Struggling to Pray

“Remember that not one word is lost during Prayer if you speak from your heart.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

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“One must force himself to Prayer when he has not Spiritual Prayer; and thus God, beholding him thus striving and compelling himself by force, in spite of an unwilling heart, gives him the true Prayer of the Spirit.”

Saint Macarius the Great

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“Sometimes Prayer seems to flag and we cry, ‘Make haste unto me, O God’ (Psalm 70:5). But if we do not let go of the hem of His garment, help will come. It is vital to dwell in Prayer in order to counteract the persistently destructive influence of the outside world.”

Saint Sophrony of Essex

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“Prayer is given to those who Pray.”

Saint Silouan of Mount Athos

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“Be true to God always and in everything. If you say the Prayer ‘Our Father’ pronounce each word sincerely, with reverence, fixing your mind and heart upon God alone, not paying attention to anything or anybody around you. If you say any other prayer, say it also with all your Soul, not with your heart divided, not paying undue attention to anything or anybody.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

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“Sometimes as soon as you start to Pray, you Pray well; at other times, in spite of great exertion, you do not reach your goal. This is to make you exert yourself still more, so that, having gained the Gift of Prayer, you keep it safe.”

Saint Evagrios Ponticus

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“You have to prepare for Prayer. Read a bit of the Gospel or the Gerontikon and then Pray. It requires an attempt to take the mind to the Divine space. Study is like a gift which God gives us to direct us to greater Spirituality. With study the Soul is warmed.”

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

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“If you do not feel like Praying, you have to force yourself. The Holy Fathers say that Prayer with force is higher than Prayer unforced. You do not want to, but force yourself. ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force’ (Matt. 11:12).”

Saint Ambrose of Optina

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“I consider no other labour as difficult as Prayer. When we are ready to Pray, our spiritual enemies interfere. They understand it is only by making it difficult for us to Pray that they can harm us. Other things will meet with success if we keep at it, but labouring at Prayer is a war that will continue until we die.”

Saint Agathon of Egypt

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“Five minutes of Prayer when the whole body is in pain are more precious than a whole night of Praying with bodily ease.”

Saint Sophrony of Essex

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