Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Practicing the Jesus Prayer - 7 - Beware of our Weak Points

When the devil sees us trying to pray, he works hard to distract us. He seeks out our weaknesses and generates all kinds of thoughts to distract us. Quite often the thoughts that come to us during prayer are related to our weaknesses, the areas where our passions have great influence in our lives. Outside of prayer we can use this information to confront these weaknesses. Do let your mind begin to analyze this during your prayer.

Our attention must be concentrated on the heart and not on the brain. You should feel the action of the Jesus Prayer on your heart. You will feel a warmth. It is important to realize that we love God first with our hearts and then with our mind. Our present condition has this reversed. This is what we are trying to correct through our practice of the prayer.

We aim to open our heart and feel the sting of our repentance. You may feel some soreness initially around the heart. Don’t mind this just keep your attention focused on the prayer. There are some people who have thought they have been afflicted with heart disease and go visit doctors who can find nothing wrong. It is a pain similar to those you have when exercising after a period of no exercise. It is the pain of grace you are feeling. (A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain, pp 84-86)

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