Author Topic: The Jesus Prayer  (Read 2578 times)

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Offline prayingserb

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The Jesus Prayer
« on: October 23, 2007, 01:36:28 AM »
I have come to find this prayer so beautiful, and I have been saying it many times a day, and sometimes find myself saying it when I do not know how to pray. I was wondering though, is there any connection with what it says in Matthew 6:7 " But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard with their many words. ''

I personally havent found this as a problem, but I would appreciate clarification.

Thank you!

Gospode Isuse Hriste, sine Boziji, Pomiluj me, Gresnoga

God bless.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2007, 01:37:39 AM by prayingserb »

Offline prodromas

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Re: The Jesus Prayer
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2007, 02:28:47 AM »
This is an argument used by some fundamental protestants about our "prepared" prayers as opposed to there "from the heart" prayers which are thought of on the spot. An argument that I thought of was Christ gave us a prayer (The lords prayer) and told us to pray like this so that means that the vein repetitions is in regard to when we pray a prayer like the Jesus prayer for instance and are only repeating the words instead of saying them with feeling and thought as this can be very dangerous.
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Offline John of the North

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Re: The Jesus Prayer
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2007, 02:53:11 AM »
The key word here is the qualifier "vain".......repetitive prayer can be good, but vain repititions are not.
“Find the door of your heart, and you will discover it is the door to the kingdom of God.” - St. John Chrysostom

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: The Jesus Prayer
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2007, 07:45:25 AM »
^^Great point.  Calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is never vain regardless of how often it is done (and it should be done often IMHO).  There are several great books available on this very topic.  A few of them are Way of the Pilgrim and Mountain of Silence (which I have) and On the Jesus Prayer (which I do not have).  The verse that was quoted by the OP is often used against Roman Catholics and the Hail Mary (another great prayer), but as soon as Orthodoxy becomes more visible, they'll level the same charges against us.  I believe the verse in question is refering to saying long, drawn out rambling prayers thinking that the more one talks, the more likely God will listen.  This is not the case when it comes to our prayers.  It's good to know their arguments so that we can help them understand more fully when the time presents itself. 
"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying

Offline prayingserb

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Re: The Jesus Prayer
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2007, 08:56:02 AM »
I am actually reading the book '' The way of a pilgrim '' and it's what made me ask this question! I find it amazing how a man can go to great lengths for one simple prayer, but his testimonies were amazing.

I interpret it as this; it is not a problem to repeat prayers, but when the prayers are being repeated without concentration and from the heart and, basically just from memory, it is dangerous?

Offline Thomas

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Re: The Jesus Prayer
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2007, 08:59:40 AM »
The usual charge is laid at the feet of any church that uses written prayers.  These groups usually feel that all prayer must be spontaneous and will even include the actual praying of the Lord's Prayer by memory, however they insist on utilizing the Lord's prayer as the pattern that MUST be used in creating those "spontaneous" prayers:
1) Praising God
2) Thanking God
3) Asking God for our needs
4) sealing prayer by the word A-MEN

The irony is that once you hear the prayer pattern of a particular preacher,member, or denomination, they tend to go the route of repetition---in other words, their prayers begin to sound alike---as they create their own prayer pattern which they memorize.  In my area of Texas one often hears "and I just want to thank you Jesus for----" repeated in almost every evangelical protestant who prays.  If we get to the prayer in toungues, each community has its own pattern of sounds usually based upon its pastor but different from another community group  even in the same town.  Vain repetions---I believe so.  I will stick to praying from my heart spontaneously, using the prayer book with its saintly prayers---psalms--Godly inspiration, and occassional use of the Jesus Prayer.

Your brother in Christ ,

Offline EofK

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Re: The Jesus Prayer
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2007, 10:51:12 PM »
I used to dislike written prayers because they sounded so flowery and more speech-like than a prayer.  Sometimes they sound just like those "spontaneous" prayers that always contain the words "just" and "Lord" half a million times.  However, the prayers used by the Orthodox church are so much more meaningful, even after we've been praying them hundreds of years.  It's really interesting how much the Jesus prayer covers in so few words.  You could spend a lifetime exploring those words and never plumb the depths.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Salpy

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Re: The Jesus Prayer
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2007, 10:59:04 PM »

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: The Jesus Prayer
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2007, 10:49:46 PM »
I have split off and moved a tangential discussion about Protestants and who is going to hell here:,13214.msg181479.html#msg181479
Please stay on topic.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 10:50:55 PM by ozgeorge »
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