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Author Topic: Prayer - Seeking His will.  (Read 723 times) Average Rating: 0
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quietmorning
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« on: October 18, 2010, 09:08:55 AM »

Before I took a nose dive and fell very completely away from grace - I woke up between 4:30 and 5 AM (or earlier depending on my job at the time) - and read my Bible for a half an hour, then prayed.  I also prayed through out the day - just about constantly.  My fall was based on pride.  Spiritual pride.  The Lord, in His mercy let me know just who was doing all the awesome things I witnessed. . .and I really truly had absolutely NOTHING to do with it.  I couldn't pray without Him.  I couldn't do ANYTHING without His willing it and literally doing it Himself in me.  Not walk, not talk, not breath - NOTHING.  It was a hard hard 7 year long lesson. . .that pretty much left me pretty shattered in a lot of ways.  I needed to be shattered.  I needed to be so utterly broken that there was nothing left of this 'me-itis' and the only thing left was to beg for mercy.  The spiritual illnesses described in The Silient Mountain are so true!  I was so sick spiritually - of my own doing through this arrogance I held. 

When He orchestrated my finding and going to the Orthodox Church in my area - I heard about the prayer rule and was so anxious to go back to prayer.  I literally slept with my cell phone under my pillow and got up between 4:30 and 5 AM again, just like I had done for years and years before.  I was so excited to FINALLY be able to pray again!! And to HAVE the prayers of the Saints to guide me - how awesome is that??!! Wonderful. 

I did this for quite a while with no issues.  My husband never woke up, I was finished praying when he got up, and we could spend the morning together or I would work out depending on what day of the week it was. 

The a couple of months ago, my house exploded.  My husband blew up into a rage. . .and the thing that he blew up over was my morning prayer time.  When we finally got to the bottom of what was really bothering him, it was so unrelated it wasn't funny, and nothing I did, he was frustrated with himself. 

So after this, I went back to that prayer rule of getting up early. . .but all the sudden, my husband would wake up and not be able to go back to sleep.  He is pulling very long days at work right now -- working all day, then teaching in the evenings until 9ish at night.  So, waking up at the crack of dawn actually is not something he can afford right now.  He doesn't get enough rest.  Sleeping in until it is time for him to get up is good for our relationship, but murder on my prayer life. 

Literally.

At first I thought - wow. . .what's-his-face REALLY does not want me to pray. 

But it didn't feel like that in my spirit.  It felt like this is one of those things that I need to pay attention to and seek God on . . .as it feels like I've been running on MY will again with prayer . . .and perhaps He wants me to pray according to HIS will. 

And I'm humbled. . .good thing.  Very good thing. 
 
But I'm at a loss as to how to manage my prayer life around an unbelieving husband.  I spoke to my priest about this - and he seems to be of the belief that my husband should take precedence.  I was of the mindset that God comes first, then spouse, but both come before everything else.  Heh. . .but either way. . .my will does not play into the priority any where. . .and that's what I want to move out of the way. 

Does anyone have any suggestions (especially those of you with an unbelieving spouse) of how to live your faith, especially prayer time - and still honor, respect, etc - your spouse? 

Thanks!





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BethAnna
Thomas
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2010, 09:40:42 AM »

May I suggest you use the Jesus Prayer instead. Speak to your spiritual father and he should be able to direct you in its proper use. You may be able to follow your prayer rule with nothing more than the prarey rope and the repeating in your head of the Jesus Prayer. You will not have to use a prayer book  or get up and be noisy. The prayer is very simple:
             "Lord Jesus Christ, son of God,
              Have mercy on me a sinner!"
This prayer can be repeated in your mind numerous times. A prayer rule will set out how many times you should say the paryer in your mind, the prayer rope helps you keep count of the prayers. Traditional numbers are :
33, 100, 500. Your spiritual father should set your repetitions.

Thomas
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 09:41:44 AM by Thomas » Logged

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quietmorning
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2010, 09:52:53 AM »

May I suggest you use the Jesus Prayer instead. Speak to your spiritual father and he should be able to direct you in its proper use. You may be able to follow your prayer rule with nothing more than the prarey rope and the repeating in your head of the Jesus Prayer. You will not have to use a prayer book  or get up and be noisy. The prayer is very simple:
             "Lord Jesus Christ, son of God,
              Have mercy on me a sinner!"
This prayer can be repeated in your mind numerous times. A prayer rule will set out how many times you should say the paryer in your mind, the prayer rope helps you keep count of the prayers. Traditional numbers are :
33, 100, 500. Your spiritual father should set your repetitions.

Thomas

Thank, you, Thomas!! I do pray my prayer rope - every chance I get throughout the day - and after I say my evening prayers in bed before I fall asleep.  I will speak to my priest about using the Jesus Prayer to help in this matter.  Smiley 
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2010, 09:56:00 AM »


Wow! My wife (Evangelical Protestant) and I had exactly that same conversation just last night! She told me how upsetting it is for her to come downstairs in the morning and see me praying in front of my icons (idolatry, of course). I try to be up and finished my prayers before she gets up, for her privacy and mine, but sometimes I'm up a bit later than usual and sometimes she's up a bit earlier than usual.

I tried to explain this to her and did state firmly but as kindly as possible that my prayer time is non-negotiable, and I'm not going to follow her instructions for my prayers, that I've already made compromises such as trying to be up early, and minimizing my evening prayers. I asked her to try to find out why it bothers her so much. I don't know where she's been going for advice on this, but it isn't working.

My priest is aware of my situation overall and understands my dilemma.

