Jesus Prayer In Action

The Jesus Prayer is very old, and lives through the ages of ages.  Many people ask us what they can do to help themselves with the Jesus Prayer, and extend that to others.

We would love to hear your ideas, and prayers too.  POST A COMMENT BELOW FOR ALL TO SEE.


Some of the monks in our film have suggested:

Start praying the Jesus Prayer.

“Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me a Sinner.”  But don’t pray it all the time, or attempt to do breathing exercises on your own.  This should be done with a spiritual guide.

Pray for Us All

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Us.


See Living Icons in Others

Every time you look at another person, see the Divine in them.  Say a little prayer of recognition.


Here are some ideas that others who have viewed the film suggested:


+ Talk about the Jesus Prayer with a friend, and pray together

+ Pray the Jesus Prayer at church, a group, at coffee, or a potluck

+ Show the movie –  at a church or community screening (for large events, and to request personal appearances from Fr. McGuckin and Dr. Chumley contact Mat Levy, Passion River Films email: mat (at)

+ ORGANIZE A JESUS PRAYER EVENT – email us friends (at) (just clik the link to write an email).  (This is for large events, for people with existing networks (churches, community groups, activists).

  • #1 written by Sabrina Messenger
    about 12 years ago

    Being raised in the Roman (Latin Rite) Catholic church I was a aware of the Jesus Prayer. I just never heard it referred to as such. It wasn’t until I started exploring the Eastern/Byzantine Catholicism and later the Eastern Orthodox Church and read Way of a Pilgrim that I encountered what I now know as the Prayer of the Heart. It was instrumental in convincing me to convert to Orthodoxy. The Jesus Prayer as understood by Orthodox Christians is not the same as it is in Romanism or Western Protestant Christianity. The film demonstrates that. Not trying to be biased or say we’re better or whatever. Thing is, the Orthodox Church IS Catholic, just not Roman. For me, attending Divine Liturgy, praying the Jesus Prayer et al has helped me to have a fuller experience and expression of that one holy catholic apostolic faith, and I’d say that is a good thing.

  • #2 written by trodriguez
    about 12 years ago

    I just love this book. I was not aware of the Jesus Prayer, even though it is mentioned during the liturgy in the Roman Catholic mass. There were many touching moments in many parts of this book. Especially when the author was speaking with one of the fathers and he placed his hand on his chest and said the Jesus Prayer. I have not watched the film yet but I can wait to do it.

  • #3 written by Dennis McFarland
    about 12 years ago

    First I would like to say I have watched the movie several times. Each time I have watched the movies i have seen or heard something I did not see or hear before (sometimes what i heard before has takes on a deeper meaning).
    I have been praying the Jesus Prayer for while now. At first praying the Jesus Prayer with attention and focus was difficult due to distractions ( in many forms primarily the thoughts running through my head). Now the prayer flows freely. One of the fruits from praying the prayer is the profound awareness of my own brokenness/sinfulness. The awareness of one’s brokenness is painful yet in the midst the pain there is joy. For I can look to the Lord who is the Physician of our souls and bodies in the mist of that pain and see Him standing ready to forgive and to heal.

  • #4 written by suta
    about 12 years ago

    My congratulations to the authors of the movie. I have just recently watched it on one of the public television channels and it immediately captured my interest. I’m mainly interested in the history of spreading of Orthodox Christianity and the monastic life of its promoters. The movie seems to trace historically the way Christianity spread from the Holly Lands to Eastern Europe. I couldn’t help but notice that in Egypt some of the monks spoke Greek and of course they spoke Greek also in Greece on Mount Athos. And then going further North in Romania and Ukraine and Russia the language changed to the local one. As far as I know, in the dawn of Christianity there were three canonized languages in which the words of God could be preached – namely Jewish, Greek and Latin. Since the authors claimed that in the movie they traced the early history and spreading of Chriatianity and the countries visited should be one of the early adopters of the religion, I was wandering how come that different churches use different languages, in any case different than the three languages mentioned above, given also the fact of the conservatism in the Church. Can someone shed some light on this?
    One further question regarding the history. For about nearly 5 centuries, most part of Eastern Europe was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire in which the Muslim religion was dominant and official. How did it happen that the Christian roots of the population were preserved during those dark times? Thanks in advance.

