The Jesus Prayer Might Radically Change Your Prayer Life

G’day, my name is Matt Fradd
and this is Ascension Presents. By the way you may have noticed
that I’m in a different place, right? That’s my house now. I was in my office last time
and we’ve just moved the camera to my house and that’s why it looks different. Maybe you were looking at me and you were thinking
“Has he done something with his hair?” Not the hair.
New place. Today I want to talk about
the Jesus Prayer. From the get-go,
Christians were known — even before they were known
as Christians at Antioch — as those who called
upon the name of the Lord. And it makes sense, doesn’t it?
Jesus himself said, “Whatever you ask in my name
will be given to you.” This is where the Jesus Prayer arose. It’s very popular in Orthodox circles
as well as Eastern Catholic circles. It’s as much used and beloved in the East
as the Rosary is used and loved in the West. On every knot you say a prayer —
very simple prayer — “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God,
have mercy on me a sinner,” or some variation of that. You breathe in and you say
“Lord Jesus Christ, son of God,” and then you breathe out,
“Have mercy upon me a sinner.” And you just say it the whole way around
and then you don’t stop. It’s something you can do all day.
You think, “All day?” Yes, because you remember Paul said
in one of his Epistles — I forget which — we should pray consistently,
pray at all times. You think,
“How do I pray at all times?” Thomas Aquinas addresses this interestingly
in the Summa Theologia. He says, well in one sense,
you can’t pray at all times because, you know, you’ve got to make dinner, you’ve got to engage
in worldly activities, especially if you have a job. You know, you’ve got to interact with people,
you can’t continually be say, praying a psalm or going to Holy Mass. You’ve got stuff you’ve got to do,
duties that you ought to do. He said in another real sense, we can pray at all times
by continually desiring God. And this is what, I think,
the Jesus Prayer enables us to do. It enables us to continually desire God.
That’s how I see it, at least. It sort of re-orientates my inner disposition
towards the divine, as it were, and I begin to hunger for him. Now, what’s lovely about the Jesus Prayer
is it’s sort of psychosomatic. Once you’re done praying it you might put it down,
but because you’ve been using your breath to pray it, you’ll continue praying it
even on accident. So I’ll often find myself
waking up in the morning and saying, “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God,
have mercy upon me a sinner” without even meaning to. Which I think
is a rather beautiful thing. Now, my wife did this recently,
interestingly enough. She had to undergo major surgery unfortunately —
she’s fine, thanks for asking — but when she came out from the anesthesia
she was saying, “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God,
have mercy on me a sinner.” She didn’t even remember saying this;
it was the nurse who told her it. So I think that’s
a really a beautiful way to pray. I think of two things in the scriptures:
you’ve got the publican’s prayer who says, “God, be merciful to me a sinner” and then you’ve got
Peter’s proclamation of faith where he says, “Where shall we go? You alone have the words of life…”
right? You’re the son of God. It seems to me that in the Jesus Prayer,
we can bring those two very important things together. We make an acclamation of faith —
proclamation of faith — “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God,” right? The second person of the Blessed Trinity is divine,
he is God; I’m making that statement, and then as I breathe out
I say, “have mercy upon me a sinner.” So I acknowledge his divinity,
I acknowledge my wretchedness, and when the two go together,
that’s a beautiful thing. And I don’t think you just have to think of mercy
as forgiving my sins, although we are in continual need of that,
but other things as well. You can imagine somebody who is blind
who might say to a doctor, “Please see me, would you? I know you’re booked,
but see me, have mercy on me,” right? It’s not just about forgiving sins; it’s about
giving me what I need and what I am in need of. And again, in the Jesus Prayer,
when we turn to our Lord and say, “Have mercy upon us mere sinners,”
you’re saying “Divine physician, give me what I need.
Not what I want; give me what I need.” Now the Eastern fathers who have spoken so beautifully
on the Jesus Prayer say that when we pray it we shouldn’t imagine
Jesus in front of us. It’s not like the Rosary where you
imagine a particular scene from the Gospels. Rather, we should just recognize
that Christ is present to us. We don’t recognize that in a visual way
but we know in our intellect that he’s present to us, and then we pray it. So, two ways you can pray it —
and the father’s of the Church recommend this: one is by taking a good amount of time,
30 minutes a day, and in silence
sitting down and just praying it. *Breathes deeply* And again
as you go about your business, you know. This is something that I do as I walk to the airport,
walk through the airport, even if I’m on stage giving a talk somewhere
or laying in bed at night, I like to keep this under my hand,
this constant communication with the Lord. Another nice thing about this is
it makes it a lot more difficult to sin. If you were on your deathbed
and you knew you’re about to die, would you be more likely to sin
or less likely? Well, you’d be less likely.
Why? Well because you’re about to be judged, right? You’re — in a sense,
in a very real sense — before the throne of God in a way that you haven’t been in the rest of your life
(or at least it appears that way). When we pray the Jesus Prayer, we are continually placing before our intellect
the divine physician who loves us. It’s a lot more difficult to sin
when you’re in constant communication with the Lord. Now what I’d like to do is throw up a link in the show
notes where you might be able to buy a rope like this. They come either with something like this on the end
or just a woollen cross. By the way, the reason it has a tassel…
this is thought so that we can wipe our tears. So that was the idea of it —
that this was an act of repentance, you see. So you can get them with the tassel or without. I’ll throw up a link in the, you know — just below
the video there — so you can get one if you want to. If you have any questions
just write a #askMattFradd below and I’d be happy to respond to you
hopefully in an upcoming video. You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter
@mattfradd if you like, and I hope you will. Good to chat with you!
Chat with you next week.

