Author Topic: Completely unable to pray...  (Read 4336 times)

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Offline Heorhij

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Completely unable to pray...
« on: January 24, 2008, 12:35:44 PM »
Dear folks, may I ask that you pray for me that I somehow re-gain my ability to pray at home.

I just can't do it any more. For one thing, it's the beginning of a new semester, lots of stuff going at work, rough seas, clutter, lots of meetings, etc., so I come home completely physically exhausted and want to just sleep, and in the morning I am a total zombie, so I again cannot pray. But the other thing is, I cannot pray even if I force myself to go to this prayer corner and to light this lamp and to open this little Ukrainian prayer book of mine. Something just does not work. I begin uttering these prayers and I immediately recall my relatives' acute reaction (made known to me around Christmas last year) that I have, in their opinion, turned into a total religious nut, a fanatic, a psycho, into a something that is so not me. These words just keep rverberating in my head, "nobody does it, nobody does it, nobody does it, nobody does it, nobody does it... except maybe a small bunch of crazy converts..."

Anyway, just pray for me please.
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Offline EofK

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 12:38:47 PM »
Lord have mercy. 

Hang in there, George.  We're pulling for you.   :)
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Órëlaurëa

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2008, 12:43:40 PM »
Lord have mercy on you, and give you peace.
Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatricis.

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Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2008, 01:17:57 PM »
These words just keep rverberating in my head, "nobody does it, nobody does it, nobody does it, nobody does it, nobody does it... except maybe a small bunch of crazy converts..."

1 Corinthians 1:18-24

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."

20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14

14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 3:18-19

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written,  "He catches the wise in their own craftiness";

Quote
Anyway, just pray for me please.

Lord, have mercy on your servant George (and on me, too).

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2008, 01:25:48 PM »
Heorhij,
You've never been out of my prayers since we "met" here.
As to that nagging reverberation in your head, let me share this past experience.
Twenty-some years ago when my family sold off most of the family conglomerate and I had to go get a regular job I was employed by a food broker who hailed from Cyprus. He was a very smart fellow and active in our church. Several times each workday he and his two sons would disappear into a private office.We lowly salesman just assumed an owners' pow-pow was in progress and took little note otherwise.
After two weeks I was called into the pres's office - I was pretty sure I was about to be called on the carpet for missing my weekly 'pickle sales' quota. Instead Andy said, "Demetri, I apologize to you. I forgot you are Orthodox. You are welcomed to use our personal chapel anytime you wish and to join us as we pray the hours." Then he showed me a most beautiful chapel, complete with real, huge custom icons and vigil lamps. I was stunned and humbled, and more than impressed by these "crazy cradles".  :)
I have always found that prayer without ceasing to be  a panacea for dark times. One cannot pray the Jesus Prayer and engage in self-destructive activity or thoughts.

Demetri
"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides

Offline Cephas

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2008, 03:15:29 PM »
+ Irini nem ehmot,

Hello George,

I was in your position not too long ago.  I couldn't bring myself to pray no matter what, even though I have experienced time and time again the incredible power of prayer.  Being a grad student, and sitting at my computer for most of the day, I tend to have my msn on (not the best of habits to be in, but hey, I'm still a student after all  :D).  As my msn message, I had put part of the Sunday Psali to our Lord Jesus Christ that we chant in the Coptic midnight psalmody: 'I sought after you from the depths of my heart; my Lord Jesus help me'.  It was always in front of me, and I found that I would invariably read it from time to time.  It became my arrow prayer, and eventually, I was able to start to pray again in the agpeya (Coptic book of the hours).  It's not much, but I hope it helps you as it helped me.  God bless you and the prayers of the great Abba Paul be with you.
Cephas 

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Offline jlerms

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2008, 03:32:41 PM »
Lord, have mercy on your servant George.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2008, 03:45:19 PM »
Thank you so much, all. Demetri, that's a great advice... I will think about some sort of e areally private prayer space, "chapel" etc. --G.
Love never fails.

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008, 03:56:40 PM »
Heorjhi

God bless you..Amen.

I will mention you by name in prayers today with Gods will.

