"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me."
This simple saying derived from Scripture has long been used by Christians in the East as a form of contemplative prayer. In recent decades, understanding and use of the Jesus Prayer has spread from the Eastern Orthodox tradition and into the lives and spirituality of many Western Christians.
Both Brother Ramon, an Anglican Franciscan monk, and Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward, a former Anglican bishop, practiced, taught, and wrote about the Jesus Prayer for over twenty years. Then, stirred by a sense that the Holy Spirit was guiding them, they came together for a shared week of prayer at Glasshampton Monastery in England.
Praying the Jesus Prayer Together shares what they learned in an experience they describe as a "week of glory," and a week marked by Brother Ramon's physical suffering. Although Brother Ramon's cancer ultimately disrupted their collaboration, they nevertheless discovered how profoundly it enriched and enhanced their communion as they prayed the Jesus Prayer together.
"In the deep place of the heart each of us encounters the one Creator, but only as much as we can bear, and tailored perfectly to the individual whom only the Creator knows. What we tell of these stories when we come together will complement beautifully, like variations on a musical theme. I hope that this book will invite and equip you to discover your own place of the heart, the place where we are most together."
--Frederica Mathewes-Green, commentator, National Public Radio's "Morning Edition"; contributor, Best Christian Writing 2004.
"The Jesus Prayer, one of the great treasures of Eastern Orthodoxy, is becoming increasingly known and valued in the West. Brother Ramon, an Anglican Franciscan hermit, and Simon Barrington-Ward, former Anglican bishop of Coventry, received instruction in this form of prayer from Archimandrite Sophrony, one of the greatest of recent Orthodox teachers living in the West.
"In this delightful book they pass on what they learned with great clarity and power, grounding their teaching in the Scriptures and adding insights and stories from the Western church and from around the world. The authors provide practical guidelines for how to practice the prayer, both individually and corporately, and they relate the prayer to some of the most profound themes in the Christian faith as well as some of the most essential patterns of Christian discipleship.
"This gentle, engaging book is very accessible to those who are new to the Jesus Prayer, but it also contains much of value for those who have practiced it for decades and are familiar with the literature on it. Brother Ramon and Bishop Simon make a compelling case for their belief that the Jesus Prayer, as a way to practice the presence of Christ, has a special role to play in the revival, reformation, and mission of the church at this time. This wonderful book will now be one of my main resources for introducing people to the Jesus Prayer."
--The Rev. Dr. Rodney A. Whitacre, Professor of Biblical Studies, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry