Back to the Basics

We must always be meek, gentle, kind-hearted, patient, as though we did not notice the malice of others, we must “overcome evil,” or wicked people “with good,” by kindness, benefits.

Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

My Life in Christ p.322

I tell many Orthodox Christians, we need to get back to the basics of our Faith in Jesus, and Prayer is the beginning: our Morning and Evening Prayers, as well as prayers through-out the day, such as the Prayer from the Heart, the Jesus Prayer:

‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner’

We, me included, do not pray enough. We do not just sit and talk to God and then listen to what He may be telling us. We are way to busy in our daily lives. We always think we have something we need to do, someplace we need to be, and someone we need to see, and we forget God. We just plain ignore Him who Created us and blesses us.

Abbot Tryphon, in his latest blog, Are These the End Times?, tells us, “Yet when we consider the words of the Our Father, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”, we must know, as Christians, that our prayers do make a difference… It is this hope that must be the ground of our daily living, for as Christians we are not to be giving ourselves over to fate, but to the hope that comes from Christ. God IS in charge, and He is NOT bound by anything. When we pray, “Thy will be done”, we must mean it!”

“Western Christians often call this a “Rule of Prayer”. We Orthodox need one, too. I suspect too many of us, pray only when the “spirit” moves us. That’s a good way for our daily prayer life to just sort of dribble away. We need regular disciplined prayer.”

“If you want to keep your daily prayers on track, start somewhere else – with the Liturgy. This is the center of Orthodox worship and prayer, its pattern and its inspiration, which then flows out into the week.” Weekly Divine Liturgy is not just for the Priests, Deacons, Servers, and Choir — it is a requirement for all Orthodox Christians. Just as is Vespers on Saturday evenings. We, Orthodox Christians, must be attending the services offered by the Orthodox Church, in order to worship, pray, learn, and fellowship with your family, fellow Orthodox believers.

And to move closer to Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

What should we expect to get out of prayer? 

“Nothing! Almost certainly you will get something out of it, as I said at the beginning. But God is an End in himself. The purpose of prayer is to be with him. Never come to God (or anybody for the matter) with the attitude, “What are you going to give me?” If you really feel prayer is doing nothing for you, keep praying. C.S.Lewis wrote that all our prayer here is practice, sort of like learning multiplication tables in school, so that when we graduate and move out into the Big Wide World, we’ll know how to do it.” (Fr. Bill Olnhausen)

Here is a list of Orthodox Prayers we can all use at different times of our day and lives:

Begin, start, continue to visit your local Orthodox Church today!

About padrerichard

I am a Priest with ROCOR.
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