Orthodox River


Evagrios the Solitary

Prayer is communion of the intellect with God.
First pray for the gift of tears, so that through sorrowing you may tame what is savage in your soul. And having confessed your transgressions to the Lord, you will obtain forgiveness from Him.

If you patiently accept what comes, you will always pray with joy.

When an angel comes to us, all who trouble us withdraw at once, then the intellect is completely calm and prays soundly. But at other times, when the attacks of the demons are particularly strong, the intellect does not have a moment’s respite. This is because it is weakened by the passions to which it has succumbed in the past. But if it goes on searching, it will find, and if it knocks, the door will be opened (cf. Matt. 7:8).

On the will of God

Do not pray for the fulfillment of your wishes, for they may not accord with the will of God. But pray as you have been taught, saying: Thy will be done in me (cf Luke 22:42). Always entreat Him in this way - that His will be done. For He desires what is good and profitable for you, whereas you do not always ask for this.

Undistracted prayer is the highest intellection of the intellect.

Prayer is the ascent of the intellect to God.

If you long for prayer, renounce all to gain all.

Pray first for the purification of the passions; secondly, for deliverance from ignorance and forgetfulness; and thirdly, for deliverance from all temptation, trial and dereliction, everything else ‘will be given to you’ (Matt. 6:33).

It is right to pray not only for your own purification, but also for that of all your fellow men, and so to imitate the angels.

St. Maximos the Confessor

If you harbor rancor against anybody, pray for him and you will prevent the passion from being aroused; for by means of prayer you will separate your resentment from the thought of the wrong he has done you. When you have become loving and compassionate towards him, you will wipe the passion completely from your soul. If somebody regards you with rancor, be pleasant to him, be humble and agreeable in his company, and you will deliver him from his passion.

St Thalassios the Libyan

Guard yourself from hatred and dissipation, and you will not be impeded at the time of prayer.

St. Gregory of Sinai

He who practices hesychasm must acquire the following five virtues, as a foundation on which to build: silence, self-control, vigilance, humility and patience. Then there are three practices blessed by God: psalmody, prayer and reading - and handiwork for those weak in body. These virtues which we have listed not only embrace all the rest but also consolidate each other. From early morning the hesychast must devote himself to the remembrance of God through prayer and stillness of heart, praying diligently in the first hour, reading in the second, chanting psalms in the third, praying in the fourth, reading in the fifth, chanting psalms in the sixth, praying in the seventh, reading in the eighth, chanting psalms in the ninth, eating in the tenth, sleeping in the eleventh, if need be, and reciting vespers in the twelfth hour. Thus fruitfully spending the course of the day he gains God’s blessings.