I DECIDED I WANTED TO TRY a new prayer practice. I began saying the Jesus Prayer repeatedly at various times of the day. Christians have been reciting this prayer for over a thousand years. Because it’s short, it makes a great breath prayer: a prayer you can say in connection with your breathing.
Inhale: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Exhale: Have mercy on me, a sinner.
I practiced saying this prayer while folding laundry, walking the dog, driving to soccer practice. One day I sat at a red light while saying the prayer. Suddenly, I stopped on the second line: “have mercy on me.” Mercy. My thoughts immediately returned to what I had recently learned about hesed [a Hebrew word used to describe the love God has for us and the love we are called to have for each other; it is a love that is kind, faithful, loyal, unfailing, unconditional, merciful, rich, wonderful, transformative, and grace-full].
What if I used hesed in the Jesus Prayer? Slowly, I prayed, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, love me, a sinner.” Though it didn’t change the spirit of the prayer, the difference was profound. I was proclaiming God’s love for me, connecting with it and inviting it into my heart.
– Kristen E. Vincent
Beads of Healing
From pages 89-90 of Beads of Healing: Prayer, Trauma, and Spiritual Wholeness by Kristen E. Vincent. Copyright © 2016 by Kristen E. Vincent. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Pray today, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, love me, a sinner.” Share your thoughts.
Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength
Psalm 29:1, NRSV
This Week: pray for the victims of voilence. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Rita of Cascia (May 22).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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