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Author Topic: Getting started with a daily prayer rule  (Read 21026 times) Average Rating: 5
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2011, 04:57:31 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I have an Agpeya, and it is the main book I use. It is truly wonderful, and it is small enough to be carried everywhere.
Isn't it? After a while when the prayers have been memorized, you can just carry around a small pocket New Testament with the Psalter with you and need nothing more.  
This is a wonderful thread.  There are so many thoughtful and helpful posts regarding a daily prayer rule.  

Prior to, and since becoming Orthodox, I acquired several prayer books to use for daily prayer.


I think another very helpful prayer routine is to find a melody from the Church to chant and accompany the texts prayers and Psalms rather then just to recite or read them.  As Saint Augustine said, "They who sing  pray twice."  The chanting really brings the meditation of prayer into full effect, and lifts us momentarily out of the mundane towards the Divine.  Learning to sing the prayers and Psalms in the melodies of my Ethiopian Orthodox tradition was perhaps one of the most life changing aspects of my Orthodox living, and it continues to literally reverberate across my life every new day I rise up and sing in prayer from my Agpeya.


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Habte Selassie

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« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2011, 01:04:10 PM »

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Where exactly is the thanking element?
Gratitude is one of the most important components of a spiritual life, IMHO, and the key ingredient for a joyful life of any kind. We look for opportunities to be grateful--the light turns green just as you get to the intersection; the subway pulls into the station just as you reach the bottom of the stairs; you make it all the way down Second Avenue on one light. You're wondering how you're going to get the door with all the stuff you're carrying, and someone steps out and opens it. These are little everyday things, and of course we express our gratitude for the major things, such as our faith, our lives, our Savior who loved us so much! I have found that cultivating the habit of gratitude in small things makes it easier to remember to thank God for the big things. And it helps me not to take anything for granted--like the fact that I have a bed, and shoes. I tend to take a lot for granted. so I really need this kind of exercise. There are a number of thanksgiving psalms, too, which you can seek out.
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« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2011, 01:08:02 PM »

Wouldn't praying the Small Compline be a good starting point for a prayer rule.

Oh yes!
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« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2011, 02:13:53 PM »

I'm not sure if I would recommend that. They look to be some independent group without any link to a canonical Orthodox body. :/

In Christ,
Andrew

Yes, they are. They are "interfaith," but I believe the founders were/are Anglicans. Seems like a nice group, and the book is a wonderful book, all things considered, but it isn't Orthodox.

I love and use the Agpeya, but I am wondering if it is really a resource I'd recommend to someone who has just converted? Except if they are in the Coptic jurisdiction, of course. I feel the same about my own personal favorite prayer book--the Old Orthodox Prayer Book. Unless a person has converted to an Old Believer church, it might be more confusing than helpful at the start.

One book I believe doesn't get the attention it deserves is the Liturgikon published by the Antiochian Archdiocese. Considering the breadth of material it contains, it is very reasonably priced; the English is quite readable (unlike some Holy Transfiguration and Jordanville texts); and it covers the important parts of the liturgical day and year. If I were only going to recommend one book, this would be it.
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« Reply #49 on: March 09, 2012, 03:35:59 PM »

Everyday I usually focus on my prayer corner and daily rosary.
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« Reply #50 on: March 09, 2012, 03:59:59 PM »

Everyday I usually focus on my prayer corner and daily rosary.
Which, of course, isn't an Orthodox prayer, unless you mean a choki. 
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« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2012, 04:33:22 PM »

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pray-always/id467806204?mt=8

New EO prayer App
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« Reply #52 on: May 22, 2012, 12:37:04 AM »

Everyday I usually focus on my prayer corner and daily rosary.
Which, of course, isn't an Orthodox prayer, unless you mean a choki. 
actually it is Smiley western rite
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« Reply #53 on: May 22, 2012, 02:46:55 AM »

I have not officially developed one although recently I have been following the prayers from the red Antiochian prayer book along with reciting five or six Psalms in order from my OSB to go with it.
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« Reply #54 on: June 26, 2012, 05:20:08 PM »

I got a question as i have developed a prayer rule (i am a non-practicing catholic inquiring and hope if God wills it to some day become orthodox) and developing a prayerlife after this model: http://www.orthodoxprayer.org/Daily%20Prayer%20Basics.html. But i got two questions:

1) Should i add the daily scripture readings into it or should i read them after prayers in morning/evening (sometime during the day).
What do you that has been orthodox for years or your entire life recommend?

