Prayer is often difficult. In the fourth pillar of the Catechism, Christian prayer, there is an article on the Battle of Prayer (#2725-2745). We know that to have a relationship with God we must pray. We must pour out our hearts to our loving Father. We should try to listen for his small still voice.
But we object that we don’t have time. We think that our prayers are unproductive because we do not understand that prayer originates and flows from the Holy Spirit. Prayer is not something that we can do all by ourselves. Everyday life distracts us when we attempt to pray.
God does not always give us what we want. But He always gives us what we truly need. But because we do not see “what’s in it for me”, we determine that it is a useless endeavor.
But prayer has the power to change us. To transform us.
Perhaps we need to retrench and stop making prayer so difficult. There is an ancient prayer that is quite simple. But it is also very powerful. Peter Kreeft has an excellent article on this prayer, The Jesus Prayer:
It is called the “Jesus Prayer”, and it consists simply in uttering the single word “Jesus” (or “Lord Jesus”, or “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner”) in any situation, at any time and place, either aloud or silently.
There is only one prerequisite, one presupposition: that you are a Christian. If you have faith in Christ, hope in Christ, and love of Christ, you can pray the most powerful prayer in the world, because you have real contact with the greatest power in the universe: Christ himself, who assured us, in his last words to his apostles, that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Mt 28:18).
It is also the simplest of all prayers. It is not one of the many “methods”, because it bypasses methods and cuts right to the heart of practicing God’s presence, which is the essence of prayer, the secret of which has been given to us by God the Father. The secret is simply God the Son, God incarnate, the Lord Jesus.
1. Its simplicity and flexibility
As the Catechism says, “The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always…. This prayer is possible ‘at all times’ because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus” (CCC 2668).
Read the whole enchilada here. Pray always by invoking the name of Jesus the Lord, Lord Jesus have mercy on me a sinner.