Prayer is the test of everything; prayer is also the source of everything; prayer is the driving force of everything; prayer is also the director of

everything. If prayer is right, everything is right. For prayer will not allow anything to go wrong. – St. Theophan the Recluse

Every prayer must come from the heart, and any other prayer is no prayer at all. Prayerbook prayers, your own prayers, and very short prayers, all must issue forth from the heart to God, seen before you. And still more must this be so with the Jesus prayer.The Art of Prayer, by Hegumen Chariton of Valaam

Praying does not mean repeating a certain number of words of prayer; praying is reproducing the contents of the prayers within ourselves, so that they flow as if from our own mind and heart. – St. Theophan the Recluse


“This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits.” – St. Isaac the Syrian


Prayer is learned only by praying. No one can teach another to pray. But a good way to begin to pray is to use the prayers of the prayer book. This is so because, since “we do not know how to pray”, the Holy Spirit reveals in the prayers of [the Son and] the saints the proper form and content of prayer. In the prayers of the books – especially the Lord’s Prayer – we not only pray truly by putting ourselves into the words of the prayers, but we also learn what we must pray. – Fr. Thomas Hopko

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