  • #5 written by Vladimir
    about 12 years ago

    “According to the centuries-old Orthodox tradition, the power and energy of God is present in the holy name of Jesus. In the beginning of the twentieth century Monk Hilarion, a Caucasian hermit, wrote in his remarkable book On the Mountains of the Caucasus(На горах Кавказа): ‘The Son of God… in the fullness of His divine nature is present both in the Holy Eucharist and in Christian churches. He is also fully and entirely present in His name, with all His perfection and with the entirety of His divinity’. Monk Hilarion quoted the following words of St John of Kronstadt: ‘Let the name of the Lord… be for you instead of the Lord Himself… The name of the Lord is the Lord Himself…’ Heated arguments arose on Mount Athos in the 1910s around these words and around the teaching of ‘the adorers of the Name’ (imyaslavtsi). The latter were accused of dogmatic inaccuracy, namely in confusing the name of God with His essence. However, as far as Hilarion’s book is concerned, it is very much in tune with the Hesychast tradition of the veneration of the name of Jesus. Regrettably, with the outbreak of arguments around the name of Jesus, this book was regarded as a manifesto of the ‘adorers of the Name’. Banned from distribution by the Russian ecclesiastical censors, it has remained virtually unknown.”
    Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev

  • #6 written by SueGrace
    about 12 years ago

    The “Jesus Prayer” is life-saving, and although I hesitate to share private matters, I am glad to testify that it has saved lives of those I hold dear. It also was present in my mind even through a seizure, which shows (if I may presume) that there is a difference between “heart” and “mind.” I would recommend that we pray with confidence and believe that this prayer, and our Lord who is invoked, will be with us always. I would suggest that we leave aside all negative comments about other Christians or denominations and focus only on the power of God through this prayer.

  • #7 written by Matthew Bellisario
    about 12 years ago

    I have written a review of the film and the book on my website. I really enjoyed both the book and the film. I actually watch the DVD over and over as a kind of meditation. I would love to see another DVD and book like this on the Eastern Liturgy.

    Link to my review here.

  • #8 written by Martin Bortnick
    about 12 years ago

    There is no danger in combining this prayer with the breath or just part of the prayer. I combine it with my breath and heartbeat without any ill effects or hallucinations.

    • #9 written by Andy
      about 12 years ago

      Some Russian Martial Arts make reference to Hesychasm , and seem to incorporate some of the techniques or Orthodox thinking in their breathing practices. Would you entertain an informed opinion on this? I am very curious regarding this.

      • #10 written by Ksenia
        about 12 years ago

        I will try to alert a hieromonk, who should be able to answer your question, to the existence of this site, in which he should be interested, I think. Hopefully, he will be able to answer your question. He is the founder of, and has been kind to me personally, I might add. I think his name might be Father Irinei, and he also has a large collection of missionary materials on his website he compiled while still in the world.

  • #11 written by Steve
    about 12 years ago

    The film might have mentioned Luke 18:9-14, which is Jesus’ parable of the pharisee and the tax collector. Isn’t it significant that Jesus is the original source of the words of the prayer? (As Jesus taught it, we could equally well call it the “God prayer”.) And this passage of Scripture explains the real power of the prayer: peace of one’s soul with God is the most important peace of all. “A broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Ps. 51).

  • #12 written by mudd on the shoes
    about 12 years ago

    First,your heart must be a soil ground for a Logos,Word of God,our Lord Jesus Christ to enter.You do this obeying 10 commendmants in HEART not only in Deeds,because sin is born in the heart,mind listen to heart and body listen to the mind.Second,i pray in fetus position.just after two days Lord broke into the city of my heart.First i feel pain which was physically and spiritual,Holy fathers says that in that moment serpent is killed,after that i felt FIRE in center of the heart which radiats in all directions.My life change rapidly for short time,and now i thinking of becaming a monk because feeling fireing love in heart is unexplenible.I am orthodox Christian from Serbia.I wish you calmness,fasting,and praying for good soil of your city,your heart.God Bless you all.

    • #13 written by Vladimir
      about 12 years ago

      Be careful my brother about all those physical sensations and especially do not think that serpent is killed after two days?! These things are exact reason why fathers forewarn us and what they call “prelest” (deception).

    • #14 written by Ksenia
      about 12 years ago

      You really want to find a spiritual father or mother. That is the real thing, but that kind of grace often doesn’t last, but is like a sign for you to struggle in your faith your whole life. It is just the beginning, but I am happy for you and also feel sorry for you. I am so glad you live in an Orthodox country with many monasteries. I will pray that St. Nicolai Velimorovitch and St. Ioann Maximovitch, and also St Justin Popovitch will look after you. All 3 were in a seminary together at one time. You should visit some monasteries.

