Icon of the Parable of the Good Samaritan-Panagia Dexia, Thessaloniki, Greece
The Jesus Prayer, or simply the prayer is;
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner"
In Greek; "Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ, Υιέ του Θεού, ελέησόν με τον αμαρτωλόν"
In Arabic; "أيها الرب يسوع المسيح ابن الله, إرحمني أنا الخاطئ"
In Hebrew; "Adonai, Yeshua Ha Masshiach, Ben Elohim, rachem alay, ha choteh"
In Russian; "Господи Иисусе Христе, Сыне Божий, помилуй мя грешнаго"
In Serbian; "Господе Исусе Христе, Сине Божји, помилуј ме грешног"
In Spanish; "Señor Jesucristo, Hijo de Dios, ten misericordia de mi, pecador"
By praying with these words; "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!", the soul responds to the loving call from our Lord Who bids us; "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door (of his heart), I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me". Revelation 3:20.
St Ignatius, the God-Bearer of Antioch is one of many blessed ones who have opened the door of their hearts for the Lord of Glory to enter;
"This holy man is called 'the God-bearer' because he constantly bore the name of the Living God in his heart and on his lips. According to tradition, he was thus named because he was held in the arms of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ. On a day when the Lord was teaching His disciples humility, He took a child and placed him among them saying; Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:4).
This child was Ignatius. Later, Ignatius was a disciple of St John the Theologian, together with Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. As Bishop of Antioch, Ignatius governed the Church of God as a good shepherd and was the first to introduce antiphonal chanting in the Church, in which two choirs alternate the chanting. This manner of chanting was revealed to St. Ignatius by the angels in heaven. When Emperor Trajan was passing through Antioch, ...he heard of Ignatius, summoned him and counseled him to offer sacrifice to idols. As the counsels and threats of the Emperor were in vain, St Ignatius was shackled in irons and sent to Rome in the company of ten merciless soldiers to be thrown to the wild beasts. After a long and difficult journey, ...Ignatius arrived in Rome, where he was thrown to the lions in the circus. The lions tore him to pieces and devoured him, leaving only several of the larger bones and his heart.....When the unbelievers cut open the saint's heart, they saw inside, inscribed in golden letters, the name Jesus Christ".
From 'The Prologue of Ochrid' by St Nikolai Velimirovich, reading for Dec. 20th p.652 to p.654,
Sebastian Press, Alhambra, California, 2008.
"O Lord Jesus Christ , Son of God and Word, Who in the searchless mystery of Thine incarnation didst make manifest to us the Father as Light, in which there is no darkness at all: send down Thy Holy Ghost upon us, as Thou didst upon Thy holy apostles, that He may teach us to know Thee, and manifest us sons of Thy Light. We beseech Thee, hearken and have mercy". A prayer by Archimandrite Sophrony, 'On Prayer' p.188, SVS Press 1996.
"I have left Pharaoh,
The slavery in Egypt,
To ascend Mt. Sinai (The ascent of Moses on Sinai is, since Gregory
of Nyssa's 'Life of Moses', a classical symbol of the spiritual life.)
To climb Mt. Sinai,
Oh, how I desire
To arrive at the Holy Summit
While saying the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!
The ascent is very hard;
Lord, give patience,
Firmness, strength, and power
To acquire the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
Above all obedience
Scripture, the cell,
And the very wise silence
Affirming the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
To say the prayer, (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
One must reject
And chase from one's thought
All the things of this world.
At the outset, say the prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
Vocally, with labor,
And later, with time,
It will descend to your heart.
Fix your attention well
On the words of the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
If not, you will get lost
In a world of imagination.
The clever one is irritated,
Aggravated by the prayer; (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
Therefore, do not be afraid
when he wages war on you.
The words of the prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
Carry savory fruits;
They are sweeter than honey.
You cannot imagine this,
And do not ask me
How the prayer works. ( Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
I would not be able to explain it;
It is a divine mystery.
When you see the prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me)
Acting inside you,
Keep it carefully,
In great humility.
My spiritual Moses,
Give your benediction
That I may acquire the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
The Virgin Mother of God,
The mystic hegumen,
Blesses all the monks
And gives them the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
Oh, how much I desire
To ascend Sinai,
To arrive at the Holy Summit,
Saying the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)"
From 'Orthodox Spirituality and The Philokalia' pp.160-161by Archimandrite Placide Deseille, Translated by Anthony P. Gythiel, Eighth Day Press, Wichita Kansas, 2008
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