This divine prayer, consisting in the invocation of the Savior, is the following: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me!" She is both a prayer, a vow, and a confession of faith, the Holy Spirit and divine gifts, the giver, the heart of purification, the demon exile, Jesus Christ's invocation, the spiritual understanding and divine intentions of the source, the sins of absolution, the soul and body of the healer, the divine enlightenment of the giver, the mercy of God's treasure, the revelations of the mysteries of God's intercessor, the one salvor, as the name of the Savior of our God in oneself, and I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, called to us. "There is no other name under heaven ... which ought to be saved" (Acts 4, 12), as the apostle says ... Therefore, it is for all believers to continually profess this name for the preaching of faith, and for witnessing our love for our Lord Jesus Christ, from which nothing should ever excommunicate us, and for the sake of grace from this name, the remission of sins, the healing of the soul, sanctification, enlightenment, and above all for the sake of salvation. The divine evangelist says: "These things are written, that ye believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." Here is faith! "And believing, we have life in His name." Here is salvation and life! (In. 20, 31). Sainted Simeon of Thessaloniki (117, 43).
Let no one think, my Christian brothers, that some persons of the holy dignity and monks have a duty to ceaselessly and always pray, and not laymen. No, no, we all, Christians, have a duty to always remain in prayer ... And Gregory the Theologian teaches all Christians and tells them that it is more often necessary to remember the name of God in prayer than to breathe in the air ... Take into account this and the way of prayer, how it is possible to pray unceasingly, it is to pray with the mind. And we can always do this if we want to. For when we sit at the needlework, and when we walk, and when we eat food, and when we drink, we can always pray with our mind and create an intelligent prayer, which is pleasing to God, a true prayer. The body will work, and the soul will pray. Our outer man let him do his bodily deeds, and let the inner whole be consecrated to the service of God and never lag behind this spiritual matter of intelligent prayer, as commanded by us and the God-man Jesus, speaking in the holy Gospel: "You, when you pray, enter your room, and shutting your door, pray to your Father. In secret "(Matthew 6, 6). The cell of the soul is the body, our doors are the five senses of the body. The soul enters its own cage, when the mind does not wander around and out of things and things in the world, but it is in our heart. Our senses are closed and remain so when we do not allow them to cling to external sensory things, and our minds, therefore, remain free from all attachments of the worldly and secret intelligent prayer to God the Father. St. Gregory Palamas (117, 44).
Learn the clever prayer of the heart, for Jesus' prayer is a lamp to our paths and a guiding star to heaven, as the holy fathers teach (in Philokalia). Jesus' prayer (unceasingly clinging to the mind and heart) is a scourge against the flesh and its evil lusts (especially the prodigal and gluttonous). To the usual prayer - Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God - add: Theotokos have mercy on me a sinner. One external prayer is not enough: God takes care of the mind, and therefore those monks who do not connect the external prayer with the inner one are not monks, but blackheads. That monk does not have the seal of Christ, who does not know (or has forgotten) doing Jesus' prayer. The book does not teach prayer (it only indicates a straight path, how to deal with it); It is necessary to have a strong occupation in it (prayer) (117, 44-45).
The Lord must be treated, coming down with the attention of the mind in the heart and there calling to Him. If we were not negligently performing this little prince: having established our mind in the heart, standing before the Lord with fear, reverence and devotion, we would never have had in us not only passionate desires and feelings, but also naked thoughts (117, 45).
Did they read about Jesus' prayer? .. And you know her by deed. She alone can do to have proper order inside the strong, and she will not let her upset the order, either. It will only enable to fulfill the instruction of the fathers: hands at work, mind and heart with God. When it gets attached to the heart, then there is no one inside the breaks, but one and the same thing ... Systematic that it is hardly possible to get inside, but you can keep one or the same in a variety of unavoidable matters - and this will be given by Jesus' prayer when it gets to your heart, how to be grafted ?! Who knows how ... but gets vaccinated. The worker is conscious of this, not knowing how it happened. Work ... walking in the presence of God with frequent, as much as possible, repetition of this prayer. As soon as freedom, now for her ... And it will be given ...