100 thoughts on “The Jesus Prayer Might Radically Change Your Prayer Life”

  1. We CAN pray all the time. The small daily life things are what sanctifies us too, they just have to be offered to God. We should not have not the pressure of being in a constant ritual prayer mode or felt we have not prayed if we did not do it. Of course they have their own time in the day too. Most of the praying however is the constant contemplation and presence of God in everything we do.

  2. This sounds interestingly similar to the "For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!" prayers, which also seem to have an interesting way of sticking with you all day…

  3. #askmattfrad could you do a video about making confession a habit? I would like to get my family into a monthly habit of going to reconciliation but I always feel like I'm terrible at knowing what to say. What is your habit of reconciliation?

  4. Being an Eastern Byzantine Catholic, this prayer has been an active part of my life for many many years, and it and Jesus continue to change my life every single day.

  5. I have a chotki and wonder what the beads are for? I pray: Oh my Jesus son of the living God have mercy on me a wretched sinner. No matter what we pray it's a powerful tool. PAX!

  6. Hi, I was wondering if you can use rosary beads to pray if you are not able to get a rope? Or should you have a separate item?

  7. #askmattfradd is there a danger with the Jesus prayer to have your focus inwards rather than outwards towards others? If you're focused on saying the prayer all the time while doing other things, wouldn't that mean you're not fully present?

  8. #AskMattFradd … Please would you explain the purpose of the bead(s) on the prayer rope…is there any significance of having them on the rope?

  9. sounds right but its not..have to leave catholicism.I didn't realise this was catholic video.its really hard to escape it.

  10. The prayer rope looks similar to a mala (never used one btw) except is has 100 knots instead of 108 beads. That got me thinking that I could make one of my own, but with beads! I have a tons of beads that I need to use up.

  11. kyrie eleison is the shortest prayer and you can pray it all the time! a rosary is necessary only in the beginning like a motor,after short time our mind and heart will pray automatically! you can pray it mentally all the day long if you are very busy and you dont have freetime to pray. important is to be concentrated in every word and not only to babble the prayer. is easy because is a short prayer but has power! the man on this video explain it very good how to control your breath. it really helps!

  12. Some protestants pray their Rosarys with this prayer in replace of the hail Marys and meditating on presence of Christ while chooseing a verse from scripturefor the center bead. It is absolutely wonderful God bless.

  13. Orthodox Jews preserve the law. Christians preserve the faith. Muslims preserve the truth ,. The holy Trinity of modern monotheism

  14. It's something you wanna do with a spiritual master, not from a video on youtube… It's not advized to learn doing it on your own, to begin with. Then you have to realize it comes with a whole orthodox life, behavior, life in community etc. The prayer is just there to remind you that, it's as though it doesn't really count, it's the veil on top of it all. Praying without having the righteous religious life is meaningless, you're missing the whole point of it. And it can drive you mad, that spiritual exercice has to be performed gradually under a master's advice. Anyway. Where's the world going.

