I am currently going come tell you around the shortest, simplest, and most an effective prayer in the world. This is not among the countless "methods", due to the fact that it bypasses methods and also cuts best to the love of practicing God"s presence, i beg your pardon is the significance of prayer.




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It is referred to as the "Jesus Prayer", and also it is composed simply in uttering the solitary word "Jesus" (or "Lord Jesus", or "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy ~ above me, a sinner") in any type of situation, at any kind of time and also place, one of two people aloud or silently.

There is just one prerequisite, one presupposition: that you space a Christian. If girlfriend have belief in Christ, expect in Christ, and also love the Christ, you can pray the most powerful prayer in the world, since you have actually real call with the biggest power in the universe: Christ himself, that assured us, in his critical words to his apostles, the "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me" (Mt 28:18).

It is also the simplest of every prayers. That is not one of the numerous "methods", since it bypasses methods and cuts appropriate to the love of practicing God"s presence, i m sorry is the essence of prayer, the secret of which has actually been given to united state by God the Father. The an enig is merely God the Son, God incarnate, the lord Jesus.

Its simplicity and also flexibility

As the Catechism says, "The invocation the the holy name that Jesus is the simplest means of praying always.... This prayer is feasible "at every times" due to the fact that it is no one occupation among others but the just occupation: that of love God, i beg your pardon animates and also transfigures every activity in Christ Jesus" (CCC 2668).

Because it is so short and simple, this prayer have the right to be prayed precise at any kind of time at all and at all times, also times as soon as longer and more complex forms the prayer are not valuable or also possible. This contains times the anguish, pain, or stress, and times that deep happiness and joy.

It can be used by anyone (and has been): by the rankest beginner and also the most advanced saint. The is not just for beginners; the saints usage it too. That is no "cheating" just since it is so short. For it will make girlfriend pray more, no less. This just sounds paradoxical, for among the things Jesus reminds united state to do, as soon as we invoke that by name, is to pray more!

It is so simple that that is favor the center suggest of a circle. The is the totality circle. It includes in chin the entirety gospel. The Catechism says: "The name "Jesus" consists of all: God and man and also the whole economy of creation and salvation" (CCC 2666). Right into this surname the Christian deserve to pour every one of his faith, with nothing whatsoever left over, for to be a Christian is to rest all of your faith on Christ, v nothing left over.

It is not only the shortest prayer but additionally the shortest and earliest creed. Double the new Testament mentions this most simple of every the Christian creeds: the basic three-word sentence "Jesus is Lord" (I Cor 12:3) and also the exact same creed in 4 words: "Jesus Christ is Lord" (Phil 2:11). It is additionally the many distinctively Christian creed, because that "Lord" (Kyrios) way "God", and also Christ"s divinity and also lordship end one"s life is the distinctive, necessary faith of Christians: no non-Christian believes the (if the did, he would be a Christian), and also all Christians believe it (if they perform not, they room not Christians) .

What that is not: Magic

Like any prayer, that "works", not by the power of some impersonal magic yet by the power of an individual faith and also hope and love. The is favor a sacrament in that way: it "works" objectively (ex opere operato), through the strength of God"s action, no ours; yet it does no "work" without our complimentary choice. The is like turning on a hose: the water concerns us, no from us, yet it comes only once we choose to let the through.

The mere joint of the name "Jesus" is not invoking him and also is not prayer. A parrot might do that. God does no deal in magic, due to the fact that magic bypasses the soul, especially the heart; it is choose a machine. But God is a lover, and he desires our hearts, wants to transform our hearts, wants to live in ours hearts.

Love is its own end. Magic, choose technology, is constantly used together a way to some greater end. If girlfriend pray this prayer as a means, together a type of magic or spiritual technology, climate you room using it together you would usage a maker or magic spell. What you love and also desire is the greater end, the thing that the device or magic spell it s okay you. Yet whatever that point is, the love the things that God"s presents instead the God walk not lug God closer; it pushes him farther away. So using this prayer together a type of magic does specifically the opposite of what prayer is supposed to do.

