Monday, June 29, 2009

Practice of the Jesus Prayer - 1

Anyone can use the Jesus prayer. It can be said at any time. To begin saying the prayer as part of our daily prayer rule we must follow the direction of Jesus. He says, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile" (Mark 6:31); "Study to be quiet" (I Thess. 4: 11); then pray in secret—alone and in silence. Select a place where it will be quiet and you will not be disturbed. It is best if you can protect the senses from as much stimulation as possible. It is best to pray the Jesus Prayer early in the morning before sunrise when the mind is at rest and undistracted, the body is relaxed and there is little activity to disturb your concentration. Some may find the evening to work better.

Jesus Prayer


  1. Thanks, Father, another beautiful reminder of this great prayer. I am also writing a contemplation on this in my recent post :)

    In Christ,


  2. Any suggestions on how to stay alert? I recently got a prayer rope, but often find myself dozing off when trying to pray. I've never had this problem before (certainly never fell asleep praying as a protestant).

  3. I had this problem in the beginning. Especially at night. What I did that best helped with this problem was to stand in stead of sitting on the small stool I have. It's hard to fall asleep standing up. When I feel drowsy standing, then I do a few prostrations. Also you can begin to say the prayer much louder. (Be sure to start saying the prayer out loud and don't force silent or mental prayer. It will come naturally) It is really a battle against the evil forces that want to stop you from praying. So I would think of speaking louder as a kind of counter-force to overcome these negative forces that were attacking me. Just try some different tactics until you overcome this tendency. The mind works funny ways. For example I always yawn when I recite the Lord's prayer. It's like some kind of conditioned response. I have to fight it off often.

  4. Thanks for the tips. Standing had proved helpful when I was dedicated to the practice in the early part of my conversion to Orthodoxy. Perhaps my laxity is revealing itself in my drowsiness.

    I pray inwardly with my voice (that is I still use my vocal cords), but I have no opportunities to pray aloud without being disruptive either to work or family life.

    I've been trying to find a private place at least on my coffee breaks.

  5. Glad to know your experience, brother David! :)


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