Most importantly this prayer helps me put my relationship with God right.
One of the biggest prayer resources for me, something that grounds me in my spiritual practice, is a variation on an ancient Christian prayer.
My old friend Arthur Caliandro introduced it to me and not a day goes by that I don’t say it. The text is very simple and yet it’s a key to my relationship with God: “Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. Make haste to help me. Rescue me and save me. Let thy will be done in my life.”
So why would such an ancient Christian prayer be helpful? The words aren’t particularly fancy. There’s nothing magical about them. But they’re very easy to remember and once you get them in your head they stay there. They’re a link to the divine when nothing feels particularly divine. I’ve muttered them to myself in the middle of a contentious meeting or at a moment when my confidence seemed to be sputtering. I’ve held on to them in the midst of bad news—a friend’s lost job or a worrisome diagnosis. I’ve said them when I’ve felt a little lost.
Most importantly the prayer helps me put my relationship with God right. It’s an act of relinquishment, a reminder of who’s in charge and it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to utter. If a thought can form a neural pathway in the brain, this prayer is my superhighway.
The other day I was waiting in the elevator at work and I was so distracted that I didn’t even know that a colleague was standing right next to me. “Celeste,” I finally said, “I didn’t even see you there.”
“You must have had something important on your mind,” she said.
Yep. These words: “Jesus Christ, have mercy on me…” My lifeline.