Many of us experience life
just filled with turmoil.
Our inner thoughts
rage from one issue to another.
It may seem like
there is never time to stop and reflect.
Peace is something desired but rarely experienced.
The Apostle Paul preached,
“The Peace of God,
Which passes all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds
through Jesus Christ“.
Phil 4: 7
Our Christian faith is supposed to bring us this Peace,
but yet even though we believe in Christ
many seldom experience this Peace.
What is lacking?
The main issue is
that our minds are too busy
and we lack the ability to control our thoughts.
This is a discipline we can learn
through a combination of our own effort and God’s Grace.
1.]. We should pray for inner peace.
2.]. We should examine our daily prayer rule and modify it.
Prayer combined with repentance can bring Peace
and help us develop the discipline to control our minds.
With a mind under control we make better decisions
that lead us to a more peaceful life.
From my own experience,
the practice of the Jesus Prayer
is the most important practice
for those seeking inner Peace.
For this to be effective a considerable amount of time
needs to be committed to its practice.
It requires at least one-half hour each day
in the beginning and more later.
The most difficult part of this practice
is committing the time to do it each and every day,
It must become a habit
just like brushing your teeth.
Each day you miss
you will fall back at least three days.
It is easiest to make this time available
in the morning by deciding
to get up one-half hour earlier.
It is also the quietest time for your body
as well as your surroundings.
This of course means
you will have to go to bed one-half hour earlier as well.
That is the hard part.
Most likely you have a habit in the evening of relaxing,
escaping the issues of the day,
by relaxing and read a book, following the radio-program or
watching [non-stop??] television programs.
This you will have to give up
to make time for prayer.
Once you have made these decisions
the rest is easy, as long as you have
the inner desire for peace
that comes from your Faith in Christ.
This is a practice of love of God.
It is motivated not just for relief from anxiety,
but for a desire to walk your life in union with Christ
and to experience the Peace He had in all kinds of situations.
The prayer is simple:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”.
MP3: Jesus Prayer, 15 minutes prayer ;
Jesus Prayer, song by Coptics;
Jesus Prayer, song with guitar.
You simply repeat it over and over.
You begin your prayer time in a special quiet place
where you have your icons and a candle
which you can light before you begin.
Take a few moment to quite your body
and repeat the [opening] Trisagion prayers,
then begin the repletion of the Jesus Prayer.
Focus on the words.
Say it aloud in the beginning,
so that you also hear yourself [by heart]
Don’t try and rush.
You have committed the time
[You can set a timer
so you know when the time is up]
so there is no time pressure.
Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica tells us:
“We should say the words of the prayer
knowing that the Lord sees us
and He is listening to us”.
Once you begin this discipline
you will find that your mind
is distracted by many thoughts.
You will notice that
you can observe yourself thinking.
This is called the place of the silent witness,
When you encounter thoughts,
you want to immediately
and gently reject them
and focus on the words of the Prayer.
[This is normal].
You may discover some repeating thoughts
related to an issue
that requires forgiveness and repentance.
If so, note it and seek forgiveness
and arrange for the sacrament of Confession
and determine actions to change this aspect of your behaviour.
But, while in your prayer time,
do not focus on any issues.
This is not a time for problem solving.
Try and focus only on the prayer with sincerity,
love for God, and a contrite heart seeking His Mercy.
You will find this is difficult.
Do not be discouraged as it is through difficulty
that we progress and learn to control this wild activity of our mind.
As they say, “No pain, no gain”.
You need to have persistence,
endurance and faith that the Lord will help you.
Remind yourself why you are engaging in this prayer life,
you are seeking inner peace that comes from God
for a life that is no longer filled with anxiety and turmoil
but is lived with Peace.
You also want to keep your focus on your heart
and not on your head or brain.
It is in the heart, the centre of our soul,
where Christ resides within us.
Archimandrite Sophrony tells us:
“Keep your mind firmly focused on God
and the moment will come
when the immortal Spirit touches the heart”.
We are not to seek any experience in this effort
other than silence and peace.
We should also not try to create any images in our mind
and should reject those that do come.
you will begin to find silence in the space between the words
as the mind becomes more controlled.
Also this prayer will become part of you
and during the day you can seek out ways to repeat it often.
Use it when you are feeling stressed,
when you are bored or feel impatient.
Fill you mind with God
whenever you have a chance.
Eventually this prayer will be with you throughout your day
and will bring comfort and a re-centring of your life on Christ.
This will bring Peace.
There are many articles on how to pray,
but the most difficult aspect is to just do it.
Make the time!
Make the commitment!
After you begin and have made some effort for several months
you will notice a change in your life.
Thank God for this blessing [Grace].
At this time you may want to seek out
some articles to give you encouragement.
These articles and more on the Jesus prayer
can be found at www.orthodoxoprayer.org
Everyone can benefit from this practice.
It’s a part of our Orthodox Tradition.
All it takes is your commitment to make time for it.
Let’s all pray that the Lord will bring us all
a quiet mind filled with Peace.
When this happens we will have Peace in the disordered world.
Jesus Prayer in other languages:
Arabic: أيها الرب يسوع المسيح ابن الله, إرحمني أنا الخاطئ
Belarusian: Госпадзе Ісусе Хрысьце, Сыне Божы, памілуй мяне, [грэшнага].
Bulgarian: Господи Иисусе Христе, Сине Божий, помилвай мен [грешника].
Church Slavonic: Господи Ісусе Христе Сыне Божїй помилѹй мѧ [грѣшнаго].
Czech: Pane Ježíši Kriste, Syne Boží, smiluj se nade mnou [hříšným].
Dutch: Heer Jezus Christus, Zoon van God, ontferm u over mij [zondaar].
English: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me [sinner].
Finnish: Herra Jeesus Kristus, Jumalan Poika, armahda minua [syntistä].
Georgian: უფალო იესუ ქრისტე, ძეო ღმრთისაო, შემიწყალე მე ცოდვილი.
German: Herr Jesus Christus, Sohn Gottes, erbarme dich meiner [eines Sünders].
Greek: Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν [ἁμαρτωλόν].
Hungarian: Uram Jézus Krisztus, Isten Fia, könyörülj rajtam, [bűnösön]!
Polish: Panie Jezu Chryste, Synu Boga, zmiłuj się nade mną [grzesznikiem].
Portuguese: Senhor Jesus Cristo, Filho de Deus, tende piedade de mim [pecador]!
Romanian: Doamne Iisuse Hristoase, Fiul lui Dumnezeu, miluieşte-mă pe mine [păcătosul].
Russian: Господи, Иисусе Христе, Сыне Божий, помилуй мя [грешнаго].
Serbian: Господе Исусе Христе, Сине Божји, помилуј ме [грешног].
Slovak: Pane Ježišu Kriste, Synu Boží, zmiluj sa nado mnou [hriešnym].
Spanish: Señor Jesucristo, Hijo de Dios, ten piedad de mi, que soy [un picador].
Ukrainian: Господи Ісусе Христе, Сину Божий, помилуй мене [грішного].