Jesus PrayerI’ve written before about how to pray when you don’t know what to say.  Oftentimes, in times of crisis, the words are not important.  It is the connection to God that pulls us through.

That said, when I have no words for a given situation that lack becomes my focus.  When I should be focusing on Him, instead I am focusing on what isn’t there.  The words I need to explain a situation that He already understands.

Recently, I learned a prayer that is a great go-to prayer in times of distress, The Jesus Prayer.  While there are several versions, this is the one that I learned:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

That just about covers it.  Lord, I’m coming to you and, in my flawed way, I have no clue what to say.  Help!

That said, some people leave off “a sinner.”  Including that phrase puts them in a dark place of self-doubt and self-incrimination.

Me? I include it. At this point in my life, I can accept the fact that I am far from perfect.  I don’t like it, but I can accept it.

So when I have no clue what to pray, I have this to fall back on.  I may have no idea what to say, because I am, after all, flawed.  But I can fall back on these words and on His infinite mercy.