Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 09 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

How do you say the Jesus Prayer?

PSKOV, TRANSFIGURATION CHURCH

Isogood Patrick/Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 07/11/20

There are many ways to say the Jesus Prayer, including the most common, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me."

One of the most popular devotional prayers in Christianity, besides the Rosary and the Our Father, is the “Jesus Prayer.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church even devotes an entire paragraph to explaining this biblical prayer.

This simple invocation of faith developed in the tradition of prayer under many forms in East and West. The most usual formulation, transmitted by the spiritual writers of the Sinai, Syria, and Mt. Athos, is the invocation, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.” It combines the Christological hymn of Philippians 2:6-11 with the cry of the publican and the blind men begging for light. By it the heart is opened to human wretchedness and the Savior’s mercy. (CCC 2667)

It is an ancient prayer that was popular among the Desert Fathers and is found in a collection of Eastern Christian spiritual writings called The Philokalia. This collection of writings dates back to the 4th century and includes authors such as St. Anthony the Great, St. John Damascus, and St. Mark the Ascetic.

Practically speaking, the prayer has many forms (all of which are acceptable):

  • Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!
  • Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
  • Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.
  • Lord Jesus, have mercy!

Different schools of spirituality will explain the “mechanics” of the prayer, some suggesting that the prayer be coordinated with a person’s breath.

Above all, it is meant to be much more than a “formula” of prayer, but a part of a person’s soul, praying constantly to Jesus and remaining in his presence.


JESUS

Read more:
12 Short prayers invoking the name of Jesus

Tags:
CatechismPrayers for a Particular Need
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.