Author Topic: How to pray  (Read 567 times)

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Offline William

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How to pray
« on: September 05, 2011, 07:21:36 PM »
Standing up or sitting? Facing east even if I don't have any icons yet? Aloud or silently?
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: How to pray
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 07:30:28 PM »
I can only say what I do... I pray standing, unless my back begins to stiffen up (I have back problems), which signals that pain might follow if I don't take it easy. I face east if I can. Regarding icons, don't forget that you can print icons out and use them if you want. I tend to pray softly aloud, as it helps me not lose focus, and also reminds me that Orthodoxy is not just a mental or intellectual thing, but involves the whole human person; and also that it involves not just thinking something, but communication between a person and God, with the entire Church being (in some small way) impacted.
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Offline biro

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Re: How to pray
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 07:31:53 PM »
This is just my personal practice, but I usually pray standing. I tend to pray out loud, when I'm at home.
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Offline Knee V

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Re: How to pray
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 01:36:03 PM »
Different saints have had a habit of assuming different postures. There is no blanket answer for this question. My advice, until you can talk to a priest and get his guidance, would be that whatever "posture" (standing, kneeling, sitting, facing east, or whatever) will get you to pray, do that.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: How to pray
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 02:04:07 PM »
Facing east is a standard Christian practice. The only reason for not observing this would be if the space you're praying in makes it impractical (e.g. the only suitable place to hang your icons is on the southern wall - facing the icons trumps facing east).

The 'default' posture for prayer is standing upright, although sitting is the norm when reciting the Jesus Prayer. Most prayer rules will also contain a number of bows and prostrations. If you're praying from a prayer book these are often indicated.

Offline William

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Re: How to pray
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 08:23:57 PM »
Thanks for all the replies so far.

What if one is praying an akathist? Those are a bit lengthy. Should they still be read aloud?

Also, is it alright to venerate the blessed cross I wear around my neck if I'm saying a prayer to the Cross? Is it alright to hang it from something and venerate it?
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline Ionnis

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Re: How to pray
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 11:18:16 PM »
In the Russian Church we have lengthy prayers before we can go to communion and I say them out loud for as long as I can.  If I can't continue saying them aloud, I try to at least whisper, but if I can't I just say them silently.  And regarding the Cross, I was told we should never take it off.  Sometimes I pull it out from under my shirt though and kiss it. 
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