Jesus Prayer

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The Jesus Prayer (Η Προσευχή του Ιησού) or "The Prayer" (Evkhee, Greek: Η Ευχή - the Wish) is a short, formulaic prayer esteemed and advocated within the Eastern Orthodox church:

The prayer has been widely taught and discussed throughout the history of the Eastern Churches. It is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice, its use being an integral part of the eremitic tradition of prayer known as Hesychasm (Greek: ἡσυχάζω, hesychazo, "to keep stillness"). The prayer is particularly esteemed by the spiritual fathers of this tradition (see Philokalia) as a method of opening up the heart (kardia) and bringing about the Prayer of the Heart (Καρδιακή Προσευχή). The Prayer of The Heart is considered to be the Unceasing Prayer that the apostle Paul advocates in the New Testament.[2]

While its tradition, on historical grounds, also belongs to the Eastern Catholics,[3][4] and there have been a number of Roman Catholic texts on the Jesus Prayer, its practice has never achieved the same popularity in the Western Church as in the Eastern Orthodox Church, although it is said on the Anglican Rosary. Moreover, the Eastern Orthodox theology of the Jesus Prayer enunciated in the fourteenth century by St. Gregory Palamas has never been fully accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.[5] Nonetheless, in the Jesus Prayer there can be seen the Eastern counterpart of the Roman Catholic Rosary, which has developed to hold a similar place in the Christian West.[6]

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