Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

January 2003: The Jesus Prayer

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For this service our guest speaker, retired Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward, introduced us the the meditative use of the Jesus Prayer.

The Jesus prayer is a meditative chant used since the 5th century in the Orthodox and Catholic traditions:

Lord Jesus Christ
Son of God
Have mercy on me
A sinner.

It varies in form - in particular the last line is often omitted in Orthodox Christianity. We looked at the history and use of the prayer from the Desert Fathers and Mothers to the present day.

Simon described how when he first encountered the use of the prayer at an Orthodox monastery the person leading had a cord with 100 knots. Beginning at the tassel, as they prayed once through the Jesus prayer they would go along the cord one knot. The tassel at the start could be a reminder to pray for the Holy Spirit to come to you. Then after 25 knots there was a bead - whilst there are no rules the person praying suggested that on reaching that it might be good to gently focus on distractions and put them to one side. After another 25 knots there is another bead. At that point you could focus on someone else to pray for. After another 25 knots another bead at which point you could go into silence. This way you pray the Jesus prayer 100 times and it gives a pattern to it.

We made prayer ropes which are a traditional aid to counting through repetitions of the Jesus Prayer.


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Song 'In The East' and an image of the Magi since the date is close to Epiphany.

TV stack featuring the latest flyer.

Prayer cord made by Jonny and Jenny the next day.

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