2) Is the daily scripture readings universal or do they change from church to church? I attend a russian orthodox parish in Oslo, Norway
and the orthodoxy is at a very small level here.

Blessings. Smiley
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« Reply #55 on: September 16, 2013, 09:21:53 PM »

How can one learn 'The Creed' in order to master it by heart?
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« Reply #56 on: September 16, 2013, 09:40:03 PM »

Say it every day with your morning and evening prayers.  Smiley
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« Reply #57 on: September 16, 2013, 10:29:55 PM »

How can one learn 'The Creed' in order to master it by heart?

Or sing it at liturgy for six months in a row...you soon won't need the words in front of you.

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« Reply #58 on: September 17, 2013, 05:04:34 PM »

How can one learn 'The Creed' in order to master it by heart?

A line or two each day, frequently reciting it as far as you've memorized.
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« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2013, 11:36:08 PM »

I got a question as i have developed a prayer rule (i am a non-practicing catholic inquiring and hope if God wills it to some day become orthodox) and developing a prayerlife after this model: http://www.orthodoxprayer.org/Daily%20Prayer%20Basics.html. But i got two questions:

1) Should i add the daily scripture readings into it or should i read them after prayers in morning/evening (sometime during the day).
What do you that has been orthodox for years or your entire life recommend?

2) Is the daily scripture readings universal or do they change from church to church? I attend a russian orthodox parish in Oslo, Norway
and the orthodoxy is at a very small level here.

Blessings. Smiley

I normally sit down and read scripture and some other spiritual reading after I complete my morning prayer rule (but thats just because its what works best for me) I don't think there really a rule other than that you should read scripture on your own at some point during the day.

In Christ,

Seraphim
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« Reply #60 on: April 23, 2014, 03:42:28 PM »

This is an interesting thread, thank you. I use Our Daily Life from the British Orthodox Fellowship. I haven't yet graduated to Glory to God, which contains the longer prayers. I'm still very much a baby in Orthodox understanding and practice!
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« Reply #61 on: April 23, 2014, 04:08:02 PM »

This is an interesting thread, thank you. I use Our Daily Life from the British Orthodox Fellowship. I haven't yet graduated to Glory to God, which contains the longer prayers.

What are the contents of these books?

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I'm still very much a baby in Orthodox understanding and practice!

Being a baby is not always so bad.  Wink
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« Reply #62 on: April 23, 2014, 04:57:13 PM »

This is an interesting thread, thank you. I use Our Daily Life from the British Orthodox Fellowship. I haven't yet graduated to Glory to God, which contains the longer prayers.

What are the contents of these books?

Let me see... Glory to God is the name of the liturgical English version from the Hours (Agbia) of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Our Daily Life contains an abridged version of these prayers.

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I'm still very much a baby in Orthodox understanding and practice!

Being a baby is not always so bad.  Wink

No indeed Smiley But it's very much a fish-out-of-water feeling when it comes to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #63 on: June 09, 2014, 04:28:54 PM »

Hi all,

since I am new to Orthodox spirituality, I would very much like to know where I should stand with my daily prayer rule. Basically, I use the standard prayer rule as issued in prayerbook of the Russian Orthodox Church and my parish priest has confirmed that the prayers listed there should conform to 'a minimum standard' of our daily spiritual life, in other words, daily morning and evening prayers contained in the prayerbook should be regarded as the essential core. However, I'm struggling with a personal issue - I get back from work really late and the medication I have to take due to certain health issues makes me fatigued and dizzy, so by the time I get home I can hardly concentrate on the prayers. My question is whether it's okay to skip some of the prayers (without discarding them in any way 'unnecessary') leaving only 'the basics', i.e. The Trisagion Prayers, Prayer for the End of the Day, daily confession of sins etc. One other thought comes into mind as well - is it man to letter or letter to man? The latter expression seems to shed some light on my issue but I don't want to be too arbitrary in 'picking out' what may seem 'appropriate' in the prayerbook and what may not.
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« Reply #64 on: June 09, 2014, 04:32:29 PM »

