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Alice Offline OP
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Prayer consists not only in standing and bowing before God in body, and in reading written prayers, but even without that it is possible to pray in mind and spirit at all times and in everyplace.

You can do it while walking, sitting, reclining, among people, and in solitude. Raise up your mind and heart to God, and so beg mercy and help from Him. For God is everywhere
and in every place, and the doors to Him are always open, and it is easy to approach Him, not as
with man.

And we can approach Him with faith and with our prayer everywhere and at all times, and in every need and circumstance. We can say to Him mentally at any time, “Lord, have mercy, Lord help!, and so on.


--Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven, Father George D Lardas (tr), p. 17.

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AMEN!

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This reminds me of an email I received the other day, thought about sharing it but didn't then, so here it is now. biggrin

Good One

A minister passing through his church
in the middle of the day,

Decided to pause by the altar
and see who had come to pray.

Just then the back door opened,
a man came down the aisle,

The minister frowned as he saw
the man hadn't shaved in a while.

His shirt was kind a shabby
and his coat was worn and frayed,

the man knelt, he bowed his head,
Then rose and walked away.

In the days that followed,
each noon time came this chap,

each time he knelt just for a moment,
A lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister's suspicions grew,
with robbery a main fear,

He decided to stop the man and ask him,
'What are you doing here?'

The old man said, he worked down the road.
Lunch was half an hour.

Lunchtime was his prayer time,
For finding strength and power.

'I stay only moments, see,
because the factory is so far away;

as I kneel here talking to the Lord,
This is kind a what I say:

'I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,

HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP

AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,

BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.

SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM

CHECKING IN TODAY.'

The minister feeling foolish,
told Jim, that was fine.

He told the man he was welcome
To come and pray just anytime.

Time to go, Jim smiled, said 'Thanks.'
He hurried to the door.

The minister knelt at the altar,
he'd never done it before.

His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
and met with Jesus there.

As the tears flowed, in his heart,
he repeated old Jim's prayer:

'I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,

HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP

AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT

I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.

SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKING IN TODAY'

Past noon one day, the minister noticed
that old Jim hadn't come.

As more days passed without Jim,
he began to worry some.

At the factory, he asked about him,
learning he was ill.

The hospital staff was worried,
But he'd given them a thrill.

The week that Jim was with them,
Brought changes in the ward.

His smiles, a joy contagious.
Changed people, were his reward.

The head nurse couldn't understand
why Jim was so glad,

when no flowers, calls or cards came,
Not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed,
He voiced the nurse's concern:

No friends came to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.

Looking surprised, old Jim spoke
up and with a winsome smile;

'the nurse is wrong, she couldn't know,
that in here all the while

everyday at noon He's here,
a dear friend of mine, you see,

He sits right down, takes my hand,
Leans over and says to me:'

I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM,

HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP,

AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.

ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY,
I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY,
AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS

CHECKING IN TODAY.


Many people will walk in and out of your life,
but only true friends will leave
footprints in your heart.

May God hold you in the palm of His hand
and Angels watch over you.

But for those of us who are already His, He not
only holds us in the palm of His hand, but has
engraved our names there, and we are continually
in His sight (Isaiah 49:16)

Yes, I do love God. He is my source of existence and Savior..

He keeps me functioning each and everyday. Without Him, I
will be nothing. Without him, I am nothing but with Him 'I can
do all things through Christ that strengthens me.' Phil 4:13


So this is me ... Just Checking In




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ALICE:

Christ is in our midst!!

I believe it was one of our fellow members here who posted something about reading through the prayerbook outside of regular prayer times to become familiar with the words and the way they fit together and the meaning they convey.

I did that early on because some of the English was a bit Elizabethan and contained words I wasn't familiar with. Then I penciled them in between the lines for my own understanding and deepening in the concepts underlying the sentences and made additional edits as my reading of Orthodox theology progressed.

For example, in the General Intercession the portion for those who have fallen asleep reads:

" . . . Shelter them in a place of brightness, a place of verdure, a place of repose . . ." and I've replaced "verdure" with "green pastures" (as in Psalm 22/23).

Again, it continues:

" . . . where the sight of Thy countenance rejoiceth by Thy Saints from all the ages." and I've penciled " . . . where the sight of Your Face enlightens and gladdens and sanctifies that life of Yours which is lived by the saints whom You have gathered from all the ages."

I didn't do this for anyone but me, so please don't send in the anathemas. When I speak with the Lord and ask Him for what the Church wants, because He wants it and wants us to want it, this little working out of the underlying meaning of the words makes it far more intense for me and takes me deep into that theology that underlies it. And I didn't do that until I'd prayed the words as given for a number of years and studied time and again to really understand that this was what was meant. And even then only after running this by my spiritual father.

BOB




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Dearest Pani Rose,

Thanks for sharing that! I admit that I have read it before, but tears are still running down my cheeks. I am sure that by posting it here, it will touch many others.

Dearest Bob,

He is and ever shall be!!

You said:

Quote
I didn't do this for anyone but me, so please don't send in the anathemas.

Hehehe...guess what?!? I couldn't possibly do that if I wanted to, because your personal translations are not only right on the mark, but they are now almost the *exact* official translations of the Greek Orthodox church. Infact, they are the only wording which I know!! We do not use Elizabethan English anymore. smile

In Christ,
Alice


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ALICE:

Christ is in our midst!!

