The Jesus Prayer: One Of The Most Powerful Tools To Get Closer To God

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Published by Kimberly Wall


Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

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Prayer is the most important way to communicate with God. In prayer, we exalt God, thank Him for His blessings and provisions, and ask for forgiveness of our sins. Moreover, we plead for healing, guidance, and protection from the evil one.

Central to our prayers is Jesus Christ. It is only through His name that we can reach out to God. But the Jesus prayer takes on different forms according to the scriptures and certain Christian denominations. Nevertheless, in all these types, Jesus Christ is essentially named as the deity to mention or call during our prayers.

What Is Jesus’ Prayer?

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

— John 14:13–14

The Jesus Prayer: According To Eastern Orthodoxy

The Jesus Prayer, otherwise known as the Prayer of the Heart, is a traditional form of Eastern Orthodox tradition that has been repeated many times. It encompasses the simple phrase, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” This is supposed to aid the individual in focusing their inner being and pleas towards Jesus, asking for His grace and forgiveness.

When practicing this contemplative prayer, a prayer rope[1] (e.g., a chotki or komboskini) is used. This assists in keeping track of how often the passage is recited by usually featuring a hundred knots or beads.

In Eastern Orthodox beliefs, the Jesus Prayer allows one to form a deeper bond with Jesus while encouraging humility and repentance. Consequently, it is generally exercised within one’s general spiritual outlook, incorporating fasting, confession, and participation in devotions, rites, and sacraments. Altogether, the Jesus Prayer is an adept tool for spiritual maturity and growth—an important element in Eastern Orthodox spirituality.

The Lord’s Prayer

In contrast to the ways of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the New Testament clearly emphasizes the Lord’s Prayer as a central method of reaching out to our Holy Father. It is a prayer that Jesus fashioned for His disciples and is today one of Christianity’s most essential and frequently utilized devotions. Believers usually utter the same words in prayer as outlined in the Bible. This plea is written in Matthew 6:9–13.

The Lord’s Prayer guides us through a profound and deeply meaningful prayer while celebrating our adoration for our Creator. It creates an outline for the necessary parameters and precedents during prayer that engraves into our soul what really matters when praying to God. Through the Lord’s Prayer, we formally recognize His sovereignty and entrust ourselves to His supreme guidance for each day of our lives.

When To Pray The Jesus Prayer?

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

— 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

Praying the Jesus Prayer can be done anywhere and anytime. It is a straightforward but effective approach to reaching God and attaining mental clarity and peace. This unceasing prayer is usually used in reflection or meditation, and many individuals will take some time each day to repeat the prayer. However, one may choose to do this individually or with community members.

The Jesus Prayer also serves as a calming tool when distressed or uneasy during moments of hardship, like being caught in traffic or waiting in queues. Last but not least, the timing and frequency of repeating the Jesus Prayer should be decided by the person for whom it yields meaning and meaningful benefits.

man holding brown wooden rosary cross

Prayers Of Jesus In The Bible

1. The Lord’s Prayer

Likely the most renowned prayer delivered by Jesus is revealed in Matthew 6:9–13 and Luke 11:2–4. In this regard, Jesus shows us how we should recognize God as our Heavenly Father, request His kingdom to arrive, and seek that His intentional purposes will be accomplished on earth.

2. Jesus Prays For All Believers

In John 17:1–26, Jesus makes intercession both for Himself and for all believers. He asks His Father to keep them secure from the evil one, sanctify them through the truth, and create unity among them like that which He shares with God the Father.

 3. The Prayer At Gethsemane

Before His crucifixion, Jesus uttered a heartfelt prayer as He struggled in the garden of Gethsemane. Though He asked whether it could be possible for Him to sidestep the cup of suffering, He submitted to His Creator’s will in the end (Matthew 26:36–46; Mark 14:32–42; Luke 22:39–46).

4. The Prayer On The Cross

In hopeless distress, Jesus prayed and sought help from God while hanging on the cross. Reciting Psalm 22:1, on the ninth hour, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).

5. The Prayer Of Forgiveness

While being crucified, Jesus prayed in mercy and petitioned on behalf of His persecutors. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

What Can We Learn From Jesus’ Prayers?

1. Importance Of Prayer

From Jesus’ experiences with prayer, we can learn just how vital prayer is in our lives. We must set aside time on a regular basis to communicate with God.

2. Humility

In Jesus’ prayers, we witness His sheer humility. He dedicated himself to God’s will and accepted His reliance on Him. Similarly, we should offer up our respect for God in a spirit of meekness.

3. Complete Trust In God

Jesus’ abounding faith in God despite the hardships He faced is further illustrated by His prayers. Bearing this in mind, it is essential for us to recognize God’s design for our own lives and have confidence that He will take care of us.

4. Love For Other People

The significance of Jesus’ prayers is His devotion and utmost love for others. Often praying for His disciples and believers, we too must pray for other people and foster emphatic feelings of love and kindness toward them.

5. Forgiveness Of Sin And Wrongdoing

In Jesus’ supplications for forgiveness to those who hurt Him emerges His exemplary act of absolution. Just as God has excused us, we must practice forgiveness of our own and come to terms with pardoning one another.

Multiple Benefits To The Jesus Prayer

The Jesus Prayer is an invocation utilized by Eastern Orthodox adherents for many years. Reciting the words “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” embodies this ancient ritual.

  • Strengthening Of One’s Spirit: The Jesus Prayer can be used to cement one’s relationship with our only true God as well as foster a more contemplative and devout attitude. Through the Holy Spirit, this prayer can help encourage awareness of His eternal presence in your life.
  • Getting Inner Rest: Upholding the Jesus Prayer repetitively is an effective strategy for calming the chaos of the mind and alleviating nervousness. It could guide you towards serenity and inner peace.
  • Sharpening Self-Realization: Engaging in the Jesus Prayer heightens the realization of your personal ideas, sentiments, and decisions. Discernment of habitual behaviors that can obstruct spiritual improvement can also occur.
  • Fortifying Our Devotion: Practicing the Jesus Prayer is believed to manifest spirituality and intensify adherence to the teachings of Christ. Our perceptions of God’s messages and faith become clearer.
  • Salvation: According to Eastern Orthodox views, carrying out the Jesus Prayer contributes to fellowship with the Lord.
brown rosary cross with black thread


The Jesus Prayer is a foundational but potent form of prayer that can strengthen our faith and help us grow closer to the Divine. When we often plead and call on the holy name of Jesus, God hears our prayers.

The Lord’s Prayer is a powerful way to reach God with our exaltations and pleas. By always praying in the name of Jesus, our faith is strengthened and our identity in Him is clarified. By emulating Jesus in His prayer life, we can strengthen and perpetuate our relationship with God. More importantly, a constant prayer to our spiritual Father helps us attain eternal life.

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