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Praying the Jesus prayer

Praying the Jesus prayer

In my personal prayer practice, I am a big fan of short, simple prayers. They are easy to memorize and can be paired with the breath. Prayers like these are more helpful for me in getting out of my head and into a more contemplative, listening place.

One well-known prayer of this type is what’s known as the Jesus prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” There are variety of sources for this prayer, but it likely originated with the Desert Fathers and Mothers in the 5th century AD.

This prayer has long been popular in the Eastern church, where praying with prayer ropes that use knots instead of beads is more common. However, it is also known and used within Roman Catholicism and is well suited for use in praying the Anglican rosary.

The following is one option for using the Jesus prayer with the Anglican rosary.  Different prayers can be used with the cross, invitatory bead, and cruciform beads, at your discretion. Please feel free to use this as is for your own prayers or as a starting point for your own adaptation.

Cross:In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Invitatory bead:Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy. (Psalm 130:1-2)
Cruciform beads:Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me. (Psalm 40:11)
Week beads 1-7:Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Invitatory bead:Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy. (Psalm 130:1-2)
Cross:O God, make speed to save me. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory to Father and to the Son and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
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