In the Orthodox spiritual tradition prayer has a broad, comprehensive and profound meaning.
A lecture by fr.Thomas Hopko on How to Pray.
Every Orthodox should know these prayers by heart. Daily prayer is essential for an Orthodox spiritual way of life that prepares you to receive God’s grace to gain union with God.
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me” or, more briefly, “Lord have mercy” was given to Christians at the time of the apostles and was appointed for them to say without ceasing, as, indeed, they do. But what this “Lord have mercy” means is something that very few people know today and so they say it in everyday speech, pointlessly, alas, and in vain. They don’t receive the Lord’s mercy, because they don’t know what they’re asking.
The power of prayer cannot be underestimated. Often we think of prayer as an individual activity. But for Orthodox Christians there is an emphasis on the prayer of the whole community. This should also apply to prayer in our family life. A family should pray together. If you are a family of two its quite easy to arrange for prayer together. Currently this is my situation and my wife and I always pray together both evening and night. But when you have a family of four with varying ages it is a bit more difficult.
Ascent to heaven begins with contrition, with real repentance, with remorse. It’s worth remembering that we weren’t made to return to dust. The life of the passions doesn’t in fact bring joy and satisfaction. Attaching yourself too firmly to the things of this world is a serious mistake and brings its own cost in terms of bitter consequences. It’s not unfeasible to advance beyond the visible. Anyone can manage it.
We must not become upset if for a while the Lord seems to allow our requests to go unheard. Naturally the Lord would be delighted if in one moment all men became dispassionate. But He knows, in His providence, that this would not be to their advantage.
The brothers said, “What kind of prayer is that which is not acceptable before God?” The old man said, “The prayer for the destruction of enemies. When we ask that evil things may come upon those who do harm to us, and for bodily health, and abundance of possessions, and fertility in respect of children, […]
Photo: Catacomb of St. Sabastiano: Fragments of a wall plaster from the triclia with numerous graffiti that ask for the prayers of the martyred apostles, Peter and Paul. Copyright Pontificia Commissione di Archeologia Cristiana, Roma In our Prayer rule we can also ask the saints to intercede for us and to help us in our […]