Hi all,

since I am new to Orthodox spirituality, I would very much like to know where I should stand with my daily prayer rule. Basically, I use the standard prayer rule as issued in prayerbook of the Russian Orthodox Church and my parish priest has confirmed that the prayers listed there should conform to 'a minimum standard' of our daily spiritual life, in other words, daily morning and evening prayers contained in the prayerbook should be regarded as the essential core. However, I'm struggling with a personal issue - I get back from work really late and the medication I have to take due to certain health issues makes me fatigued and dizzy, so by the time I get home I can hardly concentrate on the prayers. My question is whether it's okay to skip some of the prayers (without discarding them in any way 'unnecessary') leaving only 'the basics', i.e. The Trisagion Prayers, Prayer for the End of the Day, daily confession of sins etc.

Since you are speaking to your parish priest about these matters, I would ask him.  Personally, I don't see why it should be a problem.  Just explain to him your situation as you did here. 

Quote
One other thought comes into mind as well - is it man to letter or letter to man? The latter expression seems to shed some light on my issue but I don't want to be too arbitrary in 'picking out' what may seem 'appropriate' in the prayerbook and what may not.

The rule is for you, not you for the rule.  So again, talk to your priest and I'm sure he can help you figure out what you should "pick out" and what you should leave aside for now. 
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« Reply #65 on: June 09, 2014, 04:40:10 PM »

St. Pachomius' prayer rule is awesome. takes 10-20 minutes depending on how many times you recite the Jesus Prayer. Start with a low number and reading scripture either before or after.
This is the prayer rule of St. Pachomius: http://www.saintjonah.org/services/stpachomius.htm
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« Reply #66 on: June 09, 2014, 05:22:13 PM »

Hi all,

since I am new to Orthodox spirituality, I would very much like to know where I should stand with my daily prayer rule. Basically, I use the standard prayer rule as issued in prayerbook of the Russian Orthodox Church and my parish priest has confirmed that the prayers listed there should conform to 'a minimum standard' of our daily spiritual life, in other words, daily morning and evening prayers contained in the prayerbook should be regarded as the essential core. However, I'm struggling with a personal issue - I get back from work really late and the medication I have to take due to certain health issues makes me fatigued and dizzy, so by the time I get home I can hardly concentrate on the prayers. My question is whether it's okay to skip some of the prayers (without discarding them in any way 'unnecessary') leaving only 'the basics', i.e. The Trisagion Prayers, Prayer for the End of the Day, daily confession of sins etc. One other thought comes into mind as well - is it man to letter or letter to man? The latter expression seems to shed some light on my issue but I don't want to be too arbitrary in 'picking out' what may seem 'appropriate' in the prayerbook and what may not.

Welcome! As has been said above this is really a pastoral thing, so asking your priest would be the best bet. That said, it's often said that it's better to have a short rule that you actually keep, than a long rule that you struggle to follow and only keep like, parts of the week. Another really short and simple rule I like is that of St. Seraphim of Sarov:

http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/fathers/FathersE/e_Prayer_Sarov.htm

Again, though, your priest will have the best asnwer for you and his advice would be best to follow.
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« Reply #67 on: June 11, 2014, 03:32:39 PM »

