31 Days of Journeying with the “Jesus Prayer”

The words of the “Jesus Prayer” are simple yet profound:

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

I first learned of this prayer from two dear friends who were experiencing unique life challenges. They both poignantly described how praying these words carried them through anxious, tumultuous times as well as monotonous, mundane moments . As they turned their focus to Jesus—even during what seemed to be, for each, a “dark night of the soul”—they experienced His movement in their lives in increasingly palpable ways.

This year, as I began to embrace the word “presence” as my word for 2017, I sensed God leading me to the formation of a prayer uniquely suited to my yearnings. Eventually, I used the “Jesus Prayer” as a starting point and finally penned a version that expressed the desires of my heart.

“Lord Jesus Christ, merciful and loving Savior, make me ever mindful of your constant, gracious, empowering Presence and your heart of tender love toward me.”

It’s a prayer I’ve been slowly leaning into, a prayer that is carrying me toward a new leg of my spiritual journey. In truth, I’ve fumbled and bumbled along. I’ve forgotten. I’ve avoided. Yet the Spirit is still speaking to my heart, calling me forward.

So for this year’s “Write 31 Days” challenge, I thought I’d share a bit of how the process is going, what I’m seeing and sensing as I turn my mind toward Jesus and his merciful, gracious Presence.

And just maybe, it’ll encourage you to pen a prayer that expresses the desires of your own heart—knowing, of course, that penning a prayer is one thing, and allowing it to pour out from your innermost being is quite another.