This unique study provides the reader with both a historical and spiritual understanding of the prayer which simply invokes the name of Jesus.
To pronounce the name of Jesus in a holy way is an all-sufficient and surpassing aim for any human life... We are to call to mind Jesus Christ until the name of the Lord penetrates our heart, descends to its very depths... The Name of Jesus, once it has become the center of our life, brings everything together.
So writes the "Monk of the Eastern Church" in the course of the present work. To those who wonder how such claims can be advanced on behalf of the Jesus Prayer, and how it is that this particular way of praying continues to appeal so powerfully to contemporary Christians, Eastern and Western, Orthodox and non-Orthodox, this short book provides an answer. Starting with the veneration of the Holy Name in the Old and the New Testament, the author traces the gradual development of the Jesus Prayer first in Byzantium and then in the Slav lands. He concludes with practical suggestions for its use today, showing how it is a prayer not only of the past but equally for the twentieth century.
Indeed, there are good reasons to believe that the "way of the name," as he call it, is being followed by more Christians in our own day than ever before - a striking sign of hope in an age of anxiety. Simple yet profound, this book reveals to us the secret of the continuing attraction exercised by the Jesus Prayer. Since its first appearance some thirty-five years ago, it has become a minor "classic" of the spiritual life, and it still remains the best introduction to the subject.
- Bishop Kallistos Ware, from the Foreword