When girlfriend pray this prayer, carry out not concentrate on the name, the word, the sound, or the letters. Execute not think that the name but of Jesus. And do not shot to meditate on scene from the Gospels or truths from theology, or come imagine what Jesus looks like, together you carry out in part other forms of prayer. Simply reach the end to Jesus in blind faith. "The principal thing is to stand prior to God v the mental in the heart, and to go on standing prior to Him unceasingly day and also night, till the finish of life" (Bishop Theophan, quoted through Kallistos Ware in The strength of the Name: The Jesus Prayer in Orthodox Spirituality).

What that is not: Psychology

This prayer is not merely subjective, like a psychological device, any more than it is just objective, choose magic. The is no a sort of Christian yoga. That is no meditation. Its function is not to change our consciousness and also make united state mystics, or to lug inner peace, or to center on our own heart. Even if it is these points are good or bad, these things space not what this prayer is for.

For all these things space subjective, within the human soul; but this prayer is dialogue, relationship, reaching out to one more person, to Jesus, God made man, invoking him as your savior, lover, lord, and God. You have faith and also hope in him as your savior; you love him together your lover; you follow him together your lord; friend adore him together your God.

In this prayer our attention is not directed inward, right into our very own consciousness, however only the end onto Jesus. Even when we attend to Jesus living in our very own soul, he is no self yet other; the is lord of the self.

Yet, although our intention in this prayer is not to change our consciousness, this prayer does change our consciousness. How? It unifies it. Our usual consciousness is like an unruly, stormy sea, or prefer a i m crying of femur monkeys, or a cage the butterflies, or a hundred small bouncing balls that mercury spilled from a fever thermometer. Us cannot gather it together. Only God can, because that God is the Logos. One of the meanings of this exceptionally rich native in old Greek, the word offered to the eternal, divine, pre-incarnate Christ, is "gathering-into-one". Once we pray this prayer and also invoke Jesus the Logos, Jesus the Logos acts and also does in reality unify our consciousness. But this is no what us aim at; us aim in ~ him. The marriage of our consciousness happens in united state (slowly and subtly and also sweetly) only as soon as we forget oneself in him. This is just one of the methods "he who loses his self shall uncover it."

Repetition of the holy name conditions our unconscious mental to see this name as normal, as central, and to expect that to be present and also active, together a dog is conditioned through his understand to watch its understand as central and to intend its grasp to it is in present and active. Carry out we train our dogs yet not our own unconscious minds?

You might object, "But this sounds prefer a magic assignment or a mantra: something no rational." In a sense it is (though no in the sense repudiated above). Do you not understand that black magic can be overcome only by white magic, no by reason? and our culture"s secularism and also materialism is a an effective spell of black magic. It makes us judge Jesus by its standards instead of evaluate it through his standards, due to the fact that it renders us see Jesus together abnormal and also our culture as normal; to watch Jesus as a questionable, tiny thing surrounded by one unquestionable, greater thing, namely, our culture. This is a cosmic illusion! Invoking the divine name build up resistance to the illusion. That is no black magic; the is no itself an illusion however sheer realism. Jesus is everywhere and also everywhen and also the ultimate an interpretation of everything. This prayer in deed conditions us, but it conditions us to understand reality.

What it is: Power

"The kingdom of God does not consist in talk however in power", claims Saint Paul (1 Cor 4:20). The factor this prayer is so powerful is the the name of Jesus is not simply a collection of letter or sounds. The is not a passive word however a an imaginative word, like the word by which God created the universe. (He is the Word whereby God created the universe!) Every time we obtain Christ in the Eucharist, we space instructed through the liturgy come pray, "Lord, i am no worthy to get you, but only say the word and also I shall be healed." all our energy and effort is not strong enough to heal our own souls, yet God"s word of strength is. The word is so an effective that by the God made the universe out the nothing, and also by it he is doing the also greater deed of making saints out of sinners. That word is Jesus Christ.

