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 historical and theological viewpoint for almost ten years. In addition to becoming a writer and editor, she lectures at the Orthodox College of Theology at Trinity College (Toronto).

On a current edition of Hank Unplugged, Hank had a conversation with Dr. Roccas about her book Time and Despondency: Regaining the Present in Faith and Life. For the duration of their conversation, they talked about the biblical roots of The Jesus Prayer and how it can be practiced to create a spirit of humility. The following is adapted from that conversation.

Hank Hanegraaff: I want you to speak a small bit about The Jesus Prayer. It has grow to be aspect of my DNA. It is rooted in biblical prayers, such as the feeble prayer of the tax collector:

To some who have been confident of their personal righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two guys went up to the temple to pray, one particular 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 guys — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I speedy twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even appear up to heaven, but beat his breast and stated, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I inform you that this man, rather than the other, went dwelling justified ahead of God. For absolutely 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 are 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 ordinarily by saying, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” This is a stepping stone in your view toward humility?

Nicole Roccas: Yeah. When you assume of the parable of the publican and the Pharisee, it is actually out of humility that the publican was capable to pray that prayer. You see the Pharisee who is “praying,” but actually he is sort of just pointing out to God all the excellent points about himself — all the worthy points about himself.

Then you appear at the publican, and all he can actually say is, “Lord have mercy,” since he knows he is a sinner. He is in touch with the truth. It was he who was genuinely praying. It was he who was genuinely communing with God in that moment.

I assume that this is a model for us as nicely. It is actually in our brokenness and in our feebleness that we can turn to Christ. When we turn to Christ in these moments, that is actually exactly where correct fellowship comes from. The Jesus Prayer is also actually vital to recall in instances of despondency.

When you are despondent, I have stated ahead of, it is described as a slackness of the soul, a lack of work, a spiritual or acedical1 life, you do not have a lot of endurance to invest hours in prayer, or to invest hours in the Word, or to invest hours practicing Christian virtues. You just normally do not have that sort of endurance, and a prayer like The Jesus Prayer is anything anyone can do. Anyone can do it at any moment. You can pray it when you are sick. You can pray it when you are driving. It does not need this substantial level of spiritual endurance but, it invites Christ into your life exactly where you are and in the midst of your infirmity. This is just what we see with the publican.

Hank: We do not pray it as a magic coin, but it is efficacious.

Nicole: No. We do not pray it in a superstitious way. Just to give an illustration: my husband and I, early in our marriage — I assume marriage is fascinating in the early phase since you are attempting to figure out what routines you are going to adhere to and attempting to figure out all the rituals you want adhere to as a couple in constructing your life with each other — at one particular point, we sort of realized that the afternoon was a hard time for us. He would come dwelling from function. We just did not have something that would make that time of day unique, exactly where it created us really feel that we have been actually connected. So, we decided each time a person comes by way of the door from function, buying or anything, the other individual is to get up from what ever they are undertaking, and come and say, “Hello.” It does not have to be a massive emotional moment it is just a point of speak to. We began undertaking that, and it was substantial. It was substantial. Just that compact gesture permits you to sort of invest these moments in the partnership with which means. I assume that anything related is at function in The Jesus Prayer. Aside from it becoming sort of sacramental, of timeless spiritual significance, at the finish of the day, it is a moment of connection, a bid for connection with God. It is turning toward God in these moments. That is actually the stuff of partnership.

To listen to the complete conversation on Time and Despondency, click right here. To acquire Time and Despondency as our thanks for your present in assistance of the ongoing function of the Christian Investigation Institute, click right here.


  1. Acedia is a Greek word denoting a lack of care or concern.


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