      God be with you!

  • #15 written by tommy timonere
    about 12 years ago

    I discovered “the Jesus Prayer” during my own walk through the desert, due to a diagnosis of Cancer back in 1994.By accident, I came upon a wealth of spiritual truth from a monastery in New Mexico, USA. It included a small brochure on the Jesus Prayer. I prayed it during radiation treatments and over the next 17 years of recovery! It quiets my mind while allowing me to tap into, if you will, the great sources of strength that exists in more ancient traditions of meditation, especially Taosim , mystical Judiasm, and more closely with our humanity, the person of Jesus , the Christ. I am estatic that the Orthodox Tradition truth is finally being promoted, as a Roman Catholic . I have recently come to the revelation that in God’s infinite wisdom, and the evolution of salvation history, demands and requires this other essential aspect of our spirituality be finally interwoven with the Western traditions. It is about time! Our Eastern brothers, including the Oriental ( India/China) and Muslim, will be better prepared to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior if they are to understand that this very essential aspect of Christian Faith has been overshadowed by the pragmatism of the Western Traditions. As Jesus prayed, that “all should be one”. The Jesus Prayer just may be the missing link , to enjoin the West and East, to accomplish His goal, and bring the ‘Kingdom of God’ more fully in our lives, as He intends. It has for me. Keep the Faith, and I suggest the Laity from both traditions need to bring along the Hierarchy of the church. John Paul II’s (The Great) funeral, and lasting influence, in beatification, may, I humbly suggest, be the vehicle through which this may be acccomplished!? The world is crying out for such harmony of spirit. amen

  • #16 written by LOUISE
    about 12 years ago


  • #17 written by Carlos
    about 12 years ago

    I recommend the book, “The Way of the Pilgrim”, which speaks and illustrates the use and practice of the Jesus Prayer, a real classic. The Way of a Pilgrim is the English title of a 19th century Russian work, recounting the narrator’s journey across Russia while practicing the Jesus Prayer.

    • #18 written by Louis
      about 12 years ago

      Indeed the Way of the Pilgrim is a great book! I read it more than 10 years ago and am reading it all over again. The Jesus Prayer mentioned in the Way of the Pilgrim is shorter and simplified but is nonetheless just as powerful in invoking on the name of Jesus.

  • #19 written by Yakovos
    about 12 years ago

    Better yet! Start attending your local parish and praying daily. The Jesus Prayer is a precious part of a robust spiritual life that includes personal and corporate prayer, fasting, and a life of sacrificial giving of ourselves. Monastics simply are laypeople called to leave the world, but that doesn’t prevent any Christian from dedicating their whole life to the way of Christ. Turn off the TV and turn on to living the faith 24/7 in your home and community.

  • #20 written by Pete
    about 12 years ago

    I saw the film this morning and was very interested. Did the Church only travel the lines investigated in your film? Why did it start in Egypt? Is it also used by the Greek Orthodox?? Was the Roman church once kn own as the Roman Orthodox?

  • #21 written by Pete
    about 12 years ago

    We of the roman Catholic Church have been using this prayer since I can remember (I am 71) although not as a constant prayer but in our Litergy. why do you think it is only the Orthodox churches that use it?

    • #22 written by Roger
      about 12 years ago

      Where is this in the Roman Liturgy?

      • #23 written by Saurian
        about 12 years ago

        Actually there really is a part in the Roman Liturgy when they sing “Kirie eleison” which is a short version of this prayer. Anyway from what I know the catholic church doesn’t have the same interest in this prayer like the Orthodox, they’re main prayer it is to Mother of God. Plus there was a teological debate in the 13th centuries in Orthodoxy about the Light of God these monks see when the say this prayer and the catholic church agreed with Varlaam ( an Orthodox monk who came to catholics after he lost in this dispute in front of Sf. Gregory Palama ).