The little prayerbook was bought in the spring of 1970 and I have used it daily since. I suppose I could buy a new one, but it's like an old friend--you just don't throw it out. I've used it long enough that when I don't have it with me, the prayers come to mind automatically: when there's a slow period in the day, it's always time to pray for something or someone. As the Desert Fathers have it, "Who has taken the Lord from us?" when we are away from home or away from our prayer place.

BOB

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Helpful Information for
Keeping a Prayer Rule


By St. Theophan the Recluse

You ask about a prayer rule. Yes, it is
good to have a prayer rule on account of
our weakness so that on the one hand we
do not give in to laziness, and on the
other hand we restrain our enthusiasm to
its proper measure. The greatest
practitioners of prayer kept a prayer rule.
They would always begin with established
prayers, and if during the course of these
a prayer started on its own, they would
put aside the others and pray that prayer.
If this is what the great practitioners of
prayer did, all the more reason for us to do so. Without established prayers, we would not
know how to pray at all. Without them, we would be left entirely without prayer.
However, one does not have to do many prayers. It is better to perform a small number of
prayers properly than to hurry through a large number of prayers, because it is difficult to
maintain the heat of prayerful zeal when they are performed to excess.

I would consider the morning and evening prayers as set out in the prayer books to be entirely
sufficient for you. Just try each time to carry them out with full attention and corresponding
feelings. To be more successful at this, spend a little of your free time at reading over all the
prayers separately. Think them over and feel them, so that when you recite them at your
prayer rule, you will know the holy thoughts and feelings that are contained in them. Prayer
does not mean that we just recite prayers, but that we assimilate their content within
ourselves, and pronounce them as if they came from our minds and hearts.


continued....




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After you have considered and felt the prayers, work at memorizing them. Then you will not
have to fumble about for your prayer book and light when it is time to pray; neither will you be
distracted by anything you see while you are performing your prayers, but can more easily
maintain thoughtful petition toward God. You will see for yourself what a great help this is. The
fact that you will have your prayer book with you at all times and in all places is of great
significance.

Being thus prepared, when you stand at prayer be careful to keep your mind from drifting and
your feeling from coldness and indifference, exerting yourself in every way to keep your
attention and to spark warmth of feeling. After you have recited each prayer, make
prostrations, as many as you like, accompanied by a prayer for any necessity that you feel, or by
the usual short prayer. This will lengthen your prayer time a little, but its power will be
increased. You should pray a little longer on your own especially at the end of your prayers,
asking forgiveness for unintentional straying of the mind, and placing yourself in God's hands for
the entire day.

You must also maintain prayerful attention toward God throughout the day. For this, as we
have already mentioned more than once, there is remembrance of God; and for remembrance
of God, there are short prayers. It is good, very good, to memorize several psalms and recite
them while you are working or between tasks, doing this instead of short prayers sometimes,
with concentration. This is one of the most ancient Christian customs, mentioned by and
included in the rules of St. Pachomius and St. Anthony.

After spending the day in this manner, you must pray more diligently and with more
concentration in the evening. Increase your prostrations and petitions to God, and after you
have placed yourself in Divine hands once again, go to bed with a short prayer on your lips and
fall asleep with it or recite some psalm.


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Which psalms should you memorize? Memorize the ones that strike your heart as you are
reading them. Each person will find different psalms to be more effective for himself. Begin with
Have mercy on me, O God (Psalm 50); then Bless the Lord, O my soul (Psalm 102); and Praise the
Lord, O my Soul (Psalm 145). These latter two are the antiphon hymns in the Liturgy. There are
also the psalms in the Canon for Divine Communion: The Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 22); The
earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof (Psalm 23); I believed, wherefore I spake (Psalm 115); and
the first psalm of the evening vigil, O God, be attentive unto helping me (Psalm 69). There are the
psalms of the hours, and the like. Read the Psalter and select.

After you have memorized all of these, you will always be fully armed with prayer. When some
disturbing thought occurs, rush to fall down before the Lord with either a short prayer or one
of the psalms, especially O God, be attentive unto helping me, and the disturbing cloud will
immediately disperse.

There you are; everything on the subject of a prayer rule. I will, however, mention once again
that you should remember that all these are aids, and the most important thing is standing
before God with the mind in the heart with devotion and heartfelt prostration to Him.

I will repeat once again that the essence of prayer is the lifting of the mind and heart to God;
these little rules are an aid. We cannot get by without them because of our weakness. May the
Lord bless you!

Excerpted from The Spiritual Life and How to Be Attuned to It
(Platina, CA: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1996).





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Alice Offline OP
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Thank you so much for sharing that, dear Father Ambrose...

I personally like when posters share spiritually edifying material. smile

In Christ,
Alice


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What a wonderful thread,thanks everyone. When I'm bored I'll remember parts of the DL or snatches of a psalm and really think through them and it always makes a difference the next DL or time of prayer. This inspires me to make a daily habit of this.

I find it interesting that all of us on this thread are a bit over 25 wink Seems like the older I get the more I realize that it is only by the grace of God that I'm still here and that I must ask for his mercy often for the good of my soul and to preserve any chance of walking the straight and narrow path. Wouldn't want to be 25 again for all the world;this is a much more interesting crowd to keep company with.

Again, thank you, I'm bookmarking this one.

In Christ,
Indigo


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