According to Wikipedia:

The Jesus' Prayer (Greek: Η Προσευχή του Ιησού, i prosefchí tou iisoú; Syriac: ܨܠܘܬܐ ܕܝܫܘܥ ‎, Amharic, Geez and Tigrinya: እግዚኦ መሐረነ ክርስቶስ,Slotho d-Yeshu' , ) or "The Prayer" (Greek: Η Ευχή, i efchí̱ – literally "The Wish") is a short formulaic prayer esteemed and advocated especially within the Eastern churches:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.[1]


Similarly to the flexibility of the practice of the Jesus' Prayer, there is no imposed standardization of its form. The prayer can be from as short as "Lord, have mercy" (Kyrie eleison), "Have mercy on me" ("Have mercy upon us"), or even "Jesus", to its longer most common form.

Now, in another and younger evangelical tradition "Jesus" or "Lord" or "Save me" etc are often repetitively sung, chanted or prayed as part of worship music, worship meetings or prayers.

This is most likely a very wild guess, but since these two practices seem awkwardly similar to one another, is there any known historic connection between these two practices/traditions which could signify that such forms of evangelical worship were culturally influenced by the Jesus prayer? Certainly it's the Holy Spirit at work (for whatever good reason; unifying the church? 🙂), but I'd still like to know whether there are any culturally notable connections.

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    The Jesus Prayer is a prayer of the heart and traditionally should be regarded as such in the Orthodox Church and in the Catholic Church. Just saying the Holy Name of Jesus with devotion and love is a highly recommended practice in the Catholic Church. See this.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


The Jesus Prayer referenced comes from believers within a structured liturgical tradition - principally the Eastern Orthodox Church - so there would be no connection with the use of the prayer in the sort of spontaneous manner that you suggest in worship. There is no use of the prayer in any of the eastern rite liturgies, for example (e.g. Liturgies of St. James, St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom). Although the prayer is said aloud communally within this tradition on rare occasions (e.g. there is one particular monastery in England that performs it in this manner), it is generally reserved for private, contemplative and usually silent prayer.

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