  • #24 written by Liza Stappler
    about 12 years ago

    This morning I write to you to share the blessing this film was to me. I saw the PBS version last week in my town in British Columbia, Canada, and for lack of better vocabulary, I was changed. I have had a faith struggle most of my life and have been ‘seeking’ my place as God’s child for many years. This film, blessed by the people of God, who were gracious enough to accept your invitation and give us lay people a chance to see what few see, made clear to me a lot of my questions. Through this short film, I took away more spiritual growth than I have with attending churches for more than a decade. Incidentally, I was baptized Greek Orthodox and confirmed much later in life, and became a member in the Lutheran Church. Where I live we have 1 Orthodox Church and after this movie I can only say that the pull I have had to this place of worship has increased 10 fold. I will be going there in God’s time and when I do, I look forward to sharing with you my experience. Thank you for this beautifully done film which touched my heart at the core. I hope one day to see the longer movie and share it with my husband who is presently struggling with his faith. Please pray for him and our daughter and that God would help me to bring His message to them and if it be His will allow me to reintroduce my family to our gracious Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ. May God continue to bless all the work you do, and may the Lord Jesus
    Christ, Son of God, have mercy on all of us.
    Your sister in Christ,

  • #25 written by Will Moye
    about 12 years ago

    This film is a blessing from God. Once again, we are invited into a conversation with Him. But, so often we become so busy in our modern lives. So many of us in the modern world are fervently desiring of the peace, stillness, and serenity that is found in our Lord Jesus Christ. With God’s help, perhaps this wonderful film will give us all pause to think about our relationship with Him, and how much closer we can grow in our relationship and communion with Him through the Jesus Prayer.

  • #26 written by Dominique L.
    about 12 years ago

    “But don’t pray it all the time, or attempt to do breathing exercises on your own. This should be done with a spiritual guide.” This is the most unscriptural advise possible. The Holy Spirit is each person’s spiritual guide, and “don’t pray it all the time” blatently contradicts the Biblical mandate to “pray without ceasing.”

    • #27 written by norris
      about 12 years ago

      Thank you for your comment, however, we are simply repeating recommendations from some of the monks in the film. Please don’t take the recommendations out of context: constant prayer may be a good thing, as Paul taught us, but the point is that monastics are cloistered and have years of training and practice.

      • #28 written by Saurian
        about 12 years ago

        Some Holy Fathers from Romania ( for example father Teophil from Sambata de Sus or father Arsenie Boca ) said to tell the prayer all the time: when we go to work, when we eat or when we do anything else. The problem is with the breathing exercises. They are only for beginners to help you concentrate to the prayer but it isn’t important so much these exercises as much as is saying all the time the prayer ( these exercises may be dangerous ). Anyway it is recomended to have a spiritual father when you start with this prayer or at least to read the writing of Holy Fathers about this prayer because you might get in a mental institution. Dominique said that The Holy Spirit guides you but she forgot that the devil may apear as an angel ( and we have lots of these kind of cases in the Orthodoxy Church when the devil made monks or people, too pride to listen to their spiritual father, to kill themself or kill others ).

    • #29 written by Al
      about 12 years ago

      I have read that one should proceed with caution when it concerns breathing exercises. I agree with you that the Holy Spirit can be a spiritual guide. However, Satan is very crafty, and can mislead people, especially novices, into thinking and believing all sorts of stuff. That is why a spiritual guide (father) is very important, not just for practicing the Jesus Prayer, but for everything. That guide, through very real experience, can help make sure we don’t get ensared by the many traps that have been set for us.

  • #30 written by Columbina
    about 12 years ago

    Dearest brothers and sisters In Christ:

    I had the good sense (for once) to watch this program on my local public television channel. I have not seen such a profound and deeply moving film in a very long time. My cheeks are still damp from tears of joy.

    I have loved this film so much I have set aside some money to order the full director’s cut, and I have recommended it on my website to all my customers. I have also recommended that my parish bookstore order copies for missionary efforts.

    I am an Orthodox Christian incense maker, a simple artisan, and this film has profoundly impacted the way I approach my Christian art, and practice. I cannot praise this film enough and I hope that my pitiful efforts to help promote the film will result in many souls being reached and touched by our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.

    Love to you all, always in Christ,
    Simple Incense Maker
    Orthodox Christian
    Byzantine Artistan

  • #31 written by Suzanne
    about 12 years ago

    I pray the Jesus prayer and find it a source of great comforte and centering.

  • #32 written by Sondra McDermott
    about 12 years ago

    I saw the short clip of the Jesus prayer on television the other evening and I was trememdously blessed. I have been saying the Jesus Prayer on an anglican rosary for some time. Thank you for the opportunity to purchase this!

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