The Jesus Prayer is simple and yet, as I discovered, also powerful.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
I first started praying the Jesus Prayer years ago. I had been depressed for quite a while and could not seem to shake it. My sister had suffered from clinical depression for most of her life and I was afraid that I might have the same problem.
I talked to my spiritual director about it and he suggested that I pray the Jesus Prayer. He told me to shorten it and just say, Jesus, have mercy. Or even just repeat His name over and over. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.
He told me to pray it every day and throughout the day. While I was driving. While I was working. While I was walking. Whenever I could.
And so I did as he suggested. For what seemed like weeks on end, I prayed “Jesus, have mercy” every chance I got. I prayed it so often it became just a natural part of my day. The name of Jesus would just come to my mind all day long.
And amazing as it may sound, praying that prayer seemed to help me get through the days. It helped me take care of my family. It helped me to work. It helped me through the dark moments when I felt so alone.
And then one day I woke up and I felt like a different person. The cloud of depression had lifted. It was as if I had been released from some dark prison.
This happened years ago and the depression never returned. I still pray the Jesus prayer, as often as I think of it. And when life is difficult, I pray it continuously.
Our merciful God has helped me see - there is power in the Name.
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Copyright 2016 Colleen Spiro
About the Author
Colleen Spiro is a Catholic mother, grandmother and a deacon’s wife. A certified spiritual director, Colleen loves to share her faith and encourage others through her retreats and writings. You can read her reflections at her website, Catholic Prayer Life and read or listen to her podcast at Finding God in the Everyday.