Prayer ropes/hesychasm

Hello all,
I'd like to know what the our Church thinks of the practice of hesychasm, and how we should pray the Jesus Prayer. 

God bless


  • we discuss it with our spiritual advisers (usually the confession father).

    hesychasm is a word used in the EO (eastern orthodox) churches to describe Christian meditation and listening to God talking to us.

    i think our OO (oriental orthodox) churches have a very sensible approach.

    we are advised first to start praying (when i joined the orthodox church after being protestant for >30 yrs since early childhood, i was only praying for about 5 mins twice a day due to a lot of work, study and commuting).

    then to pray when we can during the day (when in the car stopped in traffic, when walking, when taking a break), to get into the habit of talking to God all the time,

    then we pray for a bit longer when we can (eg. agpeya prayers twice a day),

    then pray more deeply and spend more time studying the Bible,

    then (and only then) start to think about continuous prayers, like praying thanks to God all the time (i met an amazing priest who used to do this despite his end stage cancer).

    most people do not have enough time to be in that category of continuous prayers, as our work / neighbours / children / elderly parents / travel require that we actively engage with the people / cars around us.

    indeed, it is not advisable to enter a state of religious ecstasy while washing the windows up high scaffolding or driving on a fast road!

    we receive beautiful blessings from God during all our service, whether it is washing the dishes for mum, babysitting your nephew or listening to a friend describe a problem. we also receive blessings if we work / study in a way that takes care of our colleagues and when we accept the normal trails of life without complaining.

    so we don't need to act as if we are monks / nuns in the remote desert (unless there are any monks / nuns currently using!) and feel bad about the fact that we only have 2-3 hours a day to pray / read the Bible / discuss spiritual matters with our family / flat mates.   

    those of us who are called by God to live a Christian life in the normal world are simply called to live it well and to pray as much and as sincerely as we can.

    having said that, some people find that praying 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner' many times is helpful. but this should be done after discussing it with your spiritual father / mother. in our church we are more likely to pray 'Lord have mercy' than the traditional EO prayer.

    we strive at all times to become humble, and counting the number of hundred times we repeat a prayer may get in the way of that, this is why hesychasm should be approached with caution.

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