In most ancient societies, a person"s name was treated, not as a mere fabricated label because that pragmatic purposes of human being communication, yet as a truth, a authorize of the person"s distinctive identity. Revealing her name was therefore an act of intimate personal trust, like a handshake. A handshake initially meant: "See? ns bear no weapon. You have the right to trust me." the is a tiny like your P.I.N. Today.

In all of human history, God revealed his very own true name, his eternal name, only to one man Moses and also only to one human being the Hebrews, his own "chosen people" and only at one time at the burning bush (Ex 3). This surname was the mystery no thinker or mystic had ever before attained, the an extremely essence that God, the nature of can be fried reality: "I AM."

But then, plenty of centuries later, God did an even greater thing; that revealed a new name in Jesus ("Savior"). This is now the many precious surname in the world.

It is a golden key. It opens up all doors, transforms every corners of our lives. However we execute not usage this gold key, and doors continue to be locked. In fact, our society is dying because it has turned the many precious surname in the world, the surname of its Savior, into a casual curse word.

Even Muslims respect the divine name of Jesus an ext than believer do, in practice: castle commonly add "blessed it is in he" every time they pronounce it.

In the action of the apostles (3:1-10), Peter and John heal a guy lame indigenous birth when they say, "In the name of Jesus Christ, walk." transparent the history of the Church and also the lives of the saints, many such miracles of healing have been excellent "in his name". Exorcisms are performed "in his name". The surname of Jesus is so powerful that it have the right to knock the devil out the a soul!

The surname of Jesus is our salvation. Man ends his Gospel v this summary: "These room written the you may think that Jesus is the Christ, the kid of God, and that believing you may have actually life in his name" (Jn 20:31, focus added). "The name of Jesus Christ" is not only the vital to power-filled prayer however the vital to ours salvation. So we had much better understand it! What go the phrase "in the surname of Jesus Christ" mean?

Suppose you space poor, but your father is rich. As soon as you try to cash a inspect for half a million dollars in your very own name, friend will gain only a laugh from the bank. But if the inspect is in your father"s name, girlfriend will acquire the money. Our dad in Heaven provided us endless grace in the "account" the Jesus Christ and then placed us "into Christ", placed us right into his family, so that we deserve to use the family members name, so come speak, to cash check on the account of divine grace. Saint Paul tells united state that our account is unlimited: "My God will certainly supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:19). Jesus himself an initial assured united state of this wonderful truth, i m sorry we uncover hard come believe because it appears too great to it is in true, and then he defined why that is true:

Ask, and also it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and also it will certainly be opened to you. For every one that asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and also to him who knocks it will certainly be opened. What man of you, if his boy asks him because that bread, will provide him a stone? Or if that asks for a fish, will offer him a serpent? If you then, who space evil, know how to give an excellent gifts to her children, just how much much more will her Father who is in heaven give great things to those who ask him! (Mt 7:7-I I).

If even we love our children so much that we do not work out for anything less than the very best because that them, why perform we think God loves his children less?

What that is: actual presence

It is probably a very great exercise to exercise "the imitation of Christ", come walk "in his steps", come ask "What would Jesus do?" in every circumstances. However the prayer we are teaching now is even better, for 2 reasons. First, invoking his surname invokes his genuine presence, not mental imitation; other objective, not subjective; between us and also him, not simply in us. Second, it is actual, not potential; indicative, no subjunctive; "What is Jesus doing?" fairly than "What would Jesus do?"

To invoke Jesus" surname is to location yourself in his presence, to open up yourself come his power, his energy, The prayer of Jesus" name in reality brings God closer, makes him more present. He is constantly present in some way, since he knows and loves each among us at every moment; yet he is not present to those who execute not pray together intimately together he is existing to those who do. Prayer makes a difference; "prayer transforms things." It may or may not change our exterior circumstances. (It walk if God sees that that readjust is an excellent for us; that does no if God sees that it is not.) yet it always changes our partnership to God, i beg your pardon is infinitely more important than exterior circumstances, but pressing they may seem, since it is eternal but they are temporary, and also because that is our really self but they room not.