Reading is one of the ways to renew and revitalize Jesus' prayer. But I advise reading more about prayer (117, 45).
When the memory of God is and sustains the fear of God in the heart, then everything goes well, but when it weakens or keeps only in the head, then all at random (117, 45).
Attention to what happens in the heart and proceeds from it, is the main thing in a well-functioning Christian life. This, both internal and external, is brought to the proper order. But attention should always be given to reasoning in order to examine how what is happening inside and what is required by appearance. Without reasoning and attention to anything (117, 46).
It is possible - in the performance of external obediences - that there will be no inner obedience, and your life will remain soulless. How to avoid this? It is necessary to put God's fearful heart into every work. That the heart was in a state of God-fearing, it is necessary that it is continually overshadowed by the thought of God. The thought of God will be the door through which the soul will enter the active life. All work should now be directed to incessantly think about God, or feel in the presence of God ("Seek the Lord and His strength, seek his face unceasingly" (1Par 16, 11) .This is where there is sober and intelligent prayer. God is everywhere, make your thought everywhere with God.How to do it? Thoughts are pummeled like mosquitoes in their posts, but over thoughts and feelings of the heart.To add thought to one, the elders had the habit of trying to continually pronounce the short moth. From skill and frequent repetition, this moth to the language, that he himself repeated it, so the thought clung to prayer, and through it, to the thought of God incessant.After the skill, prayer connected the memory of God, and the memory of God was a prayer, and they supported each other. Here is the walk before God.
There is a clever prayer when someone, affirmed with attention in the heart, brings up prayer to God from there. A wise doing is, when someone, standing in the heart with the memory of the Lord, tears off any other thought that tries to penetrate into the heart. Bishop Theophan the Recluse (117, 46).
And in order not to fall into the delusion when making an intelligent prayer, do not assume any ideas, no images and visions, for soaring, strong dreams and movements do not cease to be when the mind is in the heart and makes a prayer, and no one is able to have dominion over them, except for those who have attained perfection through the grace of the Holy Spirit, and except for those who have acquired the steadfastness of the mind by Jesus Christ. Reverend Neil of Sora (117, 46-47).
A certain brother, named John, came from the country to the seaside to the holy great father Philemon and, embracing his feet, said: "What should I do, my father, in order to be saved? I see that the mind is entertained and wanders around the subjects there and here, where it should not. " He, after a pause, said to him: "This is an external disease, and remains in you because you do not yet have a perfect love for God; because you did not experience the warmth of love and knowledge of Him. " The brother asks him: "What should I do?" - "Go," he replies, "have in your heart a secret exercise: it can clear your mind of it." The brother, not understanding what has been said, says to the elder: "What is the secret exercise?" - "Be sober in your heart and in your mind soberly, with fear and trembling, say: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me! So the blessed Diadoch prescribes to beginners ". The brother went away from him and, with the help of God and the prayers of his father, became silent and tasted the sweetness of this occupation; it only lasted a short time. Then he evaded him and could not do it soberly and pray, and again came to the old man and told him about what had happened. The old man said to him: "Now you have already learned the path of silence and inner exercise and have tasted its sweetness. So, have in your heart the following: do you take food and drink, are you in conversation, outside the cell or on the road, do not forget with a sober thought and careful mind to bring this prayer, and sing, and engage in prayers and psalms. Even in the performance of any necessary work, your mind will not be idle, but secretly let it engage and pray ... Always - and going to bed, and waking up, and taking food and drink, or talking with someone - keep the heart yours in secret and wise occupation in psalms or prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me! " The legend of Abba Filimon (117, 47-48).
In purely contemplative prayer, the word, like the thought itself, disappears, but not because you want it, but because it's done by itself.
Prayer clever turns into a heartfelt prayer or a heartfelt prayer. It appears simultaneously with the onset of cardiac warmth. Another prayer is no longer in the ordinary course of spiritual life. A cleverly-hearted prayer can penetrate deeply into the heart and be in this case without words and thoughts, consisting in one coming to God and reverently loving to Him. Here it is the same as drawing inwards before God for prayer or finding the spirit of prayer. But all this is not yet a contemplative prayer, which is the highest state of prayer, at times manifested in the elect of God. Bishop Theophan the Recluse (117, 48).
