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The Three Stages of Practicing the Jesus Prayer

1) Pray with your lips – Oral Prayer

    This is the first step when The Prayer is said aloud. It engages our brains and helps us to focus our attentions on the words of The Prayer. Here is a list of the words in The Prayer to help you consider deeply the words and their meaning:

    − Lord – worship

    − Jesus Christ – confessing that is He is the Lord – focusing on the name of Jesus – more powerful than any other name

    − The son of God – acknowledging the Father God

    − Have mercy on me – I can’t do any-thing without His mercy – need heal-ing – need forgiveness – need loving-kindness

    − A Sinner – humbling myself into His arms – humility preserves me

    Here, as we focus on the words on the words of The Prayer, we may still find our own thoughts that will come on top of these words. But the practice, or repeti-tion, of The Prayer helps us to concentrate more on prayer.

    Follow these steps slowly and steadily, and it will help you with your thoughts.

    • Believe that this prayer will change my life, and I will experience the presence of God all the time.

    • Start repeating The Prayer three times a day with the help of a Prayer Rope. Repeat it 33 times or 50 times or 100.

    • Say The Prayer whenever you can.

    • Try to make it a habit to say The Prayer and focus on the words and their meaning.

2) Pray without using your lips – Mental Prayer

    If we practice the first step faithfully, we will grow into the second step. At this level, if we experience distractions, then go back to oral prayer. Keeping our attention focused on the words of The Prayer is essential.

    When you try to concentrate your mind with your heart, many times, it will be difficult to break through to your heart. Only with practice and patience will you be able to soften your heart. Keep your focus on the words as you pray, which will natu-rally, with practice, open your heart’s door.

    Then The Prayer will naturally flow from your heart. Of course, you need to develop a passion for this stage so deliberately work hard to develop that passion.

    Repeat The Prayer in your quiet time, hours of Prayer, in the workplace, church, kitchen, on the road, travel, in the office, walking time, washing time, cleaning the vessels, cleaning the surroundings, in front of the officials—all the places, wherever you are.

3) Prayer of the Heart

    Every one of us to aim for this level. Here prayer is no longer something you do, but something you are. It is a part of your lifestyle. In this stage, you are con-nected with the divine nature. Then The Prayer is now happening without effort in the heart or mind.

    You can concentrate and nothing will distract you. This comes to you as a gift of the Holy Spirit, and you are in union with God.

    Here, you can experience the kingdom of God within you. We now can pray “without ceasing” as Scripture demands of us. The Jesus Prayer brings you to a place inside you that is stable and strong. Grati-tude will grow, and you will permanently join Him in your consciousness, knowing that the Lord is beside you.

    Other Formats of the Jesus Prayer

    There are shortened forms of this prayer that can be used.

    − Lord, Have Mercy.

    − Mercy on us

    − Lord Jesus, son of God, have mercy on us (especially when we pray for the church, a community or a family).

    Intercessory Prayer

    We can also use the Jesus Prayer for inter-cessory prayers for others. For example, you can pray, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on, Mathew. You can pray for our church this way—Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on us.

    If you are in a desperate situation, pray, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me to learn English. And add your need.

    When you are praying for a country or people group or a specific prayer request, you can say, Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on . . . (add the need).

    As You Breathe

    Think of The Prayer as you breathe in and out. Calm both your mind and body, using it as rhythm of the heartbeat. Do not search for words, but repeat The Prayer, “Jesus Christ Son of God – Have Mercy on me a Sinner.”

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