Patristic Tradition

Pray continuously with the Jesus prayer, it will set every¬thing right ( 02.04.2009 )

What is more beautiful than prayer! Whoever prays is en­lightened and comes to know the will of God. And how does he know it? When he prays well, of course. And when does he pray well? When he sends his prayers to God with all the right ingredients. And what are the ingredients that make prayer savory? Humility, tears, self-reproach, simplicity, and especially obedience with love. Prayer sheds light, and this light shows the right path which God wills.

The prayer should be said without flagging; by praying thus you will remain invulnerable on all sides. When you find yourselves in a state of passionate thoughts, resume the prayer eagerly and assiduously, and immediately you will find relief. Hold on to the Jesus prayer steadfastly.

Say the prayer with pain and mourning of soul, and then you will feel different. Pay attention only to yourself! Then you will see yourself and you will feel pain, and that pain will bring you the mercy of God. Do not pay attention to heart­beats when you say the prayer. Just keep your mind from wandering away from the prayer—this is the center and the aim of prayer.

Pray continuously with the Jesus prayer; it will set every­thing right. Whoever prays is enlightened, whereas whoever neglects prayer—like me—is darkened. Prayer is heavenly light, and whoever has the prayer within him or on his lips has the light of prayer welling up within his heart, and this enlightens him what to think and how to guard himself against the snares of the devil.

Compel yourselves in the Jesus prayer; this will become everything for you—food and drink and clothing and light and consolation and spiritual life. This prayer becomes every­thing for him who possesses it. Without it, the emptiness of the soul cannot be satisfied. Do you want to love Christ? Long for the prayer and embrace humility, and then you will realize that the kingdom of God is within us.

Do not let evil thoughts rule over you; drive them out im­mediately with the prayer. Oh, this prayer—what miracles it performs! Cry out the prayer, and your guardian angel will send you spiritual fragrance! The angels greatly rejoice when a person prays with the prayer of our sweetest Jesus. May Je­sus be the delight of your soul.

Cry out the prayer without ceasing. May God grant you a blessed beginning! May it not abandon you, or rather, may you not abandon the prayer—-the life of the soul, the breath of the heart, the sweet-scented springtime which creates a spiri­tual spring in the struggling soul.

My children, prayer and humility are the all-powerful weapons which we must keep continuously in our hands with sleepless attentiveness, because these, with God's help, will give us the victory against the demons.

Patience, my children; do not lose your courage. Say the prayer intensely; do not scatter your mind among earthly things, even if you have cares—consider them as passing. Just keep prayer and the remembrance of death continually before your eyes: "I beheld the Lord always before me, that I might not be shaken." If you pray intensely and without ceasing, you will not fall. You should realize, though, that if you neglect prayer, you will suffer a general fall.


Elder Ephraim of Philotheou