I feel somewhat uneasy about 'adapting' prayer rules of others or even following prayer rules prescribed by certain monks or saints. My concern is that I trust the Church tradition reflected in the prayer rules outlined in prayer-books, it feels like improper to adjust them in any way, as if being afraid the prayers would lose their 'effectiveness' if they're supplanted, omitted or otherwise rearranged. I perfectly understand that prayer-books and prayer rules ar not magic formulae, after all, Christian prayer was the sort of practice that pushed away the pagan imperial recitations of prayers intended for the gods of the Roman state, but I still can't get rid of the feeling that making changes in the rule can be defective to spiritual life. Do any of you follow my meaning?
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« Reply #68 on: June 11, 2014, 06:20:24 PM »

I feel somewhat uneasy about 'adapting' prayer rules of others or even following prayer rules prescribed by certain monks or saints. My concern is that I trust the Church tradition reflected in the prayer rules outlined in prayer-books, it feels like improper to adjust them in any way, as if being afraid the prayers would lose their 'effectiveness' if they're supplanted, omitted or otherwise rearranged. I perfectly understand that prayer-books and prayer rules ar not magic formulae, after all, Christian prayer was the sort of practice that pushed away the pagan imperial recitations of prayers intended for the gods of the Roman state, but I still can't get rid of the feeling that making changes in the rule can be defective to spiritual life. Do any of you follow my meaning?

I think I do, I feel that way at times myself.

You should talk to your priest.  The "rule" in a standard layman's prayer book is not the standard, it is a standard.  There are many variations through history and even among various traditions today, even though some things always remain the same.  If he tells you how to adapt it for your particular needs, just follow that adaptation as your rule, stick with it, and be at peace. 
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« Reply #69 on: June 11, 2014, 11:46:44 PM »

I feel somewhat uneasy about 'adapting' prayer rules of others or even following prayer rules prescribed by certain monks or saints. My concern is that I trust the Church tradition reflected in the prayer rules outlined in prayer-books, it feels like improper to adjust them in any way, as if being afraid the prayers would lose their 'effectiveness' if they're supplanted, omitted or otherwise rearranged. I perfectly understand that prayer-books and prayer rules ar not magic formulae, after all, Christian prayer was the sort of practice that pushed away the pagan imperial recitations of prayers intended for the gods of the Roman state, but I still can't get rid of the feeling that making changes in the rule can be defective to spiritual life. Do any of you follow my meaning?

I think I do, I feel that way at times myself.

You should talk to your priest.  The "rule" in a standard layman's prayer book is not the standard, it is a standard.  There are many variations through history and even among various traditions today, even though some things always remain the same.  If he tells you how to adapt it for your particular needs, just follow that adaptation as your rule, stick with it, and be at peace. 

While it is ok to converse and talk with a legitimate priest ... I would rather do the guesswork myself and contribute to answering my own questions. If that's ok
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« Reply #70 on: June 12, 2014, 12:12:59 AM »

I feel somewhat uneasy about 'adapting' prayer rules of others or even following prayer rules prescribed by certain monks or saints. My concern is that I trust the Church tradition reflected in the prayer rules outlined in prayer-books, it feels like improper to adjust them in any way, as if being afraid the prayers would lose their 'effectiveness' if they're supplanted, omitted or otherwise rearranged. I perfectly understand that prayer-books and prayer rules ar not magic formulae, after all, Christian prayer was the sort of practice that pushed away the pagan imperial recitations of prayers intended for the gods of the Roman state, but I still can't get rid of the feeling that making changes in the rule can be defective to spiritual life. Do any of you follow my meaning?

I think I do, I feel that way at times myself.

You should talk to your priest.  The "rule" in a standard layman's prayer book is not the standard, it is a standard.  There are many variations through history and even among various traditions today, even though some things always remain the same.  If he tells you how to adapt it for your particular needs, just follow that adaptation as your rule, stick with it, and be at peace. 

While it is ok to converse and talk with a legitimate priest ... I would rather do the guesswork myself and contribute to answering my own questions. If that's ok

Whatever floats your boat, WPM!
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« Reply #71 on: June 12, 2014, 09:33:51 AM »

I feel somewhat uneasy about 'adapting' prayer rules of others or even following prayer rules prescribed by certain monks or saints. My concern is that I trust the Church tradition reflected in the prayer rules outlined in prayer-books, it feels like improper to adjust them in any way, as if being afraid the prayers would lose their 'effectiveness' if they're supplanted, omitted or otherwise rearranged. I perfectly understand that prayer-books and prayer rules ar not magic formulae, after all, Christian prayer was the sort of practice that pushed away the pagan imperial recitations of prayers intended for the gods of the Roman state, but I still can't get rid of the feeling that making changes in the rule can be defective to spiritual life. Do any of you follow my meaning?

