Prayer and the Name of Jesus

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From Archimandrite Sophrony’s On Prayer.

The Name Jesus as knowledge, as ‘energy’ of God in relation to the world and as His proper Name, is ontologiclly bound up with Him. It is spiritual reality. Its sound can merge with its reality but not necessarily so. As a name it was given to many mortal men but when we pray we utter it with another content, another ‘frame’ of spirit. For us it is the bridge between us and Him. It is the canal along which the streams of divine strength flow to us. As proceeding from the Holy God it is holy and it hallows us by its invocation. With this Name and thorugh it prayer acquires a certain tangibleness: it unites us with God. In it, this Name, God is present like a scent-flask full of fragrance. Through it, the Celestial One can be sensed imminently. As divine energy it proceeds from the Substance of Divinity and is divine itself.

Many years ago before college, I lived with a friend who was a wonderful Christian. We were quite poor but embraced a lifestyle centered in the Gospel. We had no phone, no radio, no television. I owned about six books. It was truly a peaceful place and time. One night as we were going to sleep, my friend began calling out the names for Christ in Scripture. “Lamb of God,” “Lion of the Tribe of Judah,” etc. It quickly became a contest of sorts. He would say one, and I would say another. With every invocation the peace of God became greater. I think of those as the most peaceful nights I ever knew. The name of Jesus is indeed, “Honey in the rock.”

Today, the Akathist to the Sweetest Lord Jesus, does much the same. I commend it to you.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.



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6 responses to “Prayer and the Name of Jesus”

  1. Mary Avatar

    Strange: I read it earlier this week for the first time in many years. It was a great confort.

    BTW (For What It’s Worth):

    http://orthodoxwiki.org/Akathist#Relating_to_Saints

    Links to lots of Akathists (although some of the links don’t seem to want to work).

  2. […] PRAYER and the Name of Jesus … […]

  3. Barnabas Powell Avatar

    “Oh, there’s honey in the Rock, my brother, there’s honey in the Rock for you. Leave your sins for the blood to cover; there’s honey in the Rock for you.”

    Ftaher, please don’t do this to me. It triggers old ways and old songs! 🙂

  4. fatherstephen Avatar

    Barnabas,

    My beloved wife, whom I think of as a model Matushka and person of great faith, has a decided habit of singing those “old songs” particularly when they sing good doctrine (which many of them do). Since she does this with great regularity and her prayer life is far superior to mine – I think it must be a salutary thing. I commend it to you! 🙂

  5. Rezepte zum Abnehmen Avatar

    The next election in his country will probably not be in favour of Berlusconi so he’s right to enjoy the good times while it lasts. It appears this is what Berlusconi is doing anyway!

  6. Noah Betzen Avatar

    Glad i found this site.Added “%BLOGTITLE%” to my bookmark!

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