“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” – The Jesus Prayer
The Jesus Prayer has been prayed around the world in various forms since the early sixth century. One way to pray this prayer is to repeat, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God” on the inhalation of each breath followed by, “have mercy on me, a sinner” on the exhalation. The repetition of this prayer resets our perspective. We are not the self-made go-getters we pose as. We are sinners in need of God’s mercy.
Whether we know it or not, whether we are willing to acknowledge it or not, we are all dependent on God’s mercy. God’s mercy is a gift and we have a responsibility to offer this gift of mercy to others. When mercy is freely offered to those around us we bring God’s Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.
Consider Ephesians 2:1-5: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”
God’s gift of grace allows us to rest. We do not earn; we receive. What would you like to rest from today? Sometimes it is easy to forget that we are in need of mercy.
Many great transitions in the Bible are marked by the word “but”. God breaks all the rules of cause and effect. “But because of his great love for us…” Paul describes God as being “rich in mercy.” How is this good news? How is this God the same or different from how you have been taught about God?
In God’s rich mercy, you have been made alive! What parts of you feel alive? What parts still feel dead? Spend some time today talking to God about these areas. Ask God to help you always to be open to his mercy.