Constant Connection to God – The Jesus Prayer

October 8, 2009 — 4 Comments

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Many are familiar with what over the centuries has been called The Jesus Prayer, which in the subtitle of a new book by Frederica Mathewes-Green is described as “the ancient desert prayer that tunes the heart to God.” It comes from the Gospels and we’ve used it in worship services, retreats, and prayer gatherings and many have incorporated it into their personal prayer disciplines.  There are various forms, but I usually use the longer form: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

I had the joy of sitting in three of Frederica’s workshops in Oxford during my sabbatical a few years ago.  We had coffee one afternoon.  At that time I told her I felt she was one of those great “bridge authors” like Henri Nouwen who helps different faith streams glean from one another.  I’ve been waiting for this book and I’m not disappointed.  I wrote an Amazon review which I’ll put at the end of this post as well.

Paraclete Press, the publisher, has posted a long excerpt you can read here.  It has the intro and first chapter that will help you get the idea of the history and helpfulness of prayers like the Jesus Prayer.  Here is the link to the book excerpt. My review follows here:

Frederica is a bridge author between historic Orthodoxy and other faith streams like Evangelicalism the way Henri Nouwen was appreciated by both Roman Catholics and Evangelicals.  I sat under her workshops at Oxford CS Lewis Institute and have read all her books and dozens of others on the Jesus Prayer. Eastern Orthodox spirituality, theology, and music have deeply impacted my own journey as a pastor. This book is direct, clear, and accessible for any Christian and even those seeking more understanding.

Matthewew-Green has chosen to have half the book be in a Question and Answer format which works well because of the many nuances and viewpoints even among the Orthodox on the practice of the prayer and the related principles of spiritual discipline.

I believe this will be the modern standard to introduce millions of Christians to prayer that moves beyond (both) shallow self-expressed prayers and formal written prayers to a place of constant presence with God so needed in our self-addicted world of miss-placed passions. I encourage you to read the book and more importantly, make the Jesus Prayer and similar scripture prayers the core of your prayer-practice.

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Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Watch and Pray – the Fight to ‘Guard the Heart’ « ruminations - June 26, 2011

    […] I referenced Frederica Mathewew-Greene and I would like to post the excerpt from her book, The Jesus Prayer, that I have blogged on in the past.  She goes into much more detail that you will find very helpful.  She begins by asking a question […]

  2. Learning to Pray ‘with Rhythm’ « ruminations - January 29, 2012

    […] The Jesus Prayer is a recent book on the prayer and so much more by Frederica Mathewes-Green that I reviewed previously. There is now a shorter booklet available, in ebook form or packages of 5 from Paraclete Press called Praying the Jesus Prayer. […]

  3. How do you stay ‘sober?’ « lylemook.com - March 12, 2013

    […] constant reminder. This includes Psalms and other Bible reading and study; the Lord’s Prayer, the Jesus Prayer, and the Lenten prayer of Ephrem the Syrian. (I’ve linked previous posts that give more […]

  4. Prayers I Go To Constantly « lylemook.com - June 17, 2013

    […] The Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” There are variations based on the biblical references (Luke  and historical usage. See this previous post on the use of the Jesus Prayer. […]

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