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Prayer Rule

“Regarding the matter of how much to pray, Fr. Thomas Hopko had a wise saying. He said to pray as much as you can, not as much as you should. That is, we will always feel that we “should” pray or read or attend services more. Don’t focus on an ideal that you should do, rather focus on what you can do, with a little effort, but not too much effort. Keep in mind that it is much, much better to have an easy rule that you can keep just about every day and that you sometimes add to (on good days), than it is to have a rule that you can only keep on very good days, but can’t (or don’t) do most days. “Can’t” and “Don’t” mean the same thing.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)


“We should always be wary of applying linear notions of progress to our prayer life and asking ourselves: “What stage am I in?” “How far have I progressed?” Whatever “progress” in prayer is supposed to mean, it certainly doesn’t work like that…How should I pray? When should I pray? How extensive should my prayer be? Questions such as these reveal an absence of fervent and continuous prayer. For the one who loves prayer intensely there are no bounds. He will simply pray at every opportunity. Today's prayer is a continuation of yesterday's. And today's prayer will be continued tomorrow.” (Martin Laird, Monk Moses)


“Just as we cannot expect to be in good health by eating a nutritious meal once a week or to be physically fit by walking around the block once a month, so it is with contemplative practice. Like physical health and fitness the fruits of contemplative practice are seen in regular practice…Prayer, after all, is the breath of the soul. The body cannot survive for more than a few minutes without breathing. Likewise, the neglect of prayer deadens the soul.” (Martin Laird, Fr. Basil)


“There is an old saying that nothing teaches prayer like prayer: the more we pray the deeper we are led into prayer…Prayer generates prayer…union with Christ is the aim of the prayer.” (Father Spyridon Baily, Archimandrite Sergius, OCPM 1/6/2016)


“God delays so that we stop treating Him like a butler at our beck and call. Our greatest need is to reframe our notion of prayer! The Lord desires that we learn prayer as a labor, an arduous journey into the mystery of His Person, and a discovery of our sinfulness and need. Prayer heals our relationship with God and becomes unending growth. Christ encourages us to discover how to pray, to do God’s will, and to persevere, for He is infinitely good and cares deeply for us (Luke 9:13).” (Dynamis 10/28/2020)


“Many times we neglect our prayer rules saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,” and they pile up. The soul weakens, just as the body weakens, when we don’t give it the necessary calories and it begins to break down…And we are darkened, because we imagine as insignificant and unimportant everything that we must be careful of. And the body begins to become fat while the soul collapses. And later we say: “My mind has become dim, I don’t remember God, I am darkened; I’m not able to pray.” It is because the soul is hungry, it is not being fed and nourished by the body; in this way the body is not given strength and the soul becomes ill.” (Abbess Makrina)

“Our prayer rule is our unique and personal connection to Christ; similar to a medical prescription, our prayer rule is a spiritual prescription particular to our illness, to our needs. When we miss our prayer rule, especially if we miss it frequently, not only do we not become healthy, but we in fact become more ill.” (Constantina R. Palmer)

“Immersing ourselves in the sacramental life of the Church, reading the Holy Scriptures on a daily basis, and making it a practice to keep to a prayer rule are all tried-and-true means of deepening our relationship with Christ.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Our fidelity to our Prayer Rule will help open the way for God to give lasting Peace to our hearts...Our experience of Jesus comes through prayer...Through our Prayer Rule...we are able to share more and more in the Life that God planned for us and reflect that Life in our everyday words and actions…The deeper a relationship we have with God, the stronger our Faith will be. Our Prayer Rule helps to open us to the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Our goal as Christians is to get rid of all that holds us back or scatters our attention, so that our whole life might be focused on God alone.” (Abouna Justin Rose)

“Our prayer rule is our unique and personal connection to Christ; similar to a medical prescription, our prayer rule is a spiritual prescription particular to our illness, to our needs. When we miss our prayer rule, especially if we miss it frequently, not only do we not become healthy, but we in fact become more ill…” (Constantina R. Palmer)

“We can sit down and say the Jesus Prayer for hours every night, but if our mind is wandering all over the place, there is no profit in that. The purpose of a prayer rule is to offer God our attention morning and evening, to focus on Him.” (Gerontissa Philareti)

“Many times we neglect our prayer rules saying, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,’ and they pile up. The soul weakens, just as the body weakens, when we don’t give it the necessary calories and it begins to break down…And we are darkened, because we imagine as insignificant and unimportant everything that we must be careful of And the body begins to become fat while the soul collapses. And later we say: ‘My mind has become dim, I don’t remember God, I am darkened; I’m not able to pray.’ It is because the soul is hungry, it is not being fed and nourished by the body; in this way the body is not given strength and the soul becomes ill.” (Abbess Makrina)

#AbbotTryphon #AbounaJustinRose #ConstantinaRPalmer #GerontissaPhilareti #AbbessMakrina #FrMichaelGillis #MartinLaird #MonkMoses #FrBasil #FatherSpyridonBaily #ArchimandriteSergius #OCPM #Dynamis

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