  15. I've always said Lord Jesus Christ, son of David, instead of son of God, because I thought in this prayer we were repeating the words of the blind of Jericho 🙂

  16. As a fairly new convert to Orthodoxy, I am wearing my prayer rope or carrying it all the time now. Learning to be more prayerful and connected to our Lord at all times. Simple yet so powerful.

  17. Thank you i need this This Morning..!!!i ve made a very big Mistake!!😣😣😣Please God have Mercy and Forgive me..iam a very bad person!!did wrong with my Fam.

  18. I just finished eating. The English accwent or the Australian Accent for example do not bother me because I can imperxonate My Fair Lady from beginning to end As well as have worked with people from england, australia etc. But I do want to share a difference between Sister Pacheli, who is Saint Claire herswelf and was a wonderful English teacher and professor, Dean of Stuents and former president of Alvernia College. She used to actually make me of course I loved every moment of it entertain the students when it was and I wish I could say the same ,an all girls college and noit even considered aaccredited as of yet. Yes. I entertained My Fair Lady songs like Just you wait enry Higins just you wait and I could hAve danced all night and the Jewish accent of Barbara Stresand with songs from Funny Girl etc. I wAs a member of the chorous and even special group of choraliers. Do you rea;lize EWTN is so snotty in her name they never even invited me on the program.

  19. Well Saint claire taught with me too in lay clothes at the Canadian House Center in Loja, Ecuador. Then, one day I was at one of the parks neAr the school I also taUGHT A CLASS, eL cOLEGIO iBEROAMERICANO bILINGUE DE sAN aGUSTIN And she was in her same habit she wore at alvernia college And was with my cousin, Saint angela Merci,who by the way wAs St. Pope Leo the Greats brothers sister who was a nun in the Episcopelian church. See. Heaven is not like america is teaching at all.

  20. I’m a Protestant interested in the Orthodox Church. My wife would be very reluctant/unwilling to visit an Orthodox Church. Any advice?

  21. My priest instructed me to say it 300 times a day. 100 times in the morning, 100 times in the afternoon, then 100 times in the evening. ☦️

  22. I really don't know why a person would need to chant that over and over every day. Jesus died to remove all sins past present and future. All you have to do is realize your need for a savior, repent and turn to him believing that he is your savior. Then pick up the Bible and start to learn of him and how he would have you live your life. There are no beads, ropes, chants or anything needed. And you are not in constant need of grace. You have been given all the grace you will ever need when you believe in Jesus Christ.

  23. Matthew 6:7 
    7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

  24. I just got my Jesus beads yesterday at my church, but I noticed that they don't have a cross on them. Kinda makes me sad.

  25. The Jesus Prayer in Greek:
    "Κύριλλος Ιησούς Χριστός γιος του Θεού έλεος σε μένα αμαρτωλός"
    English phonetics: "Kýrillos Iisoús Christós gios tou Theoú éleos se ména amartolós"

  26. Matt this nun was criticizing me for using the rope prayer ?????? She said it wasn't Catholic and that I needed to decided if I wanna be orthodox or catholic that I can't be both ???? But I am a Roman Catholic lol

  27. Pleasure be careful. The Holy Fathers mention the need of a spiritual father prior to practicing Hesychasm. It typically will be incorporated into your daily prayer rule with the amount of prayers prescribed by your spiritual father so as not to fall into prelest. Forgive me – a sinner.

  28. Hi , viewing from New York. I asked God to help give me a prayer that I can do always and that this prayer refresh me. I came across your video this morning and saw The Jesus prayer. I tried it and I loved it, as I prayed I cried it was as if my heart and soul finally had the words it needed. The prayer refreshed me and I now have the prayer that is perfect for me. I feel I can say it all day in my thoughts, in my heart and with everything I do. I never thought a simple prayer of only a few words could be so strong. I use to think God wanted long prayers. But the simplicity and power in those few words comfort me like no other words I have ever said in my life. THANK YOU, brother, for this video it will change my life and I will teach this prayer to everyone that wants to listen. God bless you.

  29. I am RC, I pray several rosaries a day. Now I will use my rosary beads to say the Jesus prayer daily too. Thank you for your ministry❤️

  30. The Jesus Prayer was said by the Church before the great schism so is actually originally Catholic . The east just kept it going when it was dropped by the west.