I think I do, I feel that way at times myself.

You should talk to your priest.  The "rule" in a standard layman's prayer book is not the standard, it is a standard.  There are many variations through history and even among various traditions today, even though some things always remain the same.  If he tells you how to adapt it for your particular needs, just follow that adaptation as your rule, stick with it, and be at peace. 

As a newbie, I appreciate the variety there is available between a prayer book, the Psalter, daily Bible reading (I think there is a schedule outlined in the Orthodox Study Bible), going by the daily cycle of the church by referring to websites like:  http://www.goarch.org/chapel/, etc.  I would like to incorporate daily readings from the Psalter but when I refer to reading schedules as outlined at this website, for example:  http://churchmotherofgod.org/prayers-of-the-church/daily-readings-from-the-psalter.html (done on just a random web search), I look at it and turn my head to the side and go "What?"  Thankful that my priest is there to give me direction as to what is best for me at the stage I'm at now and can guide me further as I mature, with God's help.
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« Reply #72 on: June 12, 2014, 01:37:33 PM »

My parish priest is leaving on a two week vacation from Monday - just my luck!
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« Reply #73 on: June 12, 2014, 02:56:02 PM »

So what about the morning and evening prayers outlined in the Orthodox Study Bible? Are there any of you who follow them? If so, how do you find them 'fit' to your spiritual liking?
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« Reply #74 on: June 15, 2014, 11:48:20 AM »

Right, managed to speak with my parish priest today. Basically, he confirmed what he had told me previously, i.e. that our prayer-book contains the established norm of prayer for an Orthodox Christian, however, not in a manner that should be adhered to literally but selectively, striving to attain this standard rather than doing the whole thing at once. So, in a way, he allows for selection but still concludes that the wholeness of given prayers should be reached, as if perfected. He also added that evening prayers could be somewhat shorter choosing those more to one's spiritual liking, and perhaps adding some readings from Scripture. Another parish member advised me that no matter how much our attention dissipates or our mind wonders, keeping to the prayer rule at all times trains the mind regardless of losing concentration. Another thing worth mentioning is that our parish has our very own prayer-book in Lithuanian as we are probably the only Lithuanian-speaking parish of Orthodox believers in the whole of my country. Our prayer-book is modelled on that of the Russian Orthodox Church monastics (if I'm not mistaken), it was carefully translated and revised, so I'm kind of eager to keep 'in tune' with my fellow natives and parish members. I've even taken up singing in our church choir  angel
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« Reply #75 on: August 08, 2014, 11:20:36 AM »

How would you find interchanging between prayer rules, e. g. using the St. Seraphim of Sarov rule in the morning and reciting standard prayers from your Orthodox prayer-book in evening? What I mean is whether prayer rules can be used interchangeably because of a busy lifestyle, fatigue etc., so that the prayer rule does not become a burden.
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« Reply #76 on: August 08, 2014, 12:03:40 PM »

How would you find interchanging between prayer rules, e. g. using the St. Seraphim of Sarov rule in the morning and reciting standard prayers from your Orthodox prayer-book in evening? What I mean is whether prayer rules can be used interchangeably because of a busy lifestyle, fatigue etc., so that the prayer rule does not become a burden.
If that is what works for you, I would go for it! The goal is constancy. It is better to pray for 5 minutes every morning and evening than to pray an hour one day, skip a few, pray 30 minutes another day, etc. If you feel you absolutely cannot perform your rule, at least begin/end your day with something. For instance, when getting into bed:

+ "Into your hands, O Lord, I do commend my soul and my body. Bless me, have mercy on me, and grant me life eternal, amen.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 12:04:01 PM by Antonis » Logged

