Monday, December 18, 2017

Seeking His Mercy

"Have mercy on us.”

This is most common prayer in the Orthodox Church. Most of us have come to know it as the Jesus Prayer, ”Lord have mercy on me a sinner.” In Orthodox teaching God is not looking to punish us for our sins but He wants to help us overcome our sinful tendencies. He sent His Son because of His love for Mankind so we could be healed and learn to love God as He loves us. This love is best expressed in this prayer, He is all merciful. He will forgive us our sinfulness as He knows our condition and wants us to be perfected so that we can have eternal life in His kingdom forever. This is His plan for all of us.

Many people in the Church will practice this prayer daily by repeating it over and over in quiet in the morning and evening. It is a powerful discipline when we engage in it prayerfully and with love of our merciful God. We are not always aware of how sinful we are but any action that is not taken to glorify God is an error and misses the mark for what we are intended. If we engage in this regular practice of saying the Jesus prayer daily over and over we will eventually have it in our mind all the time and will be repeating it continually. 

How does  this help us you ask? How can we sin when we continually have God in our mind and are seeking His mercy. It is only through His mercy that we can be healed of this infirmary of sinfulness. We should not despair in our condition but recognize it and seek His love and Grace so we can continually grow to become closer to His image. 

More on the Jesus Prayer

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