prayer

Forgive us our debts

When we return to ourselves and remember the Heavenly Father, we may rightly use these words: ‘Forgive us our debts.’ Hence, even though one be a Moses or a Samuel, or any other man of outstanding virtue, in so far as he is a man, he does not consider these words less fitting for himself, seeing that he shares Adam’s nature and participates in his exile. For since, as the Apostle says, ‘in Adam we all die,’ the words that are suited to Adam’s penance are rightly applied to all who have died with him, so that after we have been granted the remission of our sins we may again be saved by the Lord through grace, as says the Apostle (cf. Eph. 2:5). St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Lord’s Prayer.

Simple Prayer

Abba Macarius was asked, ‘How should one pray?’ The old man said, ‘There
is no need at all to make long discourses, it is enough to stretch out
one’s hands and say, “Lord, as You will, and as You know, have mercy.”
And if the conflict grows fiercer say, “Lord, help!” He knows very well
what we need and He shows us His mercy.’

Sayings of the Desert Fathers by Benedicta Ward

A Technique for Continual Remembrance

Zealous Christians have a certain technique that they apply to secure the continual remembrance of God more firmly. It is the constant repetition of a short prayer, ordinarily either, “Lord, have mercy,” or “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.” If you haven’t heard this, then listen now. If you have never done this, begin now. – St. Theophan the Recluse: Letters

Whatever it takes…

How fitting is the frequent prayer, “By whatever means, save me!”. – St. Theophan the Recluse: Letters

Prayer is Reproducing its own Contents

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: Letters

Quality Exceeds Any Precise Number

Do not worry about the number of bows. Pay all your attention to the quality of your prayer performed with prostrations. Without speaking of the effect on the spirit, a small number of bows made in the way described above will have a much greater effect on the body itself than a large number made hurriedly, without attention, for quantity. – St. Ignaty (Brianchaninov): The Arena

A Portable Altar

“No matter where we happen to be, by prayer we can set up an altar to God in our hearts.” – St. John Chrysostom

Defeating Disturbing Thoughts

When a disturbing thought comes to mind, rush to the Lord with a brief prayer or some psalm, especially, “O God, be attentive unto helping me” (Psalm 69), and the disturbing cloud will immediately vanish. – St. Theophan the Recluse: Letters

I die daily

Our heart daily dies spiritually. Only ardent, tearful prayer quickens it, and makes it begin to breathe again. – St. John of Kronstadt

Ensure an immediate Hearing

“Do you wish God to hear your prayer immediately, brother? When you lift your hands up to heaven, pray first of all, with your heart, for your enemies and God will grant you speedily whatever else you request.” – Abba Zenon

Our prayers, lives and intentions.

“If in order to put an end to public wars, and tumults, and battles, the Priest is exhorted to offer prayers for kings and governors, much more ought private individuals to do it.” – St John Chrysostom, Homily 7 on 1 Tim 2:2-4

Feeling Coldness

“God is fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. And so, if we feel in our hearts coldness, which is from the devil — for the devil is cold — then let us call upon the Lord and He will come and warm our hearts with perfect love not only for Him but for our neighbor as well.” – Saint Seraphim of Sarov