Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More prayer stuff

Back in October of 2010 I posted about Prayer Tools. In it I shared a couple things that I do that help me to pray. Today I'd like to add to that.
Many years ago I had heard the term "breath prayer." As I understand it, these are very short prayer offerings that can be said in the time it takes a person to take a breath, (Inhale/Exhale). While in a Spiritual Disciplines class at Ashland I found one such prayer in one of our texts. It is a prayer that is ancient. Today we know it as the "Jesus Prayer." It has a couple different looks. One is simply "Lord Jesus, have mercy on me." The iteration that I have found most helpful is "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner." This can be said within the span of 1 breath. It also embodies truth about who Jesus is, and in relation, who I am. I confess that Jesus Christ alone is the Messiah; Lord; Christ. I also confess that this Jesus is the Son of God. (Sometimes I substitute 'Son of the Living God.') The prayer ends with supplication, a plea for Jesus' mercy. It is only this mercy that comes to me from Jesus' grace.
This simple prayer may not seem like much, but throughout the course of my day when I say it, my attention is drawn to Christ's presence with me. It helps me to re-focus away from the stress and hassles of the day and toward the peace and reality that comes from God alone. Scripture instructs that we never cease to pray. This prayer is one that, through repetition and reflection, can help one to do just that.

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