The Jesus Prayer

I mentioned last week that this summer I spent a day in contemplative retreat at a monastery.

I had my 150 knot Orthodox prayer rope with me. The Orthodox use the prayer rope to say one Jesus Prayer--"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."--for each knot.

I had planned to go through the rope like this, among other structured prayers and readings, a few times during the day. But in my first session using the rope I added something.

I spent some time thinking about and then listing on paper all my sins, all the places in my life where I struggle with pride and insecurity. All the places where my sin causes me to treat people poorly in my life. I also simply listed the names of people I was struggling with.

After writing down this list I began going through the knots and the Jesus Prayer, one by one looking at each of my sins for each prayer and knot.

It was a powerful way to go through the rope. Saying "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" over and over as you look at sins, vices, struggles, and the names of people made the prayer so much more specific and impactful.

It's a practice I'd recommend.

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