Valuing The Jesus Prayer: Hank Hanegraaff interviews Nicole Roccas

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner — The Jesus Prayer

Dr. Nicole Roccas has been researching and writing about time from each a historic and theological perspective for almost ten years. Along with being a author and editor, she lectures on the Orthodox Faculty of Theology at Trinity Faculty (Toronto).

On a current version of Hank Unplugged, Hank had a dialog with Dr. Roccas about her e-book Time and Despondency: Regaining the Current in Religion and Life. Throughout their dialog, they talked in regards to the biblical roots of The Jesus Prayer and the way it may be practiced to develop a spirit of humility. The next is tailored from that dialog.

Hank Hanegraaff: I would like you to speak a bit bit about The Jesus Prayer. It has change into a part of my DNA. It’s rooted in biblical prayers, such because the feeble prayer of the tax collector:

To some who have been assured of their very own righteousness and regarded down on all people else, Jesus informed this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9–14 NIV84)

In The Jesus Prayer, we’re praying for God to be merciful to us as sinners. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner, for Thou alone are worthy, now and forever, to the ages of ages.” We pray that sometimes by saying, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” It is a stepping stone in your view towards humility?

Nicole Roccas: Yeah. While you consider the parable of the publican and the Pharisee, it’s actually out of humility that the publican was capable of pray that prayer. You see the Pharisee who’s “praying,” however actually he’s form of simply declaring to God all the nice issues about himself — all of the worthy issues about himself.

Then you definitely take a look at the publican, and all he can actually say is, “Lord have mercy,” as a result of he is aware of he’s a sinner. He’s in contact with the reality. It was he who was actually praying. It was he who was actually communing with God in that second.

I feel that it is a mannequin for us as effectively. It’s actually in our brokenness and in our feebleness that we will flip to Christ. Once we flip to Christ in these moments, that’s actually the place true fellowship comes from. The Jesus Prayer can also be actually vital to recollect in occasions of despondency.

If you find yourself despondent, I’ve mentioned earlier than, it’s described as a slackness of the soul, an absence of effort, a non secular or acedical1 life, you would not have plenty of endurance to spend hours in prayer, or to spend hours within the Phrase, or to spend hours working towards Christian virtues. You simply usually would not have that form of endurance, and a prayer like The Jesus Prayer is one thing anyone can do. Anyone can do it at any second. You possibly can pray it if you end up sick. You possibly can pray it if you end up driving. It doesn’t require this big stage of non secular endurance; but, it invitations Christ into your life the place you might be and within the midst of your infirmity. That is simply what we see with the publican.

Hank: We don’t pray it as a magic coin, however it’s efficacious.

Nicole: No. We don’t pray it in a superstitious means. Simply to offer an illustration: my husband and I, early in our marriage — I feel marriage is attention-grabbing within the early section as a result of you are attempting to determine what routines you’ll comply with and making an attempt to determine all of the rituals you need comply with as a pair in constructing your life collectively — at one level, we form of realized that the afternoon was a troublesome time for us. He would come residence from work. We simply didn’t have something that may make that point of day particular, the place it made us really feel that we have been actually linked. So, we determined each time somebody comes by the door from work, purchasing or one thing, the opposite particular person is to stand up from no matter they’re doing, and are available and say, “Hello.” It doesn’t should be an enormous emotional second; it’s only a level of contact. We began doing that, and it was big. It was big. Simply that small gesture means that you can form of make investments these moments within the relationship with which means. I feel that one thing comparable is at work in The Jesus Prayer. Other than it being form of sacramental, of timeless non secular significance, on the finish of the day, it’s a second of connection, a bid for reference to God. It’s turning towards God in these moments. That’s actually the stuff of relationship.

To take heed to the total dialog on Time and Despondency, click on right here. To obtain Time and Despondency as our thanks in your present in help of the continuing work of the Christian Analysis Institute, click on right here.


  1. Acedia is a Greek phrase denoting an absence of care or concern.

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