Saturday, August 14, 2010

Through Prayer We Unite our Mind With God

To be able to have our mind continually turned towards God in love we must pray and meditate on His words. Elder Porphyrios advises that prayer is not based on our effort. It is only done with the Holy Spirit. He says, “In human prayer effort represents only a time millionth part.”

He says we need to have the proper surroundings

The reading of Scripture, the singing of psalms, the light of an oil lamp, and the fragrance of incense all create the appropriate atmosphere so that everything happens naturally, in simplicity of heart.
It is important to create a quiet place in our homes for our daily prayer. 

He advises us to pray for the divine light to shine within us to open our spiritual eyes to understand His divine words. To pray the words, “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us,” we need divine eros, he says.
Love is sufficient to bring us into a suitable frame of mind for prayer. Christ will come on His own and He will stoop over our soul as long as he finds certain little things which gratify Him: good intention, humility and love….
There are some preconditions for this to take place.  He advises, 
Our heart must be pure and free from all impediments. It must be devoid of hatred, egotism and malice. We must love His and He must love us…. the secret is to ask for forgiveness.
The message is always the same. Love.  Love God with all your heart and you will receive His grace.  You will have a pure heart and your mind will be suitable for prayer.  No effort will be needed.

More on Orthodox Prayer....

Reference: Wounded By Love, pp 113 - 115


  1. Father what if I struggle to know whether I love God? The desire to seek Him comes from somewhere inside so deep I do not know its source but suspect it is must be from Him . . . but to say I love Him I struggle as to whether I am being honest.

  2. Nice blog, well writen articles.
    I want to present you another website, of a Romanian Orthodox Priest.

    On the right side of the page you will find a translate module.

  3. George: You ask an important question. How do I know if I love God? The key is not to focus on this question, but to follow this desire you feel in you to seek Him. This is divine grace working from within you. Believe in this. Avoid anything that might discourage you in this belief. Do whatever you can to keep this desire alive.
    To nurture this desire read the Gospel each day. It presents the Truth is a simple way without any philosophizing. It will fill you with the understanding of salvation. If you don't have a spiritual father, seek one to help you.
    Daily prayer, attending worship services and participating in the sacraments of Holy Communion and Repentance are most important to nurture this desire you feel. As we uncover our sinfulness and seek forgiveness, this desire will be intensified. Just keep nurturing it and don't ignore it. As you increase your understanding of the nature of the spiritual world your love will become clear.
    One book that was particularly helpful to me was the one by Saint Theophan the rRecluse, "Path to Salvation". Check out the posts on this blog about his work.
    May God guide you on your spiritual journey.

  4. Thank you Father

  5. How does one find an ELDER? I asked my church priest but he could not...i wonder if it insulted him to hear me ask this question, implying he was not enough??

    I adopted in my mind and spirit the Elders and women mystics I've read about and keep their photos around me. I feel it real!
    If anyone can answer me -

  6. "To keep this desire burning within". I'd like to Father, I really would, but this seems almost like emotionalism for me. I really think I've misunderstood Elder Porphyrios. What is this desire? How do I stay on the Way of Love?

  7. The Desire is to love God, to be united with Him at all times. For some this can become like a "burning desire". That is to say it is always present and never goes away. Everything then becomes focused on God and carrying out His will. It is this desire of love for God that Elder Porphyrios talks about. He calls it "wounded by Love." Its a spiritual desire, more than an emotional one. A craving of the soul. One that replaces those of the body and emotions.


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