Pieces of advice for prayer from the Athonite elders

The main thing in what regards the prayer is not the breath, nor the position but the repentance and the brokenness of heart. If you pray with the rosary and your thoughts wander all over, then stop everything, both your prayer and thoughts, so that your mind remains empty for a while. It is as if you lied down to earth when the enemy shoots bullets on you. Then start again your prayer.

For making progress in prayer we should have no worries, only obedience, renunciation at our own will and abstention. First we should cut off our will, then the love for pleasures and selfishness. Then the prayer will be fruitful.

You cannot learn the Jesus prayer, this is given to you as a gift. When you say this prayer all the time, after much perseverance and asceticism, it enters the heart alone and does not get out of it anymore.

We may say all the time the Jesus prayer but if our life is not good, we can do no good. The prayer is light. Then how we say the prayer but we do the things of the darkness?

The tears are its climax but if we don’t have tears, let’s pray with humility at least.

The best prayer is made during night, after sleep, because the mind is refreshed and focused.

When the prayer canon is made before the church service (Midnight Office) it is of gold, after the service it is of silver and during day it is of copper.

The prayers are never lost, even if at the beginning it seems they are without result and they are not heard by God.

Do you want to reach a high spiritual level? Strive first to be obedient then to pray and all the others.

During the holy services the beginner should rather listen than say the Jesus prayer. He should learn the Typikon, the celebrations, the holy services and then he should say the Jesus prayer.

The prayer is received by God when we feel it.

Humility is the foundation for any beginning and work. It is the condition required for bringing offering in the church.


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