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« Reply #77 on: October 17, 2014, 02:08:35 AM »

I also like the prayer rule of St. Seraphim of Sarov. Usually, I add a few other prayers that I know by heart and sometimes these three:

1 PRAYER OF SAINT EPHRAIM THE SYRIAN

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, meddling, lust for power and idle talk.
But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother.
For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

2 Morning Prayer of the Optina Elders

Grant unto me, O Lord, that with peace of mind I may face all that this new day is to bring.
Grant unto me to dedicate myself completely to Thy Holy Will.
For every hour of this day, instruct and support me in all things.
Whatsoever tidings I may receive during the day, do Thou teach me to accept
tranquilly, in the firm conviction that all eventualities fulfill Thy Holy Will.
Govern Thou my thoughts and feelings in all I do and say.
When things unforeseen occur , let me not forget that all cometh down from Thee.
Teach me to behave sincerely and rationally toward every member of my family, that I may bring confusion and sorrow to none.
Bestow upon me, my Lord, strength to endure the fatigue of the day, and to bear my part in all its passing events.
Guide Thou my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to suffer, to forgive, and to love.
Amen

3 Prayer of Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow (1867)

My Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee.
Thou and Thou alone knowest my needs.
Thou lovest me more than I am able to love Thee.
O Father, grant unto me, Thy servant, all which I cannot ask.
For a cross I dare not ask, nor for consolation;
I dare only to stand in Thy presence.
My heart is open to Thee.
Thou seest my needs of which I myself am unaware.
Behold and lift me up!
In Thy presence I stand,
awed and silenced by Thy will and Thy judgments,
into which my mind cannot penetrate.
To Thee I offer myself as a sacrifice.
No other desire is mine but to fulfill Thy will.
Teach me how to pray.
Do Thyself pray within me.
Amen.

However, I still love the full morning and evening prayer rules from prayer books. At beginning, you have to force yourself. But then, after a few prayers you really start to pray. The main point is not to read the prayer book but PRAY. You have to make the prayers in the prayer book yours. Again – not just to read them like a poem or mantra but pray. Prayer without attention, humility, reverence, and repentance, is a vain repetition. The words of the true prayer must come from the bottom of your heart, with attention, humility, reverence, and repentance.

As St Isaac the Syrian says:
  • Pray with attention – so that we can have a true
     encounter with God
  • Pray with humility – because this sort of prayer goes
    straight to God’s ear
  • Pray with affection and tears – with joy and
    thanksgiving, but also with true repentance and purity.
  • Pray with patience and ardor – ‘to deny oneself’ is
    courageously to persevere in prayer.
  • Pray from the depths of the heart – even if we pray
     using ‘the words of another’ they should be uttered as if
     they are our own. St. Isaac says this is especially true
     of the Psalms.
  • Pray with faith and absolute trust in God – because He knows our life.

http://www.orthodoxprayer.org/Daily%20Prayer%20Basics.html

If you do not feel like praying, you have to force yourself. The Holy Fathers say that prayer with force is higher than prayer unforced. You do not want to, but force yourself. The Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force (Matt. 11:12). REF: St. Ambrose of Optina (+1891)

Do not rush one prayer after another but say them with orderly deliberation, as one addressing a great person for a favor. Do not just pay attention to the words, but rather let the mind be in the heart, standing before the Lord in full awareness of His presence, in full consciousness of His greatness and grace and justice. (Theophan the Recluse)

Through the prayer, man is cleansed, brightened, sanctified. REF: Elder Amphilochios of Patmos +1970

...he who loves God cultivates pure prayer, driving out every passion that keeps him from it. St. Maximos the Confessor (Second Century on Love no. 7 Lecture 9 no. 2)

I advise you to convince yourself and force yourself to prayer and every good action, even if you do not feel the desire for it. God seeing such labor and application will give you goodwill and zeal. Such good will and a certain attraction to prayer is often a result of habit. Get into this habit and it will draw you to prayer and good actions. (St. Tikhon of Zadonsk)

