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Things go better with prayer -

quietmorning

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Today was the first time in nearly a year that I've been able to get back to some hint of my prayer rule. . . and for the first time in ages, my soul feels the warmth and love of the Holy Spirit in His comfort. 

What do you notice as being better when you are able to pray consistently?
 

montalo

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I cant speak of having a consistent prayer rule, because I'm terrible with it. But when I do, i always feel "wwhy havent I been doing this, it is quite nice"
 

biro

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TheMathematician said:
I cant speak of having a consistent prayer rule, because I'm terrible with it. But when I do, i always feel "wwhy havent I been doing this, it is quite nice"
True for me as well.
 

Maria

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quietmorning said:
Today was the first time in nearly a year that I've been able to get back to some hint of my prayer rule. . . and for the first time in ages, my soul feels the warmth and love of the Holy Spirit in His comfort. 

What do you notice as being better when you are able to pray consistently?
Praise the Lord.

Prayer to the soul is like gas to the car.
 

quietmorning

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Maria said:
quietmorning said:
Today was the first time in nearly a year that I've been able to get back to some hint of my prayer rule. . . and for the first time in ages, my soul feels the warmth and love of the Holy Spirit in His comfort.  

What do you notice as being better when you are able to pray consistently?
Praise the Lord.

Prayer to the soul is like gas to the car.
"Gentle tease:"

So you can go places and do things once you pray?  :)

I know that when I don't have time to pray at all I get very 'burdened' very quickly.  But if I can consistantly pray - then I can BREATHE and my soul is AWAKE.  

And I don't know how suffocated and asleep I am until I pray. . .and keep praying.

I totally agree with you, Maria - I don't move spiritually unless I pray.
 

quietmorning

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TheMathematician said:
I cant speak of having a consistent prayer rule, because I'm terrible with it. But when I do, i always feel "wwhy havent I been doing this, it is quite nice"
Do you notice an effect on the rest of the day?
 

biro

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If I go too long without prayer, I sometimes feel unsettled and ill. I've taken to keeping a Bible and a prayerbook on the lamp table.
 

quietmorning

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biro said:
If I go too long without prayer, I sometimes feel unsettled and ill. I've taken to keeping a Bible and a prayerbook on the lamp table.
Me too. . .and I find that it helps to motivate me to read/pray even if I only have a few minutes.  There have been many many days that I've peeled out of bed and hit the ground running. . . wonder if any of the Apostles ended up with days like this?  If so, I want to know which one, so's I can get their Icon and ask for help! :)
 

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quietmorning said:
biro said:
If I go too long without prayer, I sometimes feel unsettled and ill. I've taken to keeping a Bible and a prayerbook on the lamp table.
Me too. . .and I find that it helps to motivate