What the is: Grace

In speak it bring God closer, I perform not average to say the it alters God. It changes us. However it go not simply make a change within us, a psychological change; it provides a readjust between us and God, a real, target change. It alters the real relationship; it boosts the intimacy. That is as actual as changing your partnership to the sun by going outdoors. When we go outdoors into the sun, we carry out not relocate the sunlight closer to us, we relocate ourselves closer come the sun. However the difference it renders is real: us can acquire warmed only as soon as we was standing in the sunlight and in the Sonlight.

When this happens, that is not simply something we do but something God walk in us. The is grace, the is his action; our activity is to get in into his action, together a tiny stream flows right into a an excellent river.

His coming is, the course, his gift, his grace. The car by which he come is also his grace: it is Jesus himself. And the gift he provides us in offering us his blessed surname to invoke is likewise his grace. So, therefore, his comes to us in power on this vehicle, this name, is also pure grace. Also our mental to usage this vehicle, this name, is his grace. As Saint Therese said, "Everything is a grace."

What the is: Sacramental

The Catechism says: "To pray "Jesus" is come invoke him and also to speak to him within us. His surname is the just one that consists of the presence it signifies" (CCC 2666). In various other words, the is sacramental.

God concerns us on his name favor a king top top his stallion. As soon as we pray to the dad in Jesus" name, we provide God with a auto to concerned us or, rather, we use the automobile God has noted for us. We perform not initiate, us respond; we respond to his elegant by using the gift that his name the he provided us and told us to use; and he responds come our obedience by act what he promised: actually coming.

This is the definition of a sacrament: a authorize instituted by Christ to provide grace and a sign that actually effects what the signifies. Jesus self is the primary sacrament. So the believing Christian"s usage of Jesus" name is sacramental. The very act that praying "Jesus" effects what the signifies, brings around what the name "Jesus" signifies, which is "Savior", or "God saves". The is the literal meaning, in Hebrew, of the name God commanded Joseph to give to Mary"s son: "You shall call his surname Jesus, because that he will conserve his people from their sins" (Mt I:2I).

A name is not a machine, because that a person is not a machine. The name of a human being must it is in personally "involved" (that is, dubbed upon) in faith and also hope and love, as a person father is "invoked" by his kid in Jesus" parable in Matthew 7. But though the is no a machine, it yes, really "works": once a boy calls come his father, "Dad!" the father actually comes. Why? intend we to be to questioning the father. His answer would certainly be obvious: "Because that"s mine son!" The exact same is true the our partnership to God now that Christ has actually made us God"s children and his brothers. No stranger can contact a human being "Dad", and also no stranger deserve to be sure that a male will come if that calls him just by his "proper name", because that example, "Mr. Smith". However Mr. Smith"s son deserve to be certain his dad will certainly come due to the fact that his son have the right to invoke the under the surname "Dad", as no one else can. Jesus has actually made it feasible for united state to do the very same with God. In fact, the name he taught united state to call God is "Abba", which is the Hebrew word, not just for "Father", but for "Dad", or "Daddy", or even "Dada". That is words of can be fried intimacy.

You might think the claim that invoking his name actually brings about his presence is an arrogant one. But in fact it is a humble one, because it is obeying his design, not initiating our own.

Or you may think, "What right execute we need to think he will come whenever we call? Is that a dog?" No, that is a lover.