If you strive after prayer, prepare yourself for diabolical suggestions and bear patiently their onslaughts; for they will attack you like wild beasts.... Try as much as possible to be humble and courageous. He who endures will be granted great joy. (St. Nilus of Sinai)

Do not spare yourself from heartfelt prayer even when you have spent the whole day in hard work. Do not indulge in laziness when you pray; tell God everything that is in your heart. If you allow yourself time to pray with diligence, you will not fall asleep before you have wept over your sins. Believe that, if for the sake of bodily rest you pray hurriedly, you will lose the tranquility of both body and soul. By what labor, sweat and tears is our closeness to God achieved! (St. John of Kronstadt)

...the Christian, approaching God with a prayer to Him, or to His most pure Mother, or to the angels and saints, in order to insure the success of his prayer, ought to try to resemble as far as possible the Lord Himself, or His most-pure Mother, or the angels and saints. In this lies the secret of drawing near to God, and of His speedily hearing our prayers. St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ, Part 1; Holy Trinity Monastery pgs. 19-20)

Make sure that you do not limit your prayer merely to a particular part of the day. Turn to prayer at anytime. (St. John Chrysostom)

“God listens, not to our voice, but to our heart. He does not need to be prodded with shouts, since He sees our thoughts. St. Cyprian of Carthage

Brethren, let us also occupy yourselves with noetic prayer…, and seeking God’s mercy, cry out with a humble heart from morning till night and if possible all night long, saying constantly: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.” Saint John Chrysostom

http://www.orthodox.net/gleanings/prayer.html

Don’t think that you will have any brownie points because you are Orthodox, or because you keep the prayer rule all the time. It’s vanity and self-importance. The key is to pray – with attention, humility, , reverence, and repentance.

Some good links:

St. Theophan the Recluse On Prayer

From the Letters of Bishop Theophan the Recluse

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/theoph_prayer.aspx

THE BASICS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE, BASED ON THE WRITINGS OF ST. IGNATIUS (BRIANCHANINOV)

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/53476.htm

The Goal of Earthly Life: Prayer

http://www.antiochian.org/node/25512

The Holy Fathers on Prayer

http://www.roca.org/OA/27/27e.htm

God bless.
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Brethren, let us also occupy yourselves with noetic prayer…, and seeking God’s mercy, cry out with a humble heart from morning till night and if possible all night long, saying constantly: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.” Saint John Chrysostom
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« Reply #78 on: October 17, 2014, 07:20:10 AM »

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) on Prayer

Orthodox Prayer Books

One can pray in different ways, in one’s own words for example. Such prayer should constantly accompany one. Morning and evening, day and night, one can turn to God with simple words coming from the depths of one’s heart.

But there are also prayers that were compiled by the saints in antiquity, which need to be read in order to learn how to pray. These prayers are contained in the “Orthodox Prayer Book.” There you will find prayers for the morning and evening, for repentance and thanksgiving, along with various canons, akathists, and much else. When you purchase an “Orthodox Prayer Book,” do not be alarmed that there are so many prayers. You do not have to read all of them.

If the morning prayers are read quickly, this takes about twenty minutes. But if one reads them thoughtfully and carefully, responding in one’s heart to each word, then reading them can take a whole hour. Therefore, if you do not have time, do not try to read all the morning prayers; it is better to read one or two, but in such a way that every word reaches your heart.

Before the section with the “Morning Prayers,” it says: “Having risen from sleep, before any other action, stand reverently, considering thyself to be in the presence of the All-seeing God, and, having made the sign of the Cross, say: ‘In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.’ Then pause a moment, until all thy senses are calmed and thy thoughts forsake all things earthly.” This pause, this “moment of silence,” before beginning to pray is very important. Prayer should grow out of the quietness of our hearts. People who daily “read through” the morning and evening prayers constantly have the temptations of reading the “rule” as quickly as possible in order to get on with the business of the day. Often, with such reading, the most important thing – the content of the prayers – is eluded.

