Calm yourself down with this ancient prayer.
When we are stressed out and feeling especially anxious, many recommend the best way to calm down is to breathe slowly. More air is allowed into our lungs and our body begins to release some of the tension we are experiencing.
One way to do this is by using an ancient breathing technique championed by various spiritual writers. It involves reciting the “Jesus Prayer,” a short sentence that uses words from the New Testament.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church praises this prayer and encourages Christians to use it.
This simple invocation of faith developed in the tradition of prayer under many forms in East and West. The most usual formulation, transmitted by the spiritual writers of the Sinai, Syria, and Mt. Athos, is the invocation, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.’ It combines the Christological hymn of Philippians 2:6-11 with the cry of the publican and the blind men begging for light. By it the heart is opened to human wretchedness and the Savior’s mercy. (CCC 2667)
Many have suggested praying this prayer by focusing on your breath, reciting these words slowly as you breath in and out.
There are a few different versions of the prayer, all of which are acceptable.
- Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!
- Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
- Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.
- Lord Jesus, have mercy!
If you want to calm both your body and soul, try reciting the Jesus Prayer while slowing down your breath, and let God set your heart at ease.