Prayer is the basis of our Christian life,
the source of our experience of Jesus as the Risen Lord.
St. Paul urges us Christians to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thesselonians 5:1)
and instructs us to "be constant in prayer" (Romans 12:12).
Prayer is then not merely a part of life which we can conveniently lay aside
if something we deem more important comes up;
prayer is all of life.
Prayer is as essential to our life as breathing.
To pray means to think and live
our entire life in the Presence of God.
In order to enter more deeply into the life of prayer
and to come to grips with St. Paul's challenge to pray unceasingly,
the Orthodox Tradition offers the Jesus Prayer,
which is sometimes called the prayer of the heart.
The Jesus Prayer is offered as a means of concentration,
as a focal point for our inner life.
Though there are both longer and shorter versions,
the most frequently used form of the Jesus Prayer is:
"Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
This prayer, in its simplicity and clarity,
is rooted in the Scriptures and the new life granted by the Holy Spirit.
It is first and foremost a prayer of the Spirit
because of the fact that the prayer addresses Jesus as Lord,
Christ and Son of God;
and as St. Paul tells us,
"no one can say 'Jesus is Lord'
except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:3).