Prayer of the Heart or Contemplative prayer leads our mind into a quiet place before God. In this time of stillness our heart unites with Jesus and he infuses us with his divine love. We also receive the living waters of grace for the spiritual gifts within us to grow and mature.
Our restlessness of spirit can often hijack this time and turn it into a problem solving time and we give up trying to pray this way.
Coping with distractions is more than disciplining our mind. Once we attempt to be still and try to listen to God, our subconscious mind becomes aware of this vacant space or time for its suppressed voice to be heard.
We now have all these competing voices within us trying to be heard.
Jesus knows we will encounter this difficulty and he reinforces his message through the words in Philippians. I appeal to you, make my joy complete by being of a single mind, one in love, one in heart and one in mind.( Philippians 2: 2 )
God’s word suggests how to achieve this.
And for this God raised him on high and gave him the name which is above all names. So that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
There is power in the Name of Jesus and even our thoughts, feelings, concerns, desires or distractions will be subject to his Name. What an incredible statement to make that the desires and voices within us can be subdued.
Jesus’s Name is more than a name tag to identify who he is. His Name encompasses his whole personhood.
These titles when prayed in faith will set us free from spiritual heaviness. Our inner silence and peace returns for us to hear the quiet interior voice of the Holy Spirit.
The LITANY OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS is one of the easiest ways to pray to quieten our mind. To meditatively pray each title and then ask Jesus to have mercy on us.
So when distractions flood your mind as you contemplate God’s Word don’t be tempted to enter into a mental shouting match of praying Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus ,Jesus. To try and quieten the incessant thoughts.
Consider meditatively praying all the Litany titles and then choose one title and focus on that title as your Jesus prayer. E.g. ‘Jesus Son of the Living God have mercy on us “
In the majority of cases you will notice a quietness or stillness overshadowing your thoughts. After five minutes or so you can revert to your chosen heart word or phrase from scripture for this prayer time.
If the mind remains overstimulated and the inner peace does not return just keep praying the specific litany title for your remaining time at prayer. We live in a busy technological world where our minds can be overstimulated by all the various forms of communication. Our spirit can absorb their spiritual energy that pollutes our spirit for prayer. (In the cleansing process of praying the Litany titles Jesus is not only setting you free but people you have interacted with from their spiritual darkness too.
Some days it’s easy to sit/wait/listen to God’s Word. Other days depending where you have been and who you have been interacting with it can be more difficult.)
Your prayer time of continually praying Litanies may continue for a few weeks to set you free from other people’s spiritual burdens. In the process you begin to self-discipline your activities of turning your phone off so you can be fully attentive to God. Praying in sacred and quiet places that does not stimulate your senses. Making a visit to a Church for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and receiving Holy Communion frequently.
When we pray we become God’s light in the darkness of this world. We truly are a blessing to all those who come in contact with us as his light shines through us to them. So don’t give up Jesus wants you to experience his love and grow into a personal relationship with him.
Being still and knowing God is the pinnacle of prayer and prepares the way for wholeness and holiness. It is a gift, and we must continually pray for God to keep blessing us with his grace to persevere.
The Angel Gabriel told Mary to name her child Jesus. And to Joseph, the angel explained ‘ He will save His people from their sins’ ( Mat 1:21).
We honour the Name of Jesus because ‘There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other Name under Heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved’ (Acts 4:12).
- Visit Q&A Section: What is a Litany Prayer?
- Visit Q&A Section: Why Pray a Litany Prayer p;
- Visit Q&A Section: Catholic Prayer Devotions/ Holy Name of Jesus Litany
- Visit Q&A Section: What is Adoration Prayer?
- Visit the Prayer Exercises section - Praying the Scriptures, Psalms, & Catholic Prayer Devotions
- Visit the Prayer Exercises section - Jesus Son of the Living God Prayer