How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Being Sober Minded

Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind. Be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:13 I have to credit St. Nikolai Velimirovich’s homily for July 5th in the Prologue of Ohrid as my inspiration for thisContinue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Being Sober Minded”

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: The Necessity of Humility

 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death,Continue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: The Necessity of Humility”

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Repentance

“From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Matthew 4:17 “If you cannot become like us, sit in your cell and weep for your sins.” Sayings of the Desert Fathers* A prayer rule without honest self-examination and humble repentance is will not produce fruitful virtues orContinue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Repentance”

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Spiritual Guidance

“Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1 Seeking oneness with God was not left to chance by early Christians. Catechist and baptized believers sought spiritual guidance from clergy, monastics, and wise elders in their communities. Bishops, priest, and deacons were ordained through the succession from the Apostles and Christ. MonksContinue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Spiritual Guidance”

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Your Most Difficult Time

“… the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12 As I shared last week, most of us are most alert and attentive in the morning or the evening. Which ever is your best time of the day should be the anchor and base of your prayer rule. EarlyContinue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Your Most Difficult Time”

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Your Best Time

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where He prayed.” Mark 1:35 “… Jesus made His disciples get into a boat and go ahead of Him… He went up on a mountainside and prayed … About the fourth watchContinue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Your Best Time”

How To Develop A Prayer Rule: Location Matters

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. Then your Father, who sees what you have done in secret, will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6 Sometimes we modern Christians get sloppy when it comes to where we pray, both in physical and mentalContinue reading “How To Develop A Prayer Rule: Location Matters”

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Why a Prayer Rule?

Yes, every Christian should have some regular pattern of communication with God. Every one of us needs a prayer rule. Jesus taught the disciples, “Abide in Me and I in you” (John 15:4). Prayer is the most effective way to follow the Lord’s teaching and to be one with Him. Adoration, doing good deeds, praise,Continue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Why a Prayer Rule?”

Sunday of the Prodigal Son: Coming to Our Senses in Prayer

This past Sunday was the second of the Lenten Triodion of the Orthodox Church. The Gospel lesson was from the Lord’s parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). This upcoming Sunday is the recognition of the Final Judgement and the last day that we are to freely consume meat (Meatfare) before the great fast. ItContinue reading “Sunday of the Prodigal Son: Coming to Our Senses in Prayer”

Orthodox Christian Life: Voluntary Obligations

A close relative of mine expressed her misgivings about my converting to Orthodox Christianity several years ago. To her, the faith seemed complex and ridged with the ancient prayers, praying at certain times of the day, iconography and so many other things that are absent in modern denominations and non-denominational churches. “Do you really needContinue reading “Orthodox Christian Life: Voluntary Obligations”