Saturday, March 4, 2023

Establishing a Daily Prayer Life

Daily Prayer is a most important spiritual discipline for Orthodox Christians. It is a way we communicate and establish a personal relationship with God. It is also a an ascetic practice.

The basic elements of prayer as taught by the Church fathers and elders are as follow:
1. We must create a time to pray every day. Prayer cannot only be casual or ad hoc. We need to carve out specific time in our busy lives for communication with God. This means identifying what we will give up to make time for prayer.

2. We also must create a specific place for prayer in our homes. We should set up a small home altar with icons, a censer, cross, and a vigil lamp. A specific place creates the right environment for our concentration in prayer.

3. We must also create a rule or program for our daily prayer. This is created by each person. We should make use of Orthodox prayer books and services. 
 Always include the Lord’s Prayer. One should review your rule with their spiritual father. Once you complete it then make a vow to follow it daily. Example of a prayer rule

4. We should approach our time of prayer with great reverence and awe about what we are about to do. Set aside all worldly cares and quiet yourself before beginning.

5. The Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ Son of God  have mercy on me a sinner”, is one of the most common prayers of n the Orthodox Church. It is recommended to set aside time in your daily prayer rule for the repeated repetition of this prayer. When practiced over time it will become a prayer that lives with you throughout the day, keeping your activities connected with God.

There is no single way to pray. The above guidelines will establish a sound discipline that will nurture your soul and bring you closer and closer to God. 

The most important thing about prayer is to DO IT. Don’t just study it.

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