How did I start using a prayer rope?
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What is the Jesus Prayer?
The Jesus Prayer, also called the Prayer of the Heart, the Prayer of a Single Thought, or simply The Prayer, is a short, simple prayer that has been widely used, taught and discussed throughout the history of Eastern Christianity.
The exact words of the prayer have varied, from a simple form such as “Lord, have mercy” to an extended form:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.”
I say. “Jesus, son of God have mercy on me or a persons name. Or a situation.”
What is a prayer rope?
In the Orthodox tradition the Jesus prayer is said or prayed repeatedly, often with the aid of a prayer rope.
Historically it typically had 100 knots, although prayer ropes with 300, 50, or 33 knots or, less commonly, 250 or 12 can also be found in use today. There is typically a knotted cross at one end, and a few beads at certain intervals between the knots. The purpose is to help us concentrate, not necessarily to count.
Its invention is attributed to St. Pachomius in the fourth century. He was a a desert father in Egypt.
How do I use the prayer rope?
I use it after centering prayer. I use it whenever I want to. I often carry it in my pocket or leave it in my car.
I hold it between my index finger and thumb of my right hand. I say, “Jesus, Son of God have mercy on _____ . In the blank I will say me, a person’s name or a situation. After each Jesus Prayer, I move to the next bead. I will repeat this prayer until I no longer have a name or situation in mind.
It is nice to pray and at the same time perform some type of action. This helps me focus on God. The purpose is not to finish the knots. The purpose is to pray. I like the combination of prayer and physical action.
I believe when I say this prayer, Jesus is present, guides me, walks with me or is with the other person or situation. Jesus is always present. Even when we forget or don’t feel like he is, Jesus is with us
Here is a link to a similar prayer rope.
For more on the Jesus Prayer enjoy a post by my friend Clint Sabom at Contemplative Light.
Contemplative Light offers a nice course on the Jesus Prayer.
Please enjoy this 1 minute video on the Jesus Prayer.
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I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer Coaching Sessions. I am happy to setup weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions with you over the phone or skype to help you go deeper into your centering prayer practice and integrate it into your daily life. Contact me for more information. The first session is 1/2 off.
I am currently reading Contemplative Living: An Invitation to a Deepening Journey by . I just finished reading Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening by Diana Butler Bass, A Taste of Silence by Carl J Arico and The Bible Makes Sense by Walter Brueggeman
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
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Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain. Explore prayer methods that go back to Jesus.
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
The early Christians, teaches the Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault, were afire with the spirit of Jesus, inspired fully by his teaching of a total transformation of consciousness. How do we reclaim that fire today? On Encountering the Wisdom Jesus, this brilliant author and dynamic Episcopalian priest presents her first full-length audio course about rediscovering the Master of Wisdom. Twelve immersive sessions cover: the parables as wisdom tools; Jesus’s teachings about kenosis (or self-emptying: a path as radical today as it was 2,000 years ago); Jesus as tantric master; Centering Prayer, an approach to meditation as Jesus lived it, and much more. (Based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus.)
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)