St Joan of Arc, have died with the one word 'Jesus' on their lips."
Famous quotes containing the words jesus and/or prayer:
“A name? Oh, Jesus Christ. Ah, God, Ive been called by a million names all my life. I dont want a name. Im better off with a grunt or a groan for a name.”
—Bernardo Bertolucci (b. 1940)
“Hermia. Good night, sweet friend;
Thy love neer alter till thy sweet life end!
Lysander. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer say I,
And then end life when I end loyalty!”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)