What that is: Sacred

The fact that this holy name of Jesus in reality brings around the existence of God defines why God offered us, as the 2nd of all his commandments, "You shall no take the surname of the LORD her God in vain" (Ex 20:7). In the Old Testament, the self-revealed name of God was YHWH, in Hebrew: a surname is constantly written there is no the vowels due to the fact that it was forbidden to express it, because it intended "I AM", or "I AM who AM", and also to pronounce the name is to claim to bear it. You deserve to pronounce any kind of other name, prefer "Ivan" or "Mary" or "Hey, You" there is no claiming to be the human who bears the name; there is only one name the you cannot say in the second person (you) or the 3rd person (he or she), and also that is "I". For this reason no Jew ever before dared to pronounce that holy name, or even guess exactly how the collection were an alleged to it is in pronounced, because it can be truly spoken only by God himself. That is why the Jews tried to execute Jesus because that blasphemy when he pronounced it in his own name (Jn 8:58).

And the is likewise why Jesus commanded us to pray come the Father, as the very very first petition the the model prayer he teach (which we call the Lord"s Prayer, or the our Father) "Hallowed it is in thy name" (Mt 6:9). Because that we in reality bring about and fulfill what us pray for when we speak to on the holy name of Jesus. We carry his presence and also his mercy under from heaven to earth, so come speak. Hence it is blasphemy come treat this divine name like any kind of other name, due to the fact that it has a holy power unlike any type of other power.

Its practice

I will tell friend a little bit native my own experience about what i think will happen when you use this prayer. Because that I have actually tried many other, more complex, and much more abstract ways to pray, and I have found them every less reliable than this many childlike of every ways.

Perhaps the most shattering consequence of his real presence, i beg your pardon is brought about by invoking his name, is the we become unable come lie come ourselves any type of more. That is light, and also wherever the inserts his lordship over there is currently an absolute requirement of honesty and a zero yongin for any kind of self-deception, self-congratulation, or self gratification, also those creates that feeling necessary, natural, and nearly innocent before. The is gentle, yet he is light, and also he merely does not and will not coexist with any kind of darkness in ~ all; one of two people he casts it out, or it keeps the out.

This is the an unfavorable dimension of the reality that the is light. That subtracts our falsehoods. But he also adds his truth. The positive dimension is essentially a clarify of vision, of perspective, of "the huge picture". The does not (usually) give specific directions or prompt solutions, however he constantly gives a clarification of ours vision. (This commonly happens gradually.)

Thus over there is a confident side to also the an adverse point do above. For instance, he provides us men see just how flawed and mixed our motives are even in together natural and spontaneous points as a look right into the confront of a beautiful woman. (Half of all the ladies in the world are beautiful to men, practically all are beautiful when they smile, and also all space beautiful all the moment to God.) We find that over there is miscellaneous in this look that is his, and additionally something that is not from him however is indigenous the world, the flesh, or the Enemy.

And yet this insight does no bring about a guilty despair however a happy humility. For it is a sign of his presence. The is the standard. Once the plumb heat is present, apparently straight lines present their inclination. And also this is, that course, upsetting (how easily our currently incline!), however much an ext is the a cause of joy (it is he!). As john Wesley said, "The ideal thing is, God is v us." as soon as we establish that, we have the mystery of joy: merely to perform all the is indigenous his will through joy, because he is there, and also what is not from his will execute not do.

And when his light and our darkness, his straight and our crooked, room thus lugged into relationship and also warfare, we gain rather 보다 lose, even if the is upsetting. The is prefer bringing in the Roto-Rooter man: the rubbish becomes visible, but it additionally becomes removable. Before his light come in, ours sin was just as lot present yet undetected. But he to be not just as lot present. So the is a gain. Furthermore, the is more powerful than sin; the exorcises sin much more than sin exorcises him. Every we need to do is to give him a chance. Open the blinds, and also light casts out darkness every time.

This new sense of vision or perspective that invoking his surname brings around is many sharply perceived once we invoke his surname upon our problems and also complaints. The wordless blog post I it seems to be ~ to get most frequently is something prefer this: "There are things that room infinitely an ext important for you than these tiny problems. They are all small compared come me. In fact, most of what you think of as your problems are in reality your avenues opportunities for the really crucial thing, the "one point needful", your connection with me. So get on through it. Girlfriend don"t have much more time." the is surprisingly brisk and also unsentimental. The is a no-nonsense God.

