Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lord Have Mercy

"To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”  Luke 18:9-14
 There are times when you hear the same thing repeated in multiple places and you know that you need to slow down and pay attention. This has happened recently for me with what is known as "The Jesus Prayer". I first read it in the book "Sacred Rhythms" about a month ago and it resonated with me. Then, the other day, I heard it in a podcast I was listening to. My friend Leigh Ann posted on her blog (His Artist) about  a podcast she was listening to at a website called "UnQuiet Life". So, I decided to pop over and check the site out. I was so glad I did! The site is a place where two guys are in a continual conversation about what it is to live a contemplative life. I listened to a few of the podcasts the other day and one of them was called The Jesus Prayer. There is was again.

In addition to the example of prayer in the above passage in Luke 18, there are multiple places in the gospels where people who are in need of something from Jesus, cry out to Him to "have mercy".

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” Matthew 9:27

A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”  Matthew 15:22

“Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. Matthew 17:15

Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Matthew 20:30-31

When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mark 10:47-48

He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Luke 18:38-39

In their podcast on "UnQuiet Life" they spoke of how this prayer has been used throughout the centuries by Christians to help them focus on their proper place before God; that this prayer helps us be present in the moment to God.

I'm not sure what is in this for me right now, but just as repeated words and phrases in Bible study should get us to pause and  slow down and pay attention, I think running across repeated things in life should make us pause and pay attention as well. So, I'm in the midst of pondering right now.

By the way, I encourage you to visit my friend Leigh Ann's blog. We've never met face-to-face but have begun a wonderful friendship through our blogs and through email conversations. Leigh Ann does wonderful collage work and shares her art on her blog as she ponders her life of faith. I used to feel it was not possible to build friendships and community online without physical presence, but have changed my feelings about this as I have gained great and deep friendships with many people through blogging and participating in online art groups... but that's a topic for another day's blog post.

30 Day Blogging Challenge day 9.


  1. Thanks for the kind words, Mary! In case you're interested, The Un-Quiet Life blog is also doing Advent podcasts in December. Just go to their website and click on the Advent Link to sign up! (I'm not affiliated with their podcast, I'm just a fan! )

  2. So thankful for mercy, Mary, so very thankful...

  3. I really liked this post Mary! It resonates with me because lately I have been hearing repeated messages as well off of what you are saying but mine are "crying out to Abba Father!" I think God LOVES when we cry to Him! It says "I need you Papa!" I believe He yearns for us to submit ourselves to Him in this manner and rely totally on Him! It's about that very personal relationship to Him as "Our Father!" Not just God, but "Father!" His mercy and grace are steadfast and sure for those who seek Him! I think we all, from time to time, forget that most obvious thing which is "cry out to Him," instead of thinking we could handle it ourselves! I'm so thankful He loves this old sinner!!! I have soooo been loving all the wonderful art you have been doing lately. It's instantaneous recognition when I see your art on our circles - set apart - and so lovely! Blessings to you and thank you for sharing this confirmation with us! :)

    1. Thank you for sharing what God is revealing to you, Felicia. What a wonderful place to be, hearing Him encourage you to lean into Him more as Father God. Your words are an encouragement for many. :)

    2. Dearest Mary,
      Thanks for this post and your continual confirmation on what the Holy Spirit is speaking. Psalm 62:11NLT says "God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to you". Thanks for the encouragement to stop, look and listen... I look forward to checking out Leigh Ann's blog and also the unQuiet podcasts.

      I appreciate you!

  4. So interesting that you mention this--The Jesus Prayer. I had never heard it referred to as that until the last week while reading Henri Nouwen's book (he's a favorite author of mine too). Maybe the Lord is speaking to me. I usually take notice when something is repeated like this. Excellent blog post. I thought I had subscribed but apparently not. Tried tonight and hope it took. I love your art and all you do, Mary, you inspire me so. I may look into that class about "words" you took....an area I'd like to grow in.

    1. Thank you Shawna! Do give the class a try. You'll enjoy it!