A Simple Prayer for Unlearning

By: Bethany Mortelliti, Communications Assistant at the180

It has been approximately two months since Matteo and I moved here to Québec – two months and a week since we sealed the last box of possessions for the moving truck. Since then, believe me, there have been more than a few instances of fear, doubt, and the recurrent desire for comfort that living out of a suitcase inspires.

In this time of living moment to moment, I know that I start finding it much easier to pray for a home than I do for a heart that is alert to what God is doing.

In his sermon from our last gathering, Dom shared with us the idea that it is impossible to desire to be a courageous follower of Jesus and to be comfortable at the same time. God wants us to have the courage to follow him wherever He leads, knowing that His peace will be with us (as Jesus shares with his fear-filled disciples in John 20:19).

I want to share with you a prayer I’ve learned that really helps me to pray well when I start longing for comfort rather than for courage. The prayer is this:

Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.

You may recognize this prayer as the “Jesus Prayer.” It has been prayed for many centuries by Christians all over the world.

What I like so much about this simple prayer is that it can re-frame our vision as disciples of Christ. It reminds us of who Jesus is in our times of fear and can help us to unlearn our desire for comfort. (It is also easy to remember!)

Lord Jesus, we can pray, beginning with the fact that He truly holds everything in His control … have mercy, we follow, reminding ourselves of His goodness and love and promise to be with us at all times … on me, a sinner, we close, reminding ourselves of our tendency towards self-dependence, and our need for Him to be near so that we may be courageous.

I'm looking forward to joining with you this coming Sunday as we continue our series, The Courage to Unlearn with a teaching called "Unlearning Worship."

Also, if you haven’t listened to the past sermons in the series, you can find them here.