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Dear Colin,

You raise an important point! There are several ways in which to keep count of the "hundreds" of Jesus Prayers.

Monasteries like that of St Paisius Velichkovsky make "martyria" or strings which can be attached to one's prayer rope or beads. They make two small strings - on one there are ten beads and on the other are twelve.

The ten bead string is used to count each round of 100 prayers, one simply moves or pulls down a bead. When all ten are done, one goes to the other 12 bead string and pulls down a bead. This way one may count up to 12,000 prayers which is the monastic rule used especially by those of the Great Schema. But in the Way of the Pilgrim, the pilgrim is trained by his Elder to slowly recite 12,000 prayers. As is often pointed out, we are not the pilgrim . . .

One may make such counters using basic beads and strings, of course. Another way is to use a 33 knot prayer rope as a counter and use a clasp of some sort or a woman's hair clip to move from one bead to another, each bead representing one hundred jesus Prayers that have been prayed. One may use the clasp to count in this way on the prayer rope itself. I've seen others use an abacus for purposes of similar counting and also a cribbage board. Still others will take a small piece of paper and mark numbers on it and then check them off as one goes.

Another way is to use the ancient method of loose beads or pebbles (marbles will do nicely) to count hundreds. It is all one's choice, of course. The Lestovka often comes with an attached leather cord with seven moveable pieces that are used for the same purpose. So if one were doing the 1500 Prayers for Matins, one would move complete the seven one way, then another seven the other way and finish with a final hundred.

Certainly, such an additional counting device is necessary if one is to do hundreds of Prayers. Monastics also use time itself as a counter - monastic rules prescribe saying the Jesus Prayer for fifteen minutes, half an hour etc.

Last edited by Orthodox Catholic; 08/02/22 02:10 PM.
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As for praying the Jesus Prayer so many times, I think we of the West may have the temptation to understand prayer as something WE achieve through our own mental powers of our intellect - shades of discursive meditation perhaps. The Jesus Prayer is about self-emptying before the Divine Presence to allow for the Divine Uncreated Energy of the Holy Spirit to work in us, cleanse us and inaugurate the reign of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ in us.

The constant cry to "have mercy on me a sinner" is our way of getting rid of our ego, of letting go of all of ourselves, of learning to be "still and know that I am God."

The Divine Power of the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ brings us into His very Presence. To call on Him is to be present to Him in the here and now - and immediately. The Name of the Lord IS the Lord Himself (and no, I will not get involved in the issues surrounding the Imiaslavie controversy or that of the "Name-Glorifiers" on Mt Athos . . ).

St John Kronstadt's counsels in his "My Life in Christ" really are a must reading in this respect. The Philokalia nourishes us in the Way of the Prayer of the Name.

But ultimately we sit quietly and wait on the Lord Who will teach us all things. His Divine Name will envelope us and take over our lives. He will take us with Him in the path of Eternal Life where there is constant spiritual activity and growth that never ends.

Glory to our Lord, God and Saviour JESUS CHRIST!!!!!

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Eureka! I found the abbreviated Rule of the Jesus Prayer as a substitute for the Divine Office (for our Melkite Catholic in Aachen, the set of veneration of Blessed Charlemagne!)

It is at this URL: http://www.synaxis.info/psalter/4_slavonic/f_prayer/pravilo_po_chetkam.html

Compline: 150 Prayers and 36 prostrations (with the Prayer). OR 700 Prayers without prostrations

Midnight Hour: 100 Prayers and 25 prostrations or 600 prayers without prostrations.

Matins: 300 Prayers and 50 prostrations or 1500 Prayers without prostrations

Hours: For each separate Hour 50 Prayers and 7 prostrations or 250 each without prostrations

Vespers: 100 prayers and 25 prostrations or 600 Prayers without prostrations

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On the same site there is also the following:

Canon to the Guardian Angel: 50 Prayers and 7 prostrations (here one would use the direct invocation to the Guardian Angel given above)

Canon to the Saint of the Weekday: 30 Prayers and 5 prostrations (again invoking directly the saint of the weekday)

Canon to the Theotokos with the Akathit: 200 Prayers and 29 prostrations (Most Holy Sovereign Mother of God, save me a sinner)

The Rule of preparation for Holy Communion: 1200 Jesus Prayers and 300 Prayers to the Mother of God

Moleben or Supplication Service: 600 prayers either Jesus Prayers or to the Saint to whom the Service is addressed.

According to the Typikon of Mount Athos, the following are the Prayers used:

To the Saviour: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me

To the Theotokos: Most Holy Mother of God, save me

The Saints: Holy Apostle, Martyrs, Prophet, Righteous, Venerable Father, Holy Hierarch etc. - Pray to God for me

Guardian Angel: My Holy Angel, protect me.


Weekdays:

Monday: Holy Archangels, pray to God for me

Tuesday: Baptizer of Christ, pray to God for me

Wednesday and Friday: Cross of Christ, save me by Your Power

Thursday: Holy apostles, pray to God for me. Hierarch Father Nicholas, pray to God for me.

Saturday: All Saints, pray to God for me

Sunday: Most Holy Trinity, (my God), have mercy on me.

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