The monk must-whether he eats, drinks, sits, whether he serves, whether he walks or whatever, he does not cease to cry: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me!", And the name of the Lord Jesus, descending into the heart, there the serpent's pastures, the soul will save and quicken. Continually abide with the name of the Lord Jesus, let the heart be swallowed up - the Lord and the Lord - the heart, and they will be one. Do not excommunicate your heart from God, but remain with Him and keep your heart always with the remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ, until the name of the Lord takes root within the heart and it will not think of anything else - let Christ be magnified in you (117, 48).
Therefore, very wise our glorious leaders and mentors, with the Holy Spirit who lives in them, and all of us - especially those who desired to enter the field of the God-given silence, devote themselves to God and, reasonably, to keep away from the world, they are taught primarily before every other by doing and taking care to pray to the Lord and asking Him for mercy with undoubted hope, having an incessant business and calling the calling of His all-holy and sweetest name, forcing Himself in Him and with Him and breathing, and living, sleeping, and watching, and walking, and eating , and drink, and all in general, whatever we do, do so. For as in the absence of Him flies to us all that is evil, leaving no place for anything useful to the soul, so in His presence all the opposite is distilled, there is nothing good in anything good and everything is possible for fulfillment, just as the Lord himself proclaims: "Who dwelleth in me, and I in him, he brings much fruit; for without me you can do nothing "(John 15, 5). Inoki Kallist and Ignatius (117, 48-49).
If you really want to cover your thoughts with shame, be complacent and keep your heart sober, and Jesus' prayer should stick to your breath, and in a few days you will see it in practice.The Monk Ishiih of Jerusalem (117, 49).
What do they seek Jesus' prayer for? That the graceful fire should sink into the heart and incessant prayer begin, which determines the state of grace. It is necessary to know that the prayer of Jesus - as a spark of God falls in the heart, inflates it into a flame, but does not give this spark, but only contributes to its acceptance. What promotes? By gathering thoughts together and giving the soul the opportunity to stand before the Lord and walk in His presence. The main thing is standing and walking before God calling to Him from the heart. So did Maxim Kapsokhalevit ... So let everyone do, seeking a blessed fire, but they do not care about words and positions of the body. God looks at the heart.
I am against saying that some people completely forget about invocation from the heart ... All care for them about the words and position of the body, and having read in this position a certain number of Jesus' prayers, with bows, calm down on this, with some conceit and condemnation of those who walk in church for a common charter prayer. Some of the whole age live and are empty of grace.
If anyone asked me: how can I do a prayer thing? - I would say to him: learn to walk in the presence of God or keep the memory of God and reverence. To maintain this memory, avoid a few short mothballs or directly take the 24 mop of John Chrysostom and often repeat them with the appropriate thoughts and feelings. As far as skill is concerned, the head will be enlightened with the memory of God and the heart will be warmed. In this position, the spark of God will finally sink into the heart - a ray of grace .. It can not be produced in any way, it comes directly from God ... Then you can stay with one Jesus prayer and blow the prayer spark into a flame. This is the straight path (117, 49-50).
Then, when you notice that someone begins to go deep in prayer, you can invite him to do the prayer of Jesus unceasingly and at the same time to keep the memory of God with fear and reverence. Prayer is the first thing. The main thing that is sought for by prayer, is the receipt of that fire, which was given to Maxim Capsocailevite ... This light is not attracted by any art, but is fed freely by the grace of God. For this, prayer work is required, as St. Macarius writes ... You want to gain prayer, he says, work in prayer ... God, seeing how diligently you seek prayer, will give a prayer (Word 1, chapter 13) (117, 50).