Your detractors are very unfortunate people. The sin they already has just keeps heeped on everytime you stumble by theier cause.

Like the Lord said regarding anyone who so much as causes the smallest damage to His people..."It will better for them if they were never born"...

So they need prayer.

Thye want you to be just as Christian as them...NO prayers, NO worship, NO communion, NO Gosple, No fasting, NO Nothing. You know this bettre then me.

This is todays Christian.

I pray you keep on going your way.
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2008, 04:51:51 PM »
Lord, have mercy.
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Offline John of the North

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2008, 05:05:45 PM »
With me.....I've been praying more consistently and regularly, but it seems that I am struggling even more internally. :(
"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)

Offline Fr. David

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2008, 05:24:05 PM »
Will be praying.

I do wonder what those who claim that "nobody does it" think of the monks in the caves in Kyiv?
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Offline TinaG

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2008, 05:34:59 PM »
George - just my own little piece of advice.  If you're finding it hard to pray in your home or formal prayer corner, get out of the house and take a walk and say the Jesus Prayer.  Go to a park, lake, or public garden and say your morning or evening prayers.  Someplace peaceful and in the fresh air.  There's no rule that says you can only pray at home in a prayer corner, and you may find the change of scenery and mild exercise really helpful.

Persevere even if you feel lost and discouraged.  You will find the light.  My prayers are with you.
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2008, 06:00:49 PM »
Been there. I know the exhaustion and the lack of will, the animosity from friends and family, and the total shock of discovering everything you thought you knew about your church was wrong. It's tough, but it won't last forever. Don't lose hope (easier said than done). You're no fanatic (at least as I can tell from what you've posted here), just a man who's trying to do the right thing.

Lord have mercy on Your servant George. Guide him and give him peace.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2008, 06:07:43 PM »
Thanks again, friends.

DavidBryan, about those monks in Kyiv... to my wife, they are the most bitter enemy because they are Moscow Patriarchate... Lesya is very "politically-minded," very pro-Kyiv Patriarchate and very anti-MP ("Putin's Ministry of Orthodox Affairs"). The Lavra Cave Monastery in Kyiv, unfortunately, still belongs to MP.
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Offline Carpatho Russian

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2008, 06:47:53 PM »
Heorhij,

I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who tries to be a "good" Christian that hasn't gone/isn't going/won't go through the same problem.  So, you're not alone.  We're all in the same boat - I know this isn't much consolation for you, but...
As my spiritual father has told me many times when my "prayer well" ran dry, "Let your doubts, your 'dryness' become your prayer."  So change your "nobody does it, nobody does it, nobody does it, nobody does it, nobody does it... except maybe a small bunch of crazy converts..." to "nobody does it, I'm here Lord, nobody does it, I'm here Lord, nobody does it, I'm here Lord, nobody does it, I'm here Lord, nobody does it, I'm here Lord,... except maybe a small bunch of crazy converts...I'm still here Lord."
If we can't bring our doubts, whatever, to our loving Father and let our complaint, our dryness be our prayer to Him, is He really a Father who loves us?

Lord have mercy on Heorhij.  He's still here Lord!

CR
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 06:49:35 PM by Carpatho Russian »
Zastupnice christianov nepostydnaja, chodatajice ko Tvorcu nepreložnaja, ne prezri hr’išnych molenij hlasy, popredvari jako blahaja na pomošč nas, virno vopijuščich ti: Uskori na molitvu, i potščisja na umolenije, zastupajušči prisno Bohorodice, čtuščich t’a.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2008, 07:13:40 PM »
Dear CR, that was GREAT!!! I'll do exactly as you say. Thank you.
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Offline stashko

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2008, 07:49:17 PM »
Brate ....i don't alway pray the written down prayers...im sure God would like to hear on occasion spontaneous prayers that just come into our minds,and as simple as they are ....Brother don't give up keep the faith......Brat stashko......
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 07:49:47 PM by stashko »
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2008, 08:45:16 PM »
Dyakuju, brate Stashku. Taki slova - chudo, dyvo. Ty dobryj. Dyakuju tobi.
Love never fails.

Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2008, 09:24:15 PM »
May the Lord grant you peace..
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Offline livefreeordie

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2008, 09:38:38 PM »
Saint Gregory Palamas said, "Every word can be contested by another word, but what word can contest against life?"

Your life, your heart, tells you to believe.  That  is a prayer.  Your post on this board is a prayer.  Your struggle to pray, is a prayer. 

You are praying, just keep struggling.  God will bless you.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2008, 09:48:43 PM »
+ Irini nem ehmot,

Hello George,

I was in your position not too long ago.  I couldn't bring myself to pray no matter what, even though I have experienced time and time again the incredible power of prayer.  Being a grad student, and sitting at my computer for most of the day, I tend to have my msn on (not the best of habits to be in, but hey, I'm still a student after all  :D).  As my msn message, I had put part of the Sunday Psali to our Lord Jesus Christ that we chant in the Coptic midnight psalmody: 'I sought after you from the depths of my heart; my Lord Jesus help me'.  It was always in front of me, and I found that I would invariably read it from time to time.  It became my arrow prayer, and eventually, I was able to start to pray again in the agpeya (Coptic book of the hours).  It's not much, but I hope it helps you as it helped me.  God bless you and the prayers of the great Abba Paul be with you.

Just in case Professor you'd like to hear it:

http://www.stantonymonastery.org/audio/psalmody/Sunday_Psali_For_The_Lord_Jesus.mp3

God bless you and strengthen you.

Lord have mercy.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2008, 10:02:04 PM »
I can't add anything to such great advice already given, Heorhij.  But I will keep you in my prayers, dear brother.
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Offline Jakub

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2008, 10:10:38 PM »
May the Lord comfort you in mind and spirit...

james

ps-maybe a simpler rule of prayer is needed...
An old timer is a man who's had a lot of interesting experiences -- some of them true.

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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2008, 12:16:18 AM »
Again, many-many thanks, friends, sisters and brothers.
Love never fails.

Offline Starlight

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2008, 01:01:25 AM »
Dear Heorhij,
I don't think I am capable to create any specific advise. But, of course, you are in my prayers. May Lord Jesus help you.

Offline Basil 320

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2008, 02:38:43 AM »
Heorjij,

I'll pray for the recovery of your prayer life.  Demonic influence has done this to me at times.  No time to elaborate, now; however, try reciting "Holy God, Holy and Mighty..." or "Heavenly King and Comforter..." or "More Honorable than the Cherubim..." or "Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, Have Mercy on me, as sinner;" or The Lord's Prayer; or the Symbol of Faith or any prayer you like, while you're walking to class or engaged in anything else.  It may help restore your prayer life.  Prayers do get embedded in the unconscious.  I frequently wake up chanting the Doxology in my mind.  Re. your associates who say no one does it.  Fine for them.  If you don't do it, you don't receive the spiritual benefits, either. 
"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2008, 11:29:03 AM »
Heorhij

I had you in my prayers the night before and this morning I read the first Gosple reading of the Coptic Lectionary and thought you would benefit from it.

Gospel
Matt 10:34-42


"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to "set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and "a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."[/i]

Amen...All praises be to God in the highest.

My the Lord keep you, bless you and strengthen you...Amen

Selaam Lekew-lekemew
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2008, 04:54:14 PM »
Thank you all again, those who have already written and to whom I have replied, and thank you (for the first time in this thread) to Y-man, Starlight, Sohma_Hatori, Cephas, Gabriel, Livefreeordie, Mina, Jakub, BTRAKAS, and Fr. Deacon Amde. Thank you all, forgive me if I forgot to mention a person.

Looks like your kind prayers are working! I prayed yesterday night (shortly, but I did!), and this morning. :)
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Offline FrChris

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2008, 06:16:39 PM »
^^Wonderful news!

Everyone who has devoted even a modicum of effort to their spiritual life has either encountered what you are in, Heorhij, or will do so.

Why does God give us these challenges? The circumstances vary based on every person, but in every case the Lord does so to help us in our salvation: perhaps we need to struggle to realize how much we need God; perhaps we need to struggle to teach us self-discipline...I don't know; God knows.

