The Jesus prayer

HOW HEAVY of a load are you carrying right now? Isn’t it obvious? Your back aches — emotionally, physically… and spiritually. You know exactly how heavy your burden is. You feel every ounce of it. Few can understand your struggle.

Or maybe it’s not so obvious. Things might be pretty good right now. But still, you have your own long term worries. Who doesn’t?

Could it be someone sick or lost? Maybe they’re headed down a dangerous path. And their heart has hardened against you or against God. Either way, after a while, the burden gets heavy. It wears you out and wears you down.

How much do you lean on the Lord to help you with your struggles? Do you even give him 1%? Or do you dump it all on his shoulders?

Sometimes we don’t want to share our pain. It seems strange, but we want to keep all the suffering to ourselves. So we don’t ask anyone for help, not even God. What makes us do this? Is it shame? Pride? A sense of heroism? A lack of trust?

Some people only pray for themselves. Some only pray for others. And others don’t pray at all. But if you believe in a good God, an abundant God, then your prayers should reach far and wide.

This doesn’t mean you do nothing. You keep going. You carry on. Your effort plays a huge role in it all. You make a difference, as Jesus told us — you must carry your cross.

But deep down, in your heart of hearts, your hope of hopes — are you laying it all at the feet of the Lord? Or are you holding something back for yourself, as if you have to do it all on your own?

Some people get frustrated. They say God doesn’t answer their prayers. So they harden their hearts against him. But they might still keep praying. Why? Do they pray out of spite? Are they trying to wear him down? You can’t twist God’s arm with your prayers to get what you want.

Still, there is something we can do that never, ever fails.

What happens if you let go of your expectations? What happens if you completely and unconditionally appeal to the goodness of God?

You set no conditions, but you have bottomless hope. And yes, you ask. You ask far and wide — for blessings, healing, liberation, and salvation — for all the good things of God.

It’s the emphasis that counts. When you put it all on him, the Lord does the heavy lifting. This kind of hope and trust means you know who carries the load. And then, your effort takes on even more meaning.

You are more attentive. You have more energy and a clear vision to continue forward. You take action.

You carry your cross that leads to life. And you pray fervently, hopefully, lovingly.

It’s total obedience and trust.

You listen from deep within.

You ask with a pure and willing heart.

That’s the Jesus prayer.

Let him show you how to pray it.

. . . . . . .

we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul

Hebrews 6:18b-19a

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