My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.
HOW TO PRAY ACCORDING TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOR
"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they
love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the
streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you,
they have their reward. But you, when you pray go into your room,
and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father Who is in
the secret place and your Father Who sees in secret will reward
you openly. And when pray, do not use vain repetitions as the
heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many
words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows
the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner,
Our Father… (Matthew 6:5-13)
Saint John Chrysostom in his homily on prayer says: For as the sun illumines the body so also does prayer illumine the soul. If then the blind person is deprived because he cannot see the sun, how much more is the Christian diminished and harmed who does not pray constantly, and who, consequently, does not gather into his or her soul, through prayer, the Light of Christ.
Who is there that is not surprised and does not marvel at the love of God, which He demonstrates by rendering such a great honor to human beings in making them worthy TO PRAY AND TO CONVERSE WITH God Himself! When we converse with God at the time of prayer we become similar TO THE ANGELS and dissimilar to the irrational beings. For the work par excellence of the Angels IS PRAYER AND WORSHIP… We must pray both WITH FEAR OF BEING FOUND UNWORTHY OF THE PRAYER WHICH CONNECTS US WITH GOD, BUT ALSO WITH FULNESS OF JOY FOR THE MAGNITUDE OF HONOR WHICH IS BESTOWED UPON THE HUMAN RACE THROUGH THE VERY POSSIBILITY OF PRAYER. Divine Providence has made us capable of enjoying constant COMMUNION WITH GOD, through which we appear not to be mortal and transient. Even though by nature WE ARE MORTAL, it is through our conversation with God that WE ARE TRANSFERRED INTO IMMORTAL LIFE. For the one who holds a conversation with God must be necessity above death and every moral and spiritual corruption… It is impossible for those who pray and speak to God to have mortal souls. The death of the soul IS PRECISELY IMPIETY AND A SINFUL LIFE, WHILE THE LIFE OF THE SOUL IS THE WORSHIP OF GOD AND A WAY OF LIFE IN THE BELIEVER THAT IS BECOMING TO SUCH WORSHIP."
SAINT NEILOS THE ASCETIC ON PRAYER
(The Philokalia, vol. A page 177)
3. Prayer is the conversation of the mind with God.
4. Moses, who attempted to approach the burning bush on earth, was prevented until he had removed the sandals from his
feet; how do you expect to see and to become conversant with the One Who is above every perception and every thought,
if you do not remove yourself every passionate thought?
5. First of all pray for the reception of tears, for through contrition and grief the wildness which co-exists in your soul maybe
softened, and, having confessed to the Lord your transgressions, you may receive forgiveness from Him.
6. Your Lord rejoices greatly when you pray with tears.
10.. When the demons see you truly willing to pray ardently, they will present you with certain thoughts about things that are
presumably important and then, after a short while will remove them from your memory. But the mind moved to pursue
these thoughts and unable to find them, becomes greatly despondent and saddened. When at such a time you stand in
prayer, they will remind you of thse thoughts again so that the mind may be again distracted by them and then being
about the loss of fruitful prayer.
11. During the time of prayer, struggle to make your mind, deaf and dumb, and then you will be able to pray.
SAINT JOHN OF THE LADDER
ON SACRED AND BLESSED PRAYER,
THE MOTHER OF VIRTUES
The quality and the grace of prayer which is done, as it should, with fervent love and desire for God, has so much great power, that it unites human beings with their Creator and raises their mind to be inseparably bound with Him. The energy of such prayer, moreover, can hold the world together and keep it from being annihilated by the many sins done each day.
This prayer is remissions and forgiveness of sins, a bridge that separates and frees man from temptations and dangers and transports him to freedom and rest; it is a wall of separation which obstructs the grief of the passions both of men and of demons, and does not permit them (the demons) to enter into us and to torment us; it is a celestial activity that nourishes all the Angels and the Saints; it is the endless joy and delight of the righteous; it is the virtue which must never cease, it is a source from which spring all good things; it is a mediator for all the gifts; an invisible progress in the heart; a table of noble souls that is unfailing in providing spiritual food; a perpetual illumination of the mind, a heavenly Light; an ax that cuts off and dispels despondency; it is the proof of the hope, the soul has in God and for this reason, it prays; it is the antidote to and the relase from sorrow; it is the wealth of the moastics who practice it with contrition…"
SAINT ISAAC THE SYRIAN
When man becomes humble, he is at once encircled by the mercy of God and it is then that the heart becomes aware of the Divine intervention, and discovers a certain power of faith and reassurance moving within itself… From this point, man moves forward with faith and is nourished by prayer, while his heart rejoices in its delights in the assurance it has in God, and no longer remains in the former blindness and simple speech of the tongue. When man comes to understand all of these things rightly, he then acquires the gift of prayer in his soul and considers it to be such a great treasure that, of such joy and gladness, his prayer is transformed into shouts of thanksgiving.
SAINT SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN
First of all, then, its a beginning, it is necessary to struggle to reduce and illuminate (the sinful) passions. Second, one must be devoted to psalmody, that is, extended prayer with the mouth. For when the passions are reduced, then naturally prayer creates a certain sweetness to the tongue and delights in being accepted by and pleased to God. Third, one must pray mentally (with the mind in the heart). Fourth, one must finally ascend to the state of vision (θεωρία) beyond prayer. The first level is for the beginners, the second is for thosse ho are making progress in the prayer life, the third is for those who have attained the highest degree of progress, and the fourth is for those who attain perfection.
First of all we lay down the foundation, then we begin to build the house, and then finally we place upon it the roof. We must follow the same pattern in the siritual matters. First we lay the foundation, and this is the guarding of the heart adn reduction of the passions. Then we build our spiritual house, that is, we banish the agitation of the evil spirits which attack us through the senses. And we must leave off from this war, the sooner the better, so that we can finally put on the roof, which means to remove ourselves completely from all things and to be at peace as we should be, so that we can complete our spiritual home in our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be Glory unto the ages of ages. Amen. (Source: A Prayer Book. An Anthology of Orthodox Prayers)
"Glory Be To GOD
All Things! "
– Saint John Chrysostom
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry)
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George