  31. I have a concern about the Jesus Prayer which hopefully someone can clarify for me: I feel that I’m always selfishly praying for myself when there are so many other people and events that I should be praying for.

  32. Repeatedly telling ourselves that we're sinners(wretched) I cannot see God wanting us to do or believe.

  33. Hi there , can everyone please pray for my children an I ? We moved into a place and have been dealing with demonic attacks. I have all proof and evidence. We desperately need all prayers. They are after my youngest. But we all get attacked but my youngest gets it more. I have a Deacon that came and Blessed this place and he said he would come back and never did yet.

  34. I say the Jesus prayer so often during the day that I find myself saying the Jesus prayer in my nightmares when someone or something is after me

  35. You inspired me to go off and do research and learned how to make my own rope. It took me 7 days with many hours within each day to get the prayer knot right, when convinced I mastered the knot, I failed miserably yet once again! But I set my resolve to get it right, and when I finally got it right, I failed again. But it's fine, I got better every day and completed my prayer rope. I noticed many symbols of the Trinity and the Lord while weaving these knots, especially the crown of thorns as the knot comes together between the Three fingers. It humbles me. I also noticed that when the knot is done correctly, I can not unravel with all my might but if the knot is done incorrectly, it unravels easily to try again, such is life. I pray the Jesus Prayer all the time it has become part of my breath. Thank you for your video.

  36. One day this women randomly comes up to me while at work and she says “god loves you”, “god bless you”. Then she begins to pray for me right there on the spot and shes holding my hand while doing this….then proceeds to say the angel told me you’ll be the best at whatever it is you do in life.. i was speechless can someone tell me what happened ???

  37. Hi, I notice that your prayer rope have big space between the knots and I really like that. Where from did you bought it exactely ? btw great video.

  38. Catholics can also pray the jesus prayer by using the prayer rope ???
    I mean to say, Will not the catholic priests will stop us to do that???? Because its simply not our tradition

  39. Please tell us how to use a 100 knots prayer rope. Some orthodox priests says that we have to use it only by left hand. What is it ?

  40. In the bible it specifically says dont use beads to pray idk where but search it up. God doesn't want u to use a rosary

  41. Jesus (pbuh) put His head to the ground like muslims. Don't see Christians do that anymore . Wounder why? It's because they follow Paul's religion and Jesus's.

    Matthew 26:39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

  42. 1 Thessolonians 5;16-17
    Rejoice always, Pray constantly
    Proverbs 3;5-6 Trust in the Lord our God on your own intelligence rely not keep him in mind at all times and he will make straight your paths.
    God bless you and your wife and your children

  43. Its funny when catholics preaching about Jesus prayer as the where first critics of it, since Barlam

  44. Fake…Jesus prayer never officially public to the so-called orthodox religion. Did Jesus or Our Lady appear to orthodox witnesses about Jesus prayer rosary (lower r) rope?

  45. prayer(PUJA) comes from indian hindu dharmic religions  and has nothing to do with abrahamic subreligions quit appropriating our heritage you aint indian so fkoff.

  46. Hey, Orthodox people,

    How many did Orthodox churches (Greek, Ukrainian, and etc,) have MIRACLES with this rosary Jesus prayer?

  47. Western Catholic here at age 16 I do in fact own a chotki and here are my observations
    1 it can be done on accident but you do have to keep it in mind to some extent when you are not talking with friends or anything else that requires a bit nore attention
    2 it does not infiltrate your day any more than any other devotion sometimes it is by accident like he said I could be in a group conversation where praying in any other since would be impossible talking and pauseing to th-have mercy on me a sinner-ink and continue talking it has changed my life try to get one if you can and if its not much of a financial burden get one of the bracelets as well

  48. The two prayers recited on the prayer rope by monks at Mt. Athos:
    1. Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Word of God, have mercy on me the sinner.
    2. Most Holy Mother of God, save us.

  49. Other books to add to this are the Philokalia and the Orthodox Anthology of Prayer, both are great resources! For praying the Jesus Prayer!

  50. How many knots are in your prayer rope in the video? I'm thinking of owning one but there are so many, some with 100 knots and some with 33? Which one do I choose?

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