Every Christian should always remember that he needs to unite with his Savior with all his being, that we must let him dwell in our mind and heart, and for such a connection with the Lord, after the Communion of His Body and Blood, the best and most reliable means is the clever prayer of Jesus .
Is Jesus' prayer for the laity necessary? It is indispensable, because to every Christian, as mentioned above, it is necessary to unite with the Lord in the heart, and to this connection the prayer of Jesus serves the best way.
Inok, however, when he is tonsured to monasticism, when the rosarytes are given, which are called the spiritual sword, a constant, day and night praying bears the prayer of Jesus. Sainted Dimitry of Rostov (117, 3).
Many do not know what is the inner workings of the thoughtful person, do not understand what is the meaning of God's thought, and do not know anything about the prayer that is being done by the mind, but they think that only those prayers are to be prayed, which are written in church books. As for the secret conversation with God in the heart and the benefits from this, they do not know about it at all and have never tasted this spiritual sweetness. As a blind man only hears about the sunshine, what is radiance, does not know, so they only hear about the thoughtful teaching and prayer, understand they do not understand. They are ignorant of their many spiritual blessings and are lagging behind virtuous prosperity, which leads to a perfect god-worship. Therefore, for the sake of the instruction of the simple, it is proposed here something for internal training and for a prayer of prayer so that the one who wants with God's help begins to give a little instruction.
The spiritual training of the inner man begins with such Christ's words: "When you pray, enter your room and, shutting your door, pray to your Father. In secret "(Matthew 6, 6).
A person is twofold: external and internal, carnal and spiritual. The outward is the visible, the carnal; the inner one is invisible, spiritual, or, according to the words of the apostle Peter, "the innermost heart of man in the imperishable beauty of a meek and silent spirit" (1 Pet. 3, 4). And St. Paul explains the duality of man, saying: "If our outer man is smoldering, then the inner one ... is being renewed" (2 Corporation 4, 16). Here the apostle clearly speaks of the outer and inner man. Thus, the external person consists of many members, the inner one comes to perfection with the mind, attention to oneself, the fear of the Lord and the grace of God. The affairs of the external man are visible, and the inner ones are invisible: "A man will come, and the heart is deep" (Psalm 63, 7). The apostle also said: "Who among men knows what is in man, except the Spirit of man living in him?" (1Cor. 2, 11). Only one who probes the heart and the womb knows all the secrets of the inner man. Learning too is twofold - external and internal: external in books, internal in theology; external in love of wisdom, inner in love of God; external in words, internal in prayers; the external in wit, the inner in the warmth of the spirit; external in the arts, inner in thought. The external "knowledge puffs up" (1Cor. 8, 1), but the inner humble; the external mind is curious, wanting to know everything, the inner self is listening and does not want anything else but to know God, with David saying to Him: "My heart speaks from You:" Look for My face "; and I will seek Thy face, O Lord "(Psalm 26, 8). And again: "As the deer wants to streams of water, so my soul desires to You, God!" (Psalm 41, 2).
Prayer is also twofold - external and internal: clearly created and secret; conciliar and done in private; due and arbitrary. The due - obviously created according to the church's statute, the cathedral prayer has its own times: the midnight clock, matins, hours, liturgy, vespers and suites; for these prayers, people are called to ring, for they, as a proper tribute to the Heavenly King, should be paid for every day. The secretly voluntary prayer is also timeless when someone wants, without any call, only by the movement of the spirit itself. The first, that is, the ecclesiastical prayer, has the proper number of psalms, troparia, canons and other singing and actions of the priests, while the other (secret, arbitrary), as untimely, is indefinite and the number of prayers, for everyone prays as long as they want, sometimes briefly, sometimes And for a long time. The first is pronounced aloud with lips and mouth, the second is not only standing or on the move, but also lying, in a word, always, whenever it happens, to raise one's mind to God. The first, the cathedral, takes place in the church of the Lord, in the church or on the occasion in some house where several people gather, the second, solitary, is performed in a locked cage, according to the Lord's word: "When you pray, enter your room and, closing your door, pray to your Father. In secret "(Matthew 6, 6).
Again, and the crate is twofold - external and internal, material and spiritual: material of wood or stone, the spiritual is the heart or mind, or (according to St. Theophylactus) a secret thought. It is one and the same (interpretation of the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 6). Therefore, the real cage always stands in one place, but the spiritual person always carries it with him: wherever he is, always with him is his heart, in which he can with his mind, gather thoughts, shut up and pray to God in secret, whether he will be among them people or talking with many. Inner prayer (if it happens, being among people, to move towards it in spirit) does not require a mouth or a book, does not use the movement of the tongue, nor the voice (although this happens alone), but only the erection to God of the mind and self-absorption, and at every place.
The real cage of the silent person in it closes one, the inner, spiritual, contains in itself and God, and the entire Heavenly Kingdom, according to the evangelical words of Christ Himself: "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17, 21). In the words of Macarius of Egypt this is explained thus: the heart is a small vessel, but all things are contained in it; there is God, there are Angels, there is Life and Kingdom, there are heavenly hailstones, there is a treasure of grace.
In the inner, heart cage, it is fitting for a person to shut himself up more often than between walls, and, gathering all his thoughts there, representing the mind of God, praying to Him secretly with all the warmth and living faith, together with this, learn and in theology, in the husband of the perfect. Sainted Dimitry of Rostov (117, 6-9).
First of all, let it be known that a Christian (especially a spiritual person, due to the duty of his calling) must be in every way and always take care to unite with God - the Creator, the Benefactor and his higher good. Who loves him. By whom and for whom it was created; because for the soul created by God, it must be the center, that is, the ultimate goal, nothing but God Himself, from Whom she and life, and her nature received and for Whom she needs to live forever. After all, everything seen on earth, pleasant and desirable: wealth, glory, wife, children, in one word, everything beautiful, sweet and pleasant this world, is not peculiar to the soul, but only to the body, and, being temporary, it will soon pass like a shadow. The soul, as eternal in nature, can be eternally reassured only in one Eternal God - as in its supreme good, more beautiful than all the beauties, sweets and pleasures, sweetest and favorite - to calm down as in its natural place, from where it originated and where it must return again, for as the flesh, coming from the earth, returns to the earth, so the soul, having descended from God, returns to God and remains with Him. That's why it was created by God, that in God to abide forever. Therefore in this temporal life it is necessary to diligently seek connections with God in order to be honored to be with Him and in Him and in the Future Life forever.
To unite with Him, everyone can do nothing but an extreme, heartfelt love. For even the evangelical sinful wife therefore received from Him a great mercy of forgiveness of sins and a strong union with Him, "that she loved much" (Luke 7, 47). He loves those who love Him, He clings to those who cling to Him, He gives Himself to those who seek Him, and gives unchanging sweetness to those who wish to enjoy His love.
In order for a man to excite such a divine love in his heart to unite with Him in the inseparable union of love, one must often pray, raising his mind to God. For how often the firewood that is put into the fire increases the flame, so the prayer, often performed with the deepening of the mind in God, stirs up in the heart a divine love that ignites, warms the entire inner man, enlightens and teaches him, reveals to him all that is unknown and secret wisdom and make him a kind of fiery-fiery seraph, always waiting for God with his spirit, who looks at Him with the mind and draws spiritual sweetness in it. Sainted Dimitry of Rostov (117, 9-10).
It is appropriate to recall here some of the not so clear apostolic sayings about the prayer that is being made by spirit and mind, and thus to begin a reasoning.
In the epistle to the Ephesians, the holy apostle Paul advises us to pray in the spirit: "By all prayer and supplication, pray at all times by the Spirit" (Eph. 6, 18). The same Apostle in the Epistle to the Corinthians says: "Though my spirit prays, but my mind remains without fruit" (1 Corporation 14, 14). How does it happen that a person prays in spirit, but his mind remains barren?
The word "spirit" in the Holy Scripture is of course different in man. Sometimes it is used instead of breathing, sometimes instead of the soul itself, sometimes instead of any desire and intention, both good and evil, and also instead of some virtue or non-virtues, such as: the spirit of humility, the spirit of love, the spirit of mercy, and the opposite: the spirit of pride, the spirit of hatred, the spirit of avarice and so on. Sometimes the word "spirit" is reputed instead of any gift from the Holy Spirit, such as the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of reason, the spirit of perspicacity, etc.) and sometimes instead of the mind itself, as it is written from the same apostle: "renew in the spirit of your mind" (Eph. 4, 23).
When the apostle advises the Ephesians to pray in the spirit, then instead of the Spirit he presumes the very mind that a praying person should Aspire to God. When, in the Epistle to the Corinthians, he speaks of the Spirit praying and of the mind that is barren, in this place he places the spirit in place of the voice and breath of the human, as if to say to them: what benefit you, Corinthians, if you pray only with the voice of your breath, but your mind does not listen to prayer, but dreams about something else? What is the use of speaking a lot of language, and mind not to heed to what is said, if even the darkness of words you uttered, oh man! What is the use of it if the whole larynx, as far as your breath allows it, is sung, but your mind is not for God and does not see Him, but dodges your thoughts to another place? Such a prayer will not do you any good, will not be heard by God and will remain barren. Well judged and St. Cyprian, saying: "How do you want to be heard by God, when you can not hear yourself? Do you want God to remember you when you pray, but do not remember yourself about yourself? "The apostle gives the Corinthians, and together with us all, himself an example, saying:" I'll pray in spirit, I'll pray with my mind; I will sing in the spirit, and sing with the mind "(1Cor. 14, 15). When, he says, I pray with my tongue and with a voice coming from my breathing, I must also pray with my mind.Sainted Dimitry of Rostov (117, 10-12).
From those skilled in theology, I learned about the work of the mind from the heart of prayer that it is warmer and more useful that one that is brief, but often done, than prolonged. However, prolonged prayer is very useful, but only for the perfect, and not for beginners. In prolonged prayer, the mind of a person who is not accustomed to it can not long stand before God, but usually, defeated by the infirmity of impermanence, is carried away by the outside, and the warmth of the spirit therefore soon cools with him. Such a prayer is no longer prayer, but one embarrassment of the mind due to the evasion of thoughts back and forth, as happens in church conciliar singing, and in long-read cell rules. Short, but frequent prayer is more stable, because the mind, deepened in God for a short time, can do it with more warmth. Therefore, the Lord says: "Praying, do not say too much" (Matthew 6, 7), for not by verbosity will you be heard. And John Climacus teaches: "Do not try to talk so that the mind does not dissipate in search of words. The only word of the publican appeased God, and the same word of faith saved the robber. Extreme verbosity in prayer dissipates the mind in dreams, while unanimity helps to assemble the mind. "
But someone will say: why does the apostle in the Epistle to the Thessalonians say this: "Pray without ceasing" (1SOLX 5, 17)?
Usually in the Scriptures, often the work is always called created, for example: "in the first tabernacle, the priests always enter the Divine Service" (Heb. 9, 6), that is, at all established for that hours, and not incessantly, day and night, often, and do not stay there hopelessly. If the priests were desperate in the church, guarding the fire that came down from Heaven, putting fuel in it so that it would not go out, but they did not do it all together, but changing in harmony, as is also written about St. Zacharias: "In order of his time he served before God "(Luke 1, 8). Similarly, one must think about the prayer that the apostle commands to do continuously, for it is impossible for a person to remain in prayer so as not to interrupt her day or night. After all, you need time for other things, for the necessary care for managing your house, such as: work time, talk time, food and drink time, rest and sleep time. How can you pray without praying otherwise, as often as you pray? And often the prayer is imputed as if for an unceasing prayer. So, let your frequent, but brief prayer is not multiplied by superfluous words, as the holy fathers teach. St. Theophylact in the interpretation of the Gospel according to Matthew wrote this: "It is not fitting to extend prayers, but it is better not to, but often pray" (chapter 6). In St. John Chrysostom, in the conversations on the apostolic Pauline Epistles, the following is written: "Whoever says too much in prayer, he does not pray, but will idle talk" (24 talk). In addition, Theophylactus speaks in the interpretation of the same above-mentioned Gospel passage: "Extra verb is idle talk." The apostle said well, "I'd rather say five words with my mind ... than the darkness of words in an unfamiliar language" (1 Corp. 14, 19), that is, it's better for me to create a short prayer to God, but with attention, rather than say innumerable words without attention and only in vain fill the air with your words and voice.
In addition, the above apostolic words: "Pray without ceasing" (1SOLX 5, 17) should be interpreted in the sense of a prayer done by the mind, for the mind can always be directed to God and can pray to Him unceasingly.
So start now, O soul, little by little, take up the training you have planned, begin in the name of the Lord, according to the admonition of the apostle, saying: "And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" (Col. 3, 17), that is, do everything, as he says, with a good intention, and not so much because of your self-interest, even spiritual, but for the glory of God, that in all your words, deeds and thoughts, the name of the Lord is glorified Jesus Christ our Savior.
First of all, explain yourself briefly, what is prayer?
Prayer is the conversion of the mind and thoughts to God; to pray is to be mindful to your God, to steadfastly think of looking at Him and talking with Him in awe and fear.
So, gather all your thoughts and, postponing all external worldly care, let your mind get to God. Sainted Dimitry of Rostov (117, 12-14).