Many readers will have heard of the Jesus Prayer, which is thought to come from the teaching and practice of the Desert Fathers in 5th century Egypt (Wikipedia). Some people repeat it continually, as a way of practising God’s presence. Others use it as a blessing or appeal for help before doing anything significant. Examples of such moments might include when trying to keep your temper, writing a difficult letter, making a phone call you would rather avoid, discussing a problem, or doing something you fear. Some days ago, I wrote a slightly expanded version of my own. Whatever version you use, the idea is to learn it by heart and to use it frequently, so it becomes automatic to reach for it, and to use it, the moment you realise you need God’s help.
My Jesus prayer
* Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16; NIV).
* As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David” (Matthew 9:27; NIV).
* Help us, God our Saviour, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake (Psalm 79:9; NIV).
* And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (Matthew 6:12; NIV).
* “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant” (Daniel 9:17; NIV).
* …the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:26; NIV).
Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of the Living God,
Have mercy on us.
Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Hear our prayers,
And turn your face toward us.
Give us peace,
And bring us to everlasting life,