The Jesus Prayer Resource Library

Canonical Orthodox Christian Resources on the Jesus Prayer
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The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way Those who have read “The Way of a Pilgrim” are familiar with the term “The Jesus Prayer.” It refers to a short prayer the words of which are: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner,” constantly repeated. The Way of a Pilgrim is the story of a man who wanted to learn to pray without ceasing (cf. 1 Thes. 5:17). As the man whose experience is being related was a pilgrim, a great many of his psychological characteristics, and the way in which he learned and applied the prayer, were conditioned by the fact that he lived in a certain way, which makes the book less universally applicable than it could be; and yet it is the best possible introduction to this prayer, which is one of the greatest treasures of the Orthodox Church.

The prayer is profoundly rooted in the spirit of the Gospel, and it is not in vain that the great teachers of Orthodoxy have always insisted on the fact that the Jesus Prayer sums up the whole of the Gospel. This is why the Jesus Prayer can only be used in its fullest sense if the person who uses it belongs to the Gospel, is a member of the Church of Christ. (...)

Numerous writers have mentioned the physical aspects of the prayer, the breathing exercises, the attention which is paid to the beating of the heart and a number of other minor features. The “Philokalia” is full of detailed instructions about the Prayer of the Heart. Ancient and modern Fathers have dealt with the subject, always coming to the same conclusion: never to attempt the physical exercises without strict guidance of a Spiritual Father.

What is of general use, and God given, is the actual praying, the repetition of the words, without any physical endeavour - not even movements of the tongue - and which can be used systematically to achieve an inner transformation. More than any other prayer, the Jesus Prayer aims at bringing us to stand in God's presence with no other thought but the miracle of our standing there and God with us, because in the use of the Jesus Prayer there is nothing and no one except God and us.

Orthodox Teachings on the Jesus Prayer
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The Bookshelf
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Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart
The Philokalia is an important collection of writings by Fathers of the Eastern Church dating from the fourth to the fourteenth century. It exists in three versions: the Greek, complied in the eighteenth century; the Slavonic; and the Russian.

The Russian text, translated by Bishop Theophan the Recluse in the nineteenth century, and consisting of five volumes (with which a sixth is sometimes associated), is the most complete of all three versions. It is the Russian text that has been used in translating into English this selection, which presents a range of Philokalia writings concerning the Jesus Prayer.
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  • Translators: E. Kadloubovsky, G. E.H. Palmer
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About the Orthodox Prayer Rope
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100 knot prayer rope
100 knot prayer rope
The prayer rope is not some kind of amulet with magic or exorcising powers but it is a purely Orthodox holy object used only for praying and nothing else. We use the prayer rope in order to pray secretly. Of course as usually happens in the Church everything that we use for the worship of our God it is also a piece of art. The same thing happens with the prayer ropes. Some of them are very simple. Others are masterpieces and we use them to decorate icons or Crosses inside the Church or in our houses.

The orthodox prayer rope is made of wool, every node is constructed of 7 crosses, so the symbol of Jesus the cross is everywhere, and the prayer rope usually has 33 nodes, the years Jesus lived in earth.

The prayer rope usually is black, the colour of mourning and sorrow, and this remind to us to be sober and serious in our lives. We are sorry for our sins and our weakness and failings before God, our fellow men and ourselves; but in Christ, this sorrow becomes a source of joy and comfort.

The prayer rope is knotted from wool, that is, it has been sheared from a sheep, a reminder that we are rational sheep of the Good Shepherd, Christ the Lord, and also a reminder of the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. The cross likewise speaks to us of the sacrifice and victory of the life over death, of humility over pride, of self-sacrifice over selfishness, of light over darkness. And the tassel? To remind us the tears of repentance.

an excerpt from the speech of His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios
of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, in the opening of the Exhibition
"Orthodox Prayer Ropes - The Jesus Prayer"

Various resource links on the Orthodox prayer rope:
How to tie an Orthodox prayer rope
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