The big thing is that you are making progress, Heorhij, and that once you pass through this and have more time to look back on this time, then you may know why God has given you this Cross, because you will learn something about yourself and your relationship with God that you did not know before.

And then, remember to give to God the glory for His work!
"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus

Offline stashko

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2008, 06:25:50 AM »
Dyakuju, brate Stashku. Taki slova - chudo, dyvo. Ty dobryj. Dyakuju tobi.


Thank you Brother....God Bless you......stashko
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2008, 06:10:49 PM »
^^Wonderful news!

Everyone who has devoted even a modicum of effort to their spiritual life has either encountered what you are in, Heorhij, or will do so.

Why does God give us these challenges? The circumstances vary based on every person, but in every case the Lord does so to help us in our salvation: perhaps we need to struggle to realize how much we need God; perhaps we need to struggle to teach us self-discipline...I don't know; God knows.

The big thing is that you are making progress, Heorhij, and that once you pass through this and have more time to look back on this time, then you may know why God has given you this Cross, because you will learn something about yourself and your relationship with God that you did not know before.

And then, remember to give to God the glory for His work!

Father, bless! Thank you so much for this! And thank you for your call...
Love never fails.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2008, 06:11:36 PM »

Thank you Brother....God Bless you......stashko

Thank you Brother. Obnimaju.
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Offline prayingserb

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2008, 11:28:46 PM »
Just like stashko says, it's good we pray sometimes from our own hearts and words. I sometimes find 1 jesus prayer said with my whole heart more powerful if i say 100 of them repetetivly.

I know what you mean, my friends call me the '' monk '' and other silly things, and my family even sometimes finds me odd (but thank God they are believers too, there is more understanding). but i guess we have to keep going, and they will realise why we do it.

Brother, while you are tired and having this problem, be sure to know angels and christ, mother of God and many others are praying for you now.

I will pray for you.

God bless you

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2008, 05:22:50 PM »
often our friends and family understand us the least
the evil one will use their hurtful comments to discourage you even more
nowadays, those of us who practice our faith probably areso much in the minority as to seem weird and strange to most people; in prior ages the secular, unbelieving and un-practicing of religion would have been unsual and strange

Offline stashko

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2008, 09:36:14 PM »
Just like stashko says, it's good we pray sometimes from our own hearts and words. I sometimes find 1 jesus prayer said with my whole heart more powerful if i say 100 of them repetetivly.

I know what you mean, my friends call me the '' monk '' and other silly things, and my family even sometimes finds me odd (but thank God they are believers too, there is more understanding). but i guess we have to keep going, and they will realise why we do it.

Brother, while you are tired and having this problem, be sure to know angels and christ, mother of God and many others are praying for you now.

I will pray for you.

God bless you




Hello brate kako si  ...dobro sto smo se nasli ovde na ovaj thread. ha ha.....stashko
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 10:58:51 PM by stashko »
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

Offline stashko

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Re: Completely unable to pray...
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2008, 01:20:57 AM »
Just like stashko says, it's good we pray sometimes from our own hearts and words. I sometimes find 1 jesus prayer said with my whole heart more powerful if i say 100 of them repetetivly.
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Brate ..istinu ti kazes... .kad se molimo molitve iz srca Gospod Bog zna nas u to vreme bolje nek me znamo sebe i zna gde smo slabi i jaki u nasu veru...molitva je govor ZBogom .....i nista nije sakreveno od Gospoda,i on  name calje blgodate i pomoc gde trebamo  moje misljene na to ....brat stashko


English ...
Brother...what you say is correct.....when we pray from the heart ,,God knows us at that moment better than we know our selfs /our strengths and weaknesses in our faith..prayer is talking with God...nothing is hidden from the lord and he send his Grace and help were we need it the most....
when we pray what comes into our minds the simple prayers God doesn't criticize us because we didn't make perfect sentences or expressed our prayers in beautiful  flowery words ...God takes our simple prayers and makes them perfect..how Great our God is......Brat stashko
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 01:23:22 AM by stashko »
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.