In the ordinary experiences of godly life, to the obvious, this justifies the skill of Jesus' prayer. There are few words in it, but they combine everything. Isstari is recognized that, having learned to pray this prayer, you can replace it with all the prayers. And is there anyone who is jealous of salvation, who would not know this work? The power of this prayer is great, according to the image of the holy fathers, but, in fact, we see that not all who have the skill in it are implicated in this power, not everyone tastes of its fruits. Why is this? Because they themselves want to take in their possession that which belongs to the gift of God and is the work of the Lord's grace. To begin to repeat this prayer in the morning, in the evening, while walking, sitting and lying, at work and at leisure there is our business, this does not require God's special help. Working in the same order, one can reach the point that the language will repeat this prayer without our consciousness. There may be some kind of reconciliation of thoughts, and even some kind of warmth of heart, but all this will be, as the monk Nikifor observes in the philanthropy, the cause and the fruit of our efforts. To stop at this means the same thing as being satisfied with the ability of a parrot to pronounce famous words, even such as "Lord, have mercy." The fruit of this is: you will think that you have, whereas you have absolutely nothing. This happens to those who have this prayer during the skill, since it depends on us, the consciousness of what the creature is is not revealed. Unaware of that, they are satisfied with these natural principles of its actions and stop seeking. But whoever discovers this consciousness, he will not stop seeking, but; seeing that no matter how hard it is to act according to the senile directions, all the expected fruit is not detected, it stops all expectation of the fruit from one of its efforts and puts all hope in God. When this is formed, then the opportunity opens and the graceful effect: grace comes at a moment, she is one led, and instills that prayer to the heart. Then, as the elders say, everything will be the same in external order, but not the same in internal strength.
What is said about this prayer, it is applicable to every manifestation of spiritual life. Take an angry and imagine that he was jealous of extinguishing anger and gaining meekness. In the ascetic books, there are indications of how to rule yourself to achieve this. He learns all this and starts acting on the deductions. So where does he go with his efforts? Only as long as the silence of the mouth with the angry, with a certain taming of the wretchedness itself, but to completely extinguish anger and in the heart to establish meekness, he will never reach it before. This happens even when grace comes and instills gentleness to the heart.
So with respect to and to everything. Whatever fruit of the spiritual life you seek, search - seek all-out, but do not expect the fruit of your search and your efforts, but "give up your way to the Lord and trust in Him (without any deduction of anything to your share), and He will "(Psalm 36, 5).
Pray: "I desire, I seek, but quicken me, Thy righteousness."
The Lord defined: "without Me you can not do anything" (John 15, 5). And this law is fulfilled in spiritual life with precision, not on hair that does not deviate from a certain one. When asked: what can I do to acquire this or that virtue? - You can all answer: turn to the Lord - and He will give you; There is no other way to get what you are looking for (117, 50-52).
I will write to you now about ways how to kindle a constant spark, or warmth, in the heart. Recall how heat is excited in the physical world: tinder the tree against a tree and receive warmth and even fire; keep the thing in the sun and it gets warm, and if you concentrate more rays, it also lights up. The way to the origin of spiritual warmth is like this. Works - friction of asceticism; keeping in the sun - clever prayer to God ...
By the labors of asceticism, fire can also catch fire in the heart, but not soon, if they are left alone: there are many obstacles in the way. Therefore, for the time being, the zealots of salvation experienced in the spiritual life, without departing from these works, according to God's suggestion, discovered and transferred to use all the other ways for warming the heart, and moreover the simplest and lightest in appearance, but no less difficult to perform, only rather leading to sing: it is advisable to perform a clever prayer to the Lord Savior. It consists in the following: become the mind and attention in the heart and, having established yourself in the belief that the Lord is near and listen, cry to Him tenderly: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me sinful (or sinful)." And do it incessantly - I'm in church, and at home, and on the road, and at work, at the table, and in the driveway - in a word, from the moment you open your eyes to the way you close them. It will be exactly the same as keeping the thing in the sun, because here there is holding oneself in the face of the Lord, Who is the Sun of the intelligent world. It is necessary to know that the fruit of this prayer begins when it is grafted to the heart and deepens into it, and for this it is necessary to work on the skill to perform it; for this it is necessary to separate only the known part of time, in the morning and in the evening.
When all this is done with zeal, it is non-lazy and non-arbitrary - the Lord is merciful - there will be a spark in the heart that will testify to the birth at the center of the nature of our inner spiritual life, or about the accession of the Lord in us ...