In the Prayer Book there are many petitions addressed to God that are repeated many times. For example, you can come across the recommendation to repeat “Lord, have mercy” twelve or forty times. Some people see this as some kind of formality and read this prayer as quickly as possible. By the way, in Greek “Lord, have mercy” is “Kyrie, eleison.” In Russian there is the verb kurolesit’ [to play tricks], which came from the fact that readers on the choir often quickly or repeatedly read “Kyrie, eleison” – that is, they were not praying, but were playing. Thus, in prayer one does not need to play tricks [kurolesit’]. No matter how many times this prayer is read, it should be spoken with care, reverence, and love, with full delivery.

One does not need to try to read through all the prayers. It is better to dedicate twenty minutes to the single prayer “Our Father,” repeating it several times, pondering every word. It is not easy for someone who is not accustomed to prayer immediately to read through a large number of prayers – and this is not something to which one should aspire. It is important to become imbued with the spirit that is breathed by the prayers of the Church Fathers. This is the main benefit to be derived from the prayers contained in the “Orthodox Prayer Book.”

http://www.pravmir.com/prayer/
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Brethren, let us also occupy yourselves with noetic prayer…, and seeking God’s mercy, cry out with a humble heart from morning till night and if possible all night long, saying constantly: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.” Saint John Chrysostom
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« Reply #79 on: October 17, 2014, 07:21:32 AM »

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) on Prayer

Prayer Rules

What is a prayer rule? These are prayers that one reads regularly, daily. Everyone has a different prayer rule. For one person, the morning or evening prayers take up several hours, while for another they take a few minutes. Everything depends on one’s spiritual disposition, on the degree of one’s rootedness in prayer, and on how much time one has.
It is very important that one keep a prayer rule, even a very short one, so that one would be regular and constant in prayer. But the rule should not turn into a formality. The experience of many believers shows that, by constantly reading through the same prayers, their words can become colorless: they loose their freshness and one who has gotten used to them can no longer focus on them. This danger needs to be avoided at all costs.

I remember that when I received the monastic tonsure (I was then twenty years old), I turned for advice to an experienced spiritual father, asking him what sort of prayer rule I should have. He said: “You should daily read through the morning and evening prayers, three canons, and one akathist. Whatever happens, even if you are very tired, you are obliged to read them. And even if you read through them quickly and inattentively, that is not important. The main thing is that the rule be read through.” I tried. It did not take. The daily reading of the same prayers led to these texts quickly becoming boring. Besides, I spent many hours daily in church at services that spiritual nourished, fed, and inspired me. But reading through these three canons and an akathist turned into some unnecessary kind of “appendage.” I began to seek out different advice, more suitable to me. And I found it in the works of St. Theophan the Recluse, that remarkable nineteenth-century ascetic struggler. He advised calculating one’s prayer rule not from the number of prayers, but from the time that we are prepared to dedicate to God. For example, we can take as a rule to pray in the morning and evening for half an hour, but these half hours should be wholly given over to God. And it is less important whether we read all the prayers or only one during these minutes, or if we dedicate an evening entirely to reading the Psalter, the Gospel, or to praying in our own words. The most important thing is to be focused on God, that our attention not run away, and that every word reach our heart. This advice worked for me. However, I do not exclude that for others the advice I obtained from my spiritual father might be more appropriate. Here a great deal depends on one’s personality.

It seems to me that, for someone living in the world, not only fifteen but even five minutes of morning and evening prayer can be enough to be a true Christian – as long, of course, as they are said with attention and feeling. It is important only that one’s thoughts always correspond to the words, that one’s heart respond to the words of the prayers, and that one’s whole life correspond to prayer.

Following the advice of St. Theophan the Recluse, try to set aside some time for prayer in the course of the day and for the fulfillment of a daily prayer rule. And you will see that this will quickly bear fruit.

http://www.pravmir.com/prayer/
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Brethren, let us also occupy yourselves with noetic prayer…, and seeking God’s mercy, cry out with a humble heart from morning till night and if possible all night long, saying constantly: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.” Saint John Chrysostom
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