When we take time out for prayer how do we begin. Here are a couple of views from as Saint and modern day Elder.
Elder Paisios says,
Before praying to God, we should prepare ourselves; we ought to be able to make the pain of our fellow men ours, and put ourselves in their position. This way, our heart softens and God listens to the prayer springing out of it Ou heart must participate in everything we do, in all our actions...Saint Theophan the Recluse writes,
So, Morning or evening, immediately before you begin to repeat your prayers, first stand for a while, sit for awhile, or walk a little. Try to steady your mind, then turn it away from all worldly activities and objects.
Hold your consciousness in your heart and forcefully gather there all the powers of the soul and body. Whoever is locked within the heart is gathered, and whoever is gathered is within the heart.More on Prayer