The Jesus Prayer

When I was young, I prayed unceasingly.  Truly. Certainly part of this stemmed from my belief that God was always watching me and I either needed His help or I needed to explain my behavior.  Mostly I needed help.

I also prayed out of a very big need for acceptance and connection. I came to tell myself that I remembered Heaven, I remembered the place before here, and I wanted to go back. It was lovely and peaceful thereThere I was accepted, wholly.

It has only been within the last few years I have stopped praying, almost entirely. I cannot pinpoint an exact moment, or event that caused this to be so.  I think I just became tired.  A confluence of many difficult circumstances and situations seemed to overwhelm not only my physical and emotional self, but my spiritual one as well. One might say, “well that was when you should have prayed more.” But exhaustion and depression smother life completely sometimes.  And I had been smothered.

Last night I watched a special on the lives of Orthodox monks in Greece.  They pray unceasingly.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. The Jesus Prayer.  Over and over, with every task they do, they say it.  They prepare themselves to be with God one day.

As a child I imagined I was seen and heard by God. I believed it with all my heart. Christmas makes me long for that feeling again.  Only I feel disconnected and out of spiritual sorts. Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.

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