I find it so very odd that for the first thirty years of our marriage she constantly whined (yes, that's the right word) that she wanted me to be the spiritual leader in the family. Then, when I finally get my priorities straight she calls foul.

You're not alone.
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sainthieu
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 01:01:50 AM »

I think Thomas is correct: pray the Jesus Prayer, and nothing else, for a while. Make no ostentatious moves that might anger your husband. Sometimes the only answer to our prayers is the passage of time.
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 05:11:49 AM »


Wow! My wife (Evangelical Protestant) and I had exactly that same conversation just last night! She told me how upsetting it is for her to come downstairs in the morning and see me praying in front of my icons (idolatry, of course). I try to be up and finished my prayers before she gets up, for her privacy and mine, but sometimes I'm up a bit later than usual and sometimes she's up a bit earlier than usual.

I tried to explain this to her and did state firmly but as kindly as possible that my prayer time is non-negotiable, and I'm not going to follow her instructions for my prayers, that I've already made compromises such as trying to be up early, and minimizing my evening prayers. I asked her to try to find out why it bothers her so much. I don't know where she's been going for advice on this, but it isn't working.

My priest is aware of my situation overall and understands my dilemma.

I find it so very odd that for the first thirty years of our marriage she constantly whined (yes, that's the right word) that she wanted me to be the spiritual leader in the family. Then, when I finally get my priorities straight she calls foul.

You're not alone.

This story is heartbreaking.
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quietmorning
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2010, 09:48:15 AM »


Wow! My wife (Evangelical Protestant) and I had exactly that same conversation just last night! She told me how upsetting it is for her to come downstairs in the morning and see me praying in front of my icons (idolatry, of course). I try to be up and finished my prayers before she gets up, for her privacy and mine, but sometimes I'm up a bit later than usual and sometimes she's up a bit earlier than usual.

I tried to explain this to her and did state firmly but as kindly as possible that my prayer time is non-negotiable, and I'm not going to follow her instructions for my prayers, that I've already made compromises such as trying to be up early, and minimizing my evening prayers. I asked her to try to find out why it bothers her so much. I don't know where she's been going for advice on this, but it isn't working.

My priest is aware of my situation overall and understands my dilemma.

I find it so very odd that for the first thirty years of our marriage she constantly whined (yes, that's the right word) that she wanted me to be the spiritual leader in the family. Then, when I finally get my priorities straight she calls foul.

You're not alone.

Genesisone,

I think it does help that I have my prayer corner in my office.  I do not have much if any Christian anything anywhere else in the house.  (As much as I'd like to say this is 'our' house - this home has been in HIS family for four generations - and it is I who was welcomed here, not the opposite way around.)

One of the things that is helping me in my faith-relationship with my husband. . .is that even though he is atheist, I am still called to respect him and honor him - for the sake of His Name.  So, tie goes to the runner, and he's (my husband) the runner.  My feet are planted. . . (**smiles**)  For every concession I'm making - I can trust that He will help me to find a way through this and into His grace.   

Yesterday I felt strongly that my prayer rule needed to take the 'MY' out of it.  It isn't mine.  It's His (Christ Jesus').  I needed to move my brainiac brain out of the way and let Him decide what HE wants from me. . .instead of my deciding what *I* want from Him. . .and place my heart back into servant mode and get it out of the 'tyrant' mode. 

So, yesterday was a change.  No longer is it an hour or more of prayer at 5am.  Now it's when WE (my husband and I) get up TOGETHER - I go to my prayer corner in my office and shut the door - for fifteen minutes.  Not one minute longer.  But not one minute shorter, either. 

In the mail yesterday, I received the St. Philip Prayer Discipline. . .I will read it and take it to my priest and put myself under his direction concerning it. . . but the more I look at my life. . .the more I can see that I'm called to love. . .called to sacrifice my will for the sake of His Will. 

In looking at this, I can see how my Lord was using my husband to get me out of my stubborn self centered will concerning what I thought I should do in a situation - in this case, the tried and true. . .I've prayed for decades this way. . .but maybe He didn't want me sold in to my will and the tried and true. . .but be bendable and flexible to do what ever HE wants me to do.  I was super stuck.  So, I think I've begun to look at my husband in a new light. . . being thankful for all things. . .and knowing that all things that He allows to take place in my life are for my good and will ultimately bring me closer to Him if I don't go kicking and screaming and fighting Him every step of the way.  (Which I am oh so prone to do.)

If I consider myself dead to this world and alive to Christ, then my prayer corner, my prayer rule, everything I am or have is in Him and in the Kingdom of God. . . I lose nothing - even if today my house burned down, and I find myself in a prison cell somewhere and only allowed to hold a cup of water or a piece of bread and gaze at brick walls.  Whatever I'm attached to in this world will hold me here. . . because what I'm actually attached to is not my prayer corner. . .or my prayer rule. . .but my will. . .and it's stuck here in this world. . .it's not going anywhere.  It will die here, and take me with it if I so allow it.  If my will is in His Kingdom. . .If I seek His righteousness - which is so very different from MY righteousness. . .then wow. . .the whole world changes.  His Kingdom is so very different. 



 
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2010, 09:54:07 AM »

I think Thomas is correct: pray the Jesus Prayer, and nothing else, for a while. Make no ostentatious moves that might anger your husband. Sometimes the only answer to our prayers is the passage of time.

There was an attitude change (Please see above) that is changing everything.  Smiley  I will continue to pray my prayer rope - but I'm listening now instead of kicking in screaming about what I want.  Heh. . .and finding out that the louder I scream and carry on in a temper-tantrum . . .the less I can hear.  Smiley  Who knows what my prayer rule will turn into. . .I only know that it's going to be good. . .because it's from Him. 

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