When [blind Bartimaeus] heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Mark 10:47-48, NIV*
Into the middle of busy schedules and global crises, Monday brought the news that a young boy in our community had taken his life. He was maybe 15, 16?
How do you pray for something like this? There are words: “comfort the family, send them caring support, help his friends….”
I did some of that, but the need just felt too big. But I remembered reading about the Jesus Prayer in an online-only bonus article in Faith Today.
The NIV has eight references to a people crying out variations of “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Trusting that the Holy Spirit intercedes when we don’t know how to pray, I gave Him the burden by repeating “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy.” Mercy toward family, friends, He knew best.
The peace surprised me, but it shouldn’t. I’d stopped trying to carry—and fix—the problem, and given it to the Master Healer and Builder.
Today I found two excellent links on the history and effectiveness of the Jesus Prayer at the Orthodox Prayer and Concentric Net sites.
The exact wording of the Jesus Prayer is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” It’s meant for more than forgiveness, for any kind of need. The “sinner” part is to remind us how powerless we are to help ourselves.
With all that’s going on in the world, near and far, we’re pretty helpless. Item 24 in my new gratitude journal is “Thank You for giving me the Jesus Prayer for when I’d need it.”
And thank You for Your great mercy, poured out in our lives. Open the grieving to receive it. Open us all to see our need of it. And I praise and thank You, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, that You don’t leave us as orphans in this world. That You care, and that You give the peace of Christ.
A song that comforts me in hurt is from the group Fee: “The Arms that Hold the Universe”.
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.