Normally what I try to do in this space is write something of a reflection. Something that might get us thinking or reflecting about life and faith for the week ahead. Today I’m doing something different. Today I’d like to invite you to join me in a little prayer. Every day at midday I’ll be saying one of my favourite prayers, the Jesus Prayer. It goes like this
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
It’s a nice short little prayer. It can be said any time and anywhere. And one of these reasons I love this prayer is that for such a short prayer it manages to capture a real depth to it. It holds up Jesus as Lord, meaning we are not. It places Jesus as the Son of God and part of the Trinity. It recognises that we are flawed and need Jesus. But for me the real heart of this prayer is the need for mercy.
It remind me of the story from Luke 18, and the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. When the tax collector prays ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ in verse 13 the word for mercy is ἱλάσκομαι (hilaskomai). The scene might make us think of a court room, where the tax collector is begging to be let off the hook for his crimes. But this word should conjure a different image. It should make us think of a loving father reaching out to hold a crying child. And that’s why I love this prayer.
Repeating this prayer over and over gives us so much we can meditate and reflect on. Each part of it can cause us to pause and think about God and ourselves. But at the end of it all, it remains a simple little prayer that asks God to hold us.
So I hope you take the opportunity to join me each day this week at midday, and pray this lovely little prayer.