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The Prayer of Jesus

January 27, 2016 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Dan Burke, Divine Intimacy, Prayer

The Prayer of Jesus

Presence of God – O Jesus, grant that I may enter the sanctuary of Your most holy soul where You reveal to me the secrets of Your prayer.


JesusGoesUpAloneOntoAMountainToPrayJamesTissot - The Prayer of JesusAlthough Jesus was always indissolubly united to His Father by the Beatific Vision and the plenitude of charity, He willed to consecrate to Him exclusively a part of His human activity: the time of prayer. The long years spent at Nazareth and the forty days in the desert were especially consecrated to prayer, and during His apostolic life Jesus usually prayed during the whole or part of the night. The Gospel clearly notes this prayer of Christ at the more solemn moments of His life: before He chose the twelve Apostles, Jesus “went out into a mountain to pray, and He passed the whole night in the prayer of God” (Luke 6:12). He prayed before Peter’s confession, before the Transfiguration, at the Last Supper, in Gethsemane, on Calvary. Moreover, He frequently interrupted His apostolic activity to retire into the desert to pray, and St. Matthew tells us that, often, before performing a miracle, He would raise His eyes to heaven and call upon His Father; he also tells us that “having dismissed the multitude, He went into a mountain alone to pray” (Matthew 14:23).

We cannot imagine a more intimate and profound prayer than the prayer of Jesus. Only in heaven, where it will be given us also to see God face to face, shall we be able to understand it and really participate in it. But even here on earth we can imitate the conduct of Jesus by readily interrupting any activity, even apostolic work, in order to devote to prayer the time assigned to it, leaving everything else to focus our attention on God alone.


O Jesus, how different Your prayer is from mine! Yours is so profound and intense; mine is so superficial, distracted, and hurried. How often, alas, I allow myself to be hurried on account of my work and to become so absorbed in my activity that I cannot put it aside!

But You make me understand that my activity is fruitless and my works sterile unless they are impregnated and imbued with prayer and union with God.

You also teach me by Your example that, if I really wish to live in union with God and to nourish that union, I must frequently pause in my occupations in order to concentrate all my powers on Him alone. O Lord, I want to follow Your example and to leave everything at the prescribed time to become recollected in prayer. You chose to go up on a mountain to pray, thus teaching me that in order to pray well, I must detach myself from the things of earth and rise above human thoughts and anxieties. When a soul is thus recollected in solitude far from creatures and from self, and desires nothing but to converse with You, O Lord, You do not delay in letting Yourself be found.

O my God, Most Holy Trinity, grant that, at least in time of prayer, I may be aware of Your presence in my soul and may make my union with You real. Grant that, at least in this hour, I may not leave You alone in the depths of my heart, but entering within, “returning home,” let me enclose myself in the temple of my soul where You are waiting for me!

O Jesus, teach me and grant me that intense prayer which immerses the soul in God and which, by living contact with Him, inflames and strengthens it. I desire to share in Your prayer, which is the only adoration worthy of God. Therefore, dear Lord, take my poor prayer; unite it to Yours and offer it to the Blessed Trinity. Only in this way can I too become one of those “true adorers … in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23) whom the Father seeks and desires.

That my prayer may be really like Yours, teach me how to nourish it by true, generous sacrifice—renouncing some well-earned repose, detaching myself from creatures, being silent and interiorly recollected. Grant that I may be faithful in performing my duties, that I may prove my love by little voluntary mortifications, and may joyfully accept Your will in all the circumstances of my life.

O Lord, grant that each day I may finish my prayer with dispositions of greater generosity and that I may be ready to accept, for love of You, every sacrifice that I find on my way.


Note from Dan: This post on “The Prayer of Jesus” is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.

Art: Jesus Goes Up Alone onto a Mountain to Pray, James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, the High Calling Seminary Preparation Program, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. In 2018, he launched the annual Avila Summit held at Hanceville, Alabama. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband, father of four, and grandfather of one, the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc., a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer, speaker and pilgrimage director who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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