Beginning Lent – Living Daily In Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Also known as the Jesus Prayer or Prayer of the Heart in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The prayer is used as a meditative prayer to address the 1 Thessalonians 5:17. In many ways it’s a teaching tool to continually have the heart and contemplative nature of prayer throughout the day and evening. In many ways like the Hail Mary it is often used for meditative purposes. The book The Way of a Pilgrim is about a man’s journey to discover how to pray constantly as he travels through Russia and Serbia.

But how and why should we do this today as Christians. During this Lenten season I will be making efforts to discuss my journey in living and experiencing continuous prayer. I have to admit often get distracted with the problems and forget the request of divine intervention. Obsessive thoughts impact our attitude and impact everyone we come into contact with. We will often miss opportunities to minister or provide council to others because we forget to continually pray. By continually praying we open our hearts to being a willing vessel for God to do his divine work.

So this Lent I want to take time and explore this opportunity. For my readers I do encourage you to take a moment and really prepare and devote yourself to the lent season. In the Western Church Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday.  For the Eastern Church, Great Lent starts on the 19th of February after Forgiveness Vespers on Sunday the 18th. Either way we prepare ourselves and forgo to surround ourselves with darkness so the true light can illuminate our lives. We should learn more about ourselves and our path towards paradise. We must discover our sins and how they damage our relationship to others and with Christ.

For those new to fasting it is not about what you give up but about sacrificing and being the Lord back into the center of heart. Lent is often misunderstood as always having to give up something but sometimes its making steps in a new behavior. For example, instead of listening to modern music during your work day you could listen instead to Ancient Faith Radio. This small act of sacrifice not can change your daily attitude but can call someone to wanting to learn about Christ who you may have never known needed to hear the Word of God.

Lent is a tough but beautiful time of year. We as Christians are called to grown and change during this time of year so we can continue in our paths to eternal salvation. We are called to take every step in that journey in prayer. Therefore today I will close our this prayer since it is the beginning.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
For I know not what today or tomorrow holds but I desire that whatever I do that it may bring me closer to you so I may be enlightened on my path towards you. My prayers be with attention, humility, affection and tears, patience and ardor from the depth of the heart and with faith and absolute trust in God.
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.   Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.  Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.   Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.   O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.   For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.  Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.  Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

M

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