The Jesus Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

The Jesus Prayer

(or, Lord Jesus, have mercy on me; Lord have mercy; Lord Jesus, have mercy . . . no rules against variation) Picture from:  Orthodox Christian Meditations by Father Stephen Kostoff: Exploring the Incarnation – The Jesus Prayer as Perfect Profession of Faith

Here are some other resources from Dr. Albert S. Rossi and Fr. John Breck on practicing the Jesus Prayer:

From Dr. Rossi: Part 1. Prayer is Not Optional; Part 2. Jesus Prayer – Prayer of the Heart (Numerous other resources for practicing the prayer are mentioned at the end of the essay. 

From Fr. John Breck:  On Silence and Stillness Witnesses to Silence and Stillness

“. . . an anonymous Russian pilgrim, physically handicapped and with only the most rudimentary education, undertakes a voyage of the heart that will lead him step by step toward the heavenly Jerusalem. 

What is the nature of this voyage?

to “stand before God with the mind in the heart, to offer Him intercession, thanksgiving, praise and glorification day and night, without ceasing”


The Jesus prayer does not require an extra measure of intelligence to be practiced effectively; in fact, living “in the head,” it is said, is a hindrance to acquiring the prayer of the heart, our goal. People with developmental disability could apply themselves to this practice and reap spiritual benefit thereby.


Here is a response by a person with a disability, Judy, to Dr. Rossi’s essay:

Boy can I empathize with you! I’m disabled at 55 but recovering more and more each day as I practice having a thankful heart. And I, too, find the very best rest and therapy in Jesus, imagining myself being carried like a little lamb close to His chest and listening to His heartbeat. And I’ve been through situations that are just horrendous, so we WONT describe them. Still, I remember that text that says the a spirit of fear doesn’t come from God but of boldness (I forget now, darn it) and it ends with a SOUND MIND. And I thank God for these things. And I thank Him for leading me and loving me and guiding me. And I try to Practice His Presence like Brother Lawrence all day and all night long wherever I go, wherever I am. Yes, I try to submit to His will in every situation and be His loving presence to those around me even if I don’t say one word about Him to them. And if I think of myself as someone He can use when maybe He doesn’t have too many others to use, I don’t care so much whether I look foolish or wise to the other people. I’m just glad He used me to do something for Him.And there’s one pearl of great price that has helped me to do this more consistently than anything else so I will share it with you. Yes, I’ll offer the most priceless pearl I’ve found in the 33 years since I converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church because I believed in the Spirit that I had found a viable link, the real successor to the churches that formed around the Apostles right after Pentecost and under St. Paul during his missionary trips.This pearl is the Jesus Prayer after the saying of Blind Bartimaeus who cried out “Jesus, Son of David have mercy on me.” And the version used for centuries is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Repeating this prayer in the morning and trying to remember HIM all day long changes the day and changes me.” It reminds me that He’s always with me.
It allows me to murmur His Holy Name in the depths of my being like the Name of my Spouse as I’m dreaming of Him or caressing Him. And it enflames my soul with love for Him. (What more could I ask?)Then this love transforms me, because He is the only one who loves. I will always be learning and desiring to learn because He first loved me. This is the only way I know to increase my desire to submit all that I am and have to Him, My Beloved, My Savior, My Yeshua, My Jesus, My Christ, My King, My Lord and My God.For a more complete explanation of this prayer go to

Respectfully submitted, judy, the wounded sinner who’s so in love with Jesus


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