Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
The Jesus Prayer is roughly 1200 years old and inspired by two Scriptures: Peter's declaration that Jesus is the Son of God and the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.
This prayer leads peacemaker's minds back to Jesus. The unadorned acknowledgement of who Jesus is remains central to the hope of peace and the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:13-16)
The Jesus Prayer reminds peacemakers to remain humble before the Lord. Becoming "confident of their own righteousness" is a real temptation and a real obstacle to the Shalom that marks the Kingdom of God.
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people-robbers, evildoers, adulterers-or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." (Luke 18: 9-14)
The Jesus Prayer can be recited in rhythm with your breath or with your steps. You can use it to stay connected to Jesus at any time, in any place when your mind or heart is distracted.
May this prayer bring you peace as you seek peace for others.