A distinctive feature of the state when the Kingdom of God is revealed inside, or, what is the same, when the spiritual fire in the heart is heated from the attitude towards God, is inside. Consciousness is all concentrated in the heart and stands before the Lord, pouring out His feelings before Him, most painfully falling to Him in humble feelings of repentance, willingly devoting all his life to the service of Him alone. Such a system is established every day, from the moment of awakening from sleep, it lasts all day, with all the labors and occupations, and does not go away until the sleep is in the eyes. Together with the formation of such a system, all the disorganization that prevailed inside until this moment, during the period of seeking, ceases in this transitional state of languor ... The irresistible fermentation of thoughts ceases; the atmosphere of the soul becomes pure and unclouded; there is one thought and memory of the Lord. Hence enlightenment in everything internal. Everything is clear there, every movement is noticed and dignifiedly evaluated with a clever light coming from the face of the contemplated Lord. Because of this, every bad thought and unkind feeling, which are attached to the heart, meet the resistance in the very bud, and run away ... If, contrary to the will, something contradictory slips, immediately humbly confesses to the Lord and is purified by internal repentance or by an external confession, so that conscience is always kept clean before the Lord. As a reward for all such inner work, boldness is offered to God in prayer, which is constantly burning in the heart. The unceasing warmth of prayer is the spirit of this life, so that with the cessation of this heat, the movement of spiritual life also ceases, as with the cessation of breathing, the life of the body ceases (117, 52-54).
I'm not saying that everything should be done as soon as you reach this state of tangible communication. This is only the beginning of a new degree, or a new period of the Christian life. From here comes the transformation of the soul and body according to the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, or their spiritualization. Having prevailed over himself, man will begin to enclose in himself all that is true, holy and pure and to expel all the false, sinful and carnal. And so far he has been working on the same, but every minute he was hiding: that he managed to create, then almost immediately was ruined. Now it's not that. A man has become a firm foot and, without succumbing to oppositions, conducts expediently his creation. Perceived, according to Varsonofius, the fire that the Lord brought down to the earth, and in this fire all the forces of the human nature begin to burn out. If by long friction you excite fire and put it into the wood, the wood will light up and the grief will emit a crash and smoke until it burns out. Burned out are the permeated fire, emitting a pleasant light, without smoke and cod. Just like this happens inside. Fire is perceived, burnout begins. How much smoke and cod are known to the experienced. But when everything burns out, the smoke and the cracking cease, and only light remains inside. This is a state of purity: it's a long way to go. But the Lord is many-merciful and omnipotent ... Obviously, to him who took the fire of tangible communication with the Lord, rest is not required, but work is many, but labor is sweet and fruitful; until now, he was bitter, and not very fruitful, if not completely sterile (117, 54-55).
As you begin to get used to praying properly on other people's prayers, your prayers and appeals to God will also be stirred up. Never ignore these manifestations of the ascendant in your soul towards God, but each time they become excited, stop and pray with your prayer. Do not think that by praying like this, you do damage to prayer: no, here you are praying properly, and this prayer is more likely to reach God. That is why there is a rule that everyone teaches: if in the church, whether at home your soul itself will want to pray for its own, and not for other people's words, give it freedom, let it be prayed, even though the whole service itself will pray, and at home from the prayer rule will lag behind and not will have time to accomplish it.
The one and the other way of prayer - according to prayer books with attention and corresponding reverential thoughts and feelings or without them, in their words - are pleasing to God. He is unpleasant only when someone reads the prayers at home or in the church stands on duty without attention: the language reads or the ear listens, and thoughts roam about where. There is no prayer at all. But prayer is not readable, but personal is closer to the essence of the matter and more fruitful. Therefore, it is advised not always to wait until you want to pray yourself, but to force yourself to pray like this, and not only during the church service and home prayer, but also at all times. For the skill in this self-imposed prayer work, experienced prayer-seekers chose one prayer for the Lord the Savior and established rules on how to perform it, in order to develop personal prayer in it. It's a simple matter: become a mind in the heart before the Lord and pray to Him: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me." So at home before the prayer, in the intervals of prayer and at the end, and in the church, and all day, so that all the moments of the day are filled with prayer.
