The Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer – A Brief Review

The Jesus Prayer lies at the core of ancient Christianity. Although it has been preserved primarily in the churches and monasteries of the Christian East, it is a universal prayer of and for all Christians; lay or ordained, Eastern or Western, monk or married. A beautiful and inspiring movie by Dr. Norris Chumley and Fr. John McGuckin, The Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer, now makes this prayer readily accessible to all people. The scenery is beautiful and the conversations inspiring. The movie is available to buy or rent on iTunes.

The Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer is not simply a movie, it is a pilgrimage of prayer. Dr. Chumley and Fr. McGuckin take us on a journey to monasteries and churches and at each place they introduce us to holy men and women. Along the way they guide us from the city to the desert, from noise to silence, and from busyness to stillness. We do not go, however, as spectators but as disciples. Their conversations with monks, nuns, and priests are more like spiritual direction than a script or dialog.

At the end of the movie I was left wanting more conversation about the Jesus Prayer, more teaching and instruction. There comes a time, however, when we must stop learning about prayer and simply go pray.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.”


  1. Great review Fr. Mike. I too felt myself wanting the journey to continue when the credits began to roll. Wonderful documentary that I will return to I’m sure for inspiration in the future.
    Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatoris.


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