Perhaps the many definite and also ubiquitous authorize of his genuine presence, and also the clearest difference between the times as soon as I invoke his name and also the times as soon as I execute not, is the state the quiet, patience alertness that he brings. Usually, i am either patience or alert, no both. As soon as I to be calm, ns am relaxed and ready because that sleep; as soon as I am alert, i am concerned or agitated and ready for problems. His peace, however, is not sleepiness, and his alertness is no anxiety.

His visibility manifests itself, not in fire or wind or thunder, but in a still, little voice. Just in this quietness walk he give us the certainty the his presence. We usually cannot hear this because we room making so much inner noise, especially when we are agitated. But this is as soon as he wants many to come, because that he goes where the require is.

And what happens once we invoke him throughout our agitation? that answers! but not through magic or spectacle. Naught spectacular happens when I invoke the divine name at times as soon as I am reaction to my difficulties by the "fight-or-flight response" the is so herbal to our pet nature (that is, one of two people by the "fight" of inner rage and also resentment or by the "flight" the self-pity and fantasizing). At such times, once I pray his name, I do not unexpectedly feel divine or happy, but I execute suddenly feeling ... Well, "mature" is the just word that concerns mind. Words from the word is regularly something choose "Grow up!" I suddenly see that far much more important things are at stake 보다 my feelings, when I permit his good wave come in and wash my little garbage away. What had actually looked huge on my beach looks small in his waves.

We perform not constantly get specific answers, even when we invoke his name; yet we constantly get the Answerer. The is better to have actually his authority for "no answer" 보다 our authority for ours. Once I to be in the middle of some garbage, he gives me no answer come my questions "Why did you put me here?" or "How perform I fix it?", but he gives me instead response to an additional question: "Who? " that is he. That is his answer: himself. The real question is: "Who"s there?" and the price is in Matthew 14:27.

We always start ours sentences through "I". Us unconsciously play God. The teaches us to see our "I" as surrounded by him instead of vice versa. That is no longer an ingredient in ours experience; we room ingredients in his. We space actors in his play; he is no an actor in ours, not also the most important actor.

Let me give you a small example the the optimistic side to this "sense that perspective" the we obtain from invoking his name. The various other day he reminded me to speak his surname while ns was painting an unimportant piece of porch wood, and I all of sudden saw the what ns was doing was not simply painting a porch however painting a portrait, myself, i was walking residence to him. Every brush stroke to be a small step come Heaven. Sky was below in this old porch, too. For all beauty, also this tiny little bit of it that i was making, is his, is choose him; beauty is just one of the points he is, and also all earthly beauty is a sunbeam that his sun. I remembered the story of two males hauling stones with a muddy middle ages street. One to be cursing and also the various other was singing. A traveler asked them what they were doing. The curser replied, "I"m make the efforts to get this damned absent to roll with this damned mud!" The singer replied, "I"m structure a cathedral."

Is there any downside come this prayer? What is the main trouble with this prayer?

Simply psychic to carry out it. This is embarrassing, due to the fact that this forget is for this reason foolish. Why perform we forget? clearly this forget is not simply a psychological problem. Over there are psychological blocks to remembering. Other in united state fears remembering. And I think we all know what the is.

When we execute remember and also call him, and he comes and also acts, he does all the work, for for free! Our part is only to call; the good Physician makes residence calls and also charges nothing. And yet us continually fail to speak to him. Is this reasonable?

The systems to this "forgetting" is no in our power but his. In order come receive, we must ask for the elegant of remembering come ask. And for the grace to trust him with our thoughts and with ours lives. The is the Master likewise of our miserable memories. A assumed comes right into our mind once he says, "Come!" and leaves once he says "Go!" he is the centurion, our thoughts space his soldiers.

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The mr giveth, the mr taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.