“It is of great significance if there is a person who truly prays in a family.
Prayer attracts God’s Grace and all the members of the family feel it,
even those whose hearts have grown cold. Pray always.”
+ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
Prayer is doxology, praise, thanksgiving, confession, supplication and intercession to God. 'When I prayed I was new,' wrote a great theologian of Christian antiquity, 'but when I stopped praying I became old.' Prayer is the way to renewal and spiritual life. Prayer is aliveness to God. Prayer is strength, refreshment, and joy. Through the grace of God and our disciplined efforts prayer lifts us up from our isolation to a conscious, loving communion with God in which everything is experienced in a new light. Prayer becomes a personal dialogue with God, a spiritual breathing of the soul, a foretaste of the bliss of God's kingdom.
How is one to pray? Only the Holy Spirit can guide us to pray as we should. Just as a child learns to walk by walking, one can best learn to pray by praying, trusting in the help of God. Put your whole soul into your prayer. Think about the meaning of every word you pray. Make it your own personal prayer. Be persistent in prayer. Do not yield to carelessness or neglect. Strengthen your prayer through a lively faith in the Lord, a spirit of forgiveness toward others, and genuine Christian living.
As we pray deeply within our hearts we grow in prayer. By the grace of God we suddenly catch a glimpse of the miracle of the presence of the Holy Spirit working within us. At first it is only a spark but later it becomes a flame freeing and energizing our whole being, provided we do nothing to grieve the Holy Spirit; and if we do sin we repent of our sin immediately and ask for God's forgiveness. To experience the fire of God's holy love, to give it space within us to do its cleansing and healing work as a breath of the Holy Spirit, and to use it as light and power for daily living -- such are the goals as well as the fruits of true prayer.
Holy Pascha, April 14, 1985
Source: Orthodox Prayer Book
“When a man’s intellect is constantly with God, his desire grows beyond all measure into an intense longing for God and his incisiveness is completely transformed into divine love. For by continual participation in the divine radiance his intellect becomes totally filled with light; and when it has reintegrated its passable aspect, it redirects this aspect towards God, as we have said, filling it with an incomprehensible and intense longing for Him and with unceasing love, thus drawing it entirely away from worldly things to the divine.”
+ Saint Maximos the Confessor