This salutary prayer is usually labor, doing. But if one is too lazy to work on it, it will become self-propelled, it will itself be created, like a trickling sound in the heart. This is a great blessing, and it is worthwhile to work hard to achieve it. Workers who succeed in prayer, indicate for this a small work, or a slightly difficult prayer exercise, namely: before or after the prayer rule, the morning or evening, or even in the daytime, determine some time for the accomplishment of this one prayer. And do it like this: Sit down, but rather stay prayerfully, focus your attention in the heart before the Lord, having raised the conviction that He is here and hearkens to you, and cry to Him: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me," and bow, if there is a hunt, belt and earth. So do a quarter of an hour, half an hour, more or less, as you prefer. The harder you work, the sooner this prayer comes to your heart. It is better to tackle the matter more maturely and not to retreat until you reach the desired or until this prayer begins to move itself in the heart; after that, just support. The warmth of the heart or the burning of the spirit, which was previously said, come just this way.
The more the prayer of Jesus takes root in the heart, the warmer the heart warms and the prayer becomes more self-moving, so that the fire of spiritual life in the heart flares up, and its burning becomes unceasing, while the prayer of Jesus takes the whole heart and becomes unceasingly moving. Therefore, those who have received the birth of a perfect inner life pray almost exclusively with this prayer, determining it by their prayer rule (117, 55-56).
St. Gregory of Sinai writes: "The accepted by us in Christ Jesus in holy Baptism is not destroyed, but only burrows, like a treasure, into the earth. Both prudence and gratitude are required to take care of opening it and making it clear. The following methods lead to this: first, this gift is opened by the difficult execution of the commandments, so that since we obey the commandments, this gift reveals its grace and its brilliance; secondly, he comes into the phenomenon and reveals himself by the incessant call of the Lord Jesus, or, what is the same, the incessant memory of God. And the first means are powerful, but the second is more powerful, so that the first one from him gets his full power. Therefore, if we sincerely want to reveal the fertile seed concealed in us, we will hasten to quickly get to the heart exercise and have always this heart of prayer in the heart, without images and imagination, while it warms our heart and inflames it to an indescribable love for the Lord. " Bishop Theophan the Recluse (117, 57).
This prayer is called Jesus because it refers to the Lord Jesus and is verbal in composition, like any other short prayer. I must multiply, and it must be called, when raised not only by one word, but also by the mind, and the heart, with the consciousness of its content and feeling, and especially when through a long attention with attention the use merges so much with the movements of the spirit that they are alone, but there are no words. Any short mothball can ascend to this degree. Jesus' prayer is an advantage because it combines the Lord Jesus with the soul, and the Lord Jesus is the only door to the communion with God, to which the prayer is sought. For He Himself said: "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14, 6). Therefore, the person who acquired it assimilates to itself the entire power of the incarnated House-building, which is our salvation. Hearing this, you will not be surprised why the zealots for salvation did not spare labor, trying to get the prayer and learn its strength. Take from them an example of yourself and you.
It is necessary to know that the true sign of deed and together the condition of prosperity through it is sufficiency. The patient who walks without pain will not receive the fruit. Heart disease and bodily labor result in the gift of the Holy Spirit, given to everyone who believes in holy baptism, who is buried in passions by our negligence about the fulfillment of the commandments, but resurrected in repentance by the unspeakable mercy of God. Do not back off from work because of their painfulness, so that you will not be condemned for infertility and not hear: "Take from him talents." Every feat, bodily or spiritual, not accompanied by soreness and requiring no labor, does not bear fruit: "The Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force, and those who use force exalt it" (Matthew 11, 12). Many years have labored and labored for nothing, but because of the painlessness of this, the purity of the Holy Spirit and the innocence of the Holy Spirit, as those who rejected the cruelty of illnesses, were alien to them. In neglect and relaxation, those who do work as if much, but do not reap any fruit because of painlessness. If, according to the prophet, our loins are not broken, weak from the labors of labor, and if we are not planted in the heart of painful feelings of contrition and do not become ill as the beggar, then we can not give birth to the spirit of salvation in the land of our heart. Bishop Theophan the Recluse (117, 59).