The Jesus Prayer is a simple and powerful way to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ with an open heart ready to receive his mercy:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
This very ancient prayer is known as the Jesus Prayer. It has been used for centuries in monastic life but also prayed by everyday Christians as a model for prayer. It helps us open our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ by seeking his mercy on us as sinners.
The prayer is grounded in various Scripture verses:
Lord Jesus Christ = Philippians 2:11
Son of God = Luke 1:35
Have mercy on me, a sinner. = Luke 18:13, Mark 10:47
Reciting this prayer on a regular basis can be very fruitful. It is a reminder of who we are before the Lord Jesus Christ and what he offers us as our savior.
Another simple approach to praying to Jesus is to recite his sacred name. Invoke Jesus’ name in any situation to welcome him into every aspect of your life.
Praying the Jesus Prayer in Class
In Christ in the Classroom I offered these suggestions about how to incorporate this prayer into your classroom :
The Jesus Prayer is a simple, twelve-word prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” It is particularly important to Orthodox Christians and Eastern Catholics. The prayer is repeated continually as a mantra to clear the mind and focus entirely on Christ and our state in relationship to him. Thomas Merton, who expressed in his writings the need to let go of methods in contemplative prayer, conceded that the Jesus Prayer may be the one exception. Indeed, it is described by Eastern Christians as the method for achieving prayer of the heart.
The Jesus Prayer can be said during eucharistic adoration, or it can be integrated into classroom prayer experiences. Discuss the meaning of each part of the prayer or remind the students what the words say about Christ and us. Model and lead your students in reciting the prayer with long gaps in between each recitation.
(Jared Dees, Christ in the Classroom, 132-133)
Download the Jesus Prayer Video Graphic Organizer
Help your students follow along with the Jesus Prayer video and reflect more deeply on how they can incorporate it into their daily lives using this graphic organizer worksheet. Members can access the video and graphic organizer here.
Everyone else, enter your email address and it will be sent to your inbox:
Get The Religion Teacher’s Prayer Worksheet Collection
The Religion Teacher’s Prayer Worksheet Collection includes thirty printable handouts to help kids meditate on the meaning of popular Catholic prayers and devotions. This resource features worksheets with meditations on the Hail Mary, Angelus, Mealtime Prayer, Acts of Faith, Act of Hope, Act of Love, Act of Contrition, Jesus Prayer, Memorare, and more!