When to Pray the Jesus Prayer
Pray Every Day
To make progress in your prayer practice you must be regular in your practice. This is not a Monday, Wednesday or Friday or whenever thing, but is something that has to be engaged every day without fail. Every day you miss will set you back at least three days. Make it an integral part of your life just like you take a shower and brush your teeth in the morning. Just like you don’t feel clean if you skip these daily activities, see prayer as a necessary cleansing of your soul. Put your prayer life as your first priority. Don’t let travel or sickness deter you. This prayer can be said anywhere, any time if necessary. You don’t need any special books or other props only the love and desire to be united with God.
Use of the Prayer at Other Times
In addition to your regular periods of prayer you should try and take every opportunity you can to say the Jesus Prayer. Whenever you have an idle moment begin to say the prayer. When you are waiting in a checkout line in the store say the prayer quietly to yourself. When you are waiting for an appointment in the doctors office, instead of picking up a magazine, begin to say the Jesus Prayer. Every chance you get to say the prayer will help you keep your mind focused on God.
When you face difficulty during the day or find yourself becoming angry, immediately begin to say the prayer to yourself. When you become angry or irritated, you can take a prayer walk. Get up from where you are, excuse yourself like you were going to the bathroom and instead take a walk where you can be alone. As you walk repeat the prayer in alignment with your steps until you calm down. You will find this very helpful to bring you back to a loving state where you can make better decisions about how to deal with the situation at hand. You can also use it while you are doing your daily exercise instead of reading or watching TV.
You can also use this prayer before and after meals as your prayer. You can use it before starting any task. Any time you say the prayer it will bring your attention to God and enliven your soul so your actions are more likely to be congruent with what God intends for you.
At night time you can also say the Jesus Prayer as you try and go to sleep. There will come a time when you will actually pray while you sleep. At the time of falling asleep we enter a path that leeds into our deepest consciousness. This occurs between the time we are awake and asleep. Its the ideal time to send this prayer deep into your heart. Rejoice when the first thing you want to do when you awake in the morning is to repeat the prayer.
The Jesus prayer can help you get rid of recurring painful memories. When they arise simply begin to say the prayer. Also, when you experience any kind of pain say the Jesus Prayer. Instead of taking drugs to numb your feelings, try and repeat the Jesus prayer over and over until the pain subsides. When you are sitting in the dentist chair and tense as the dentist is about to begin to drill on your tooth, say the prayer to yourself and relax. Anytime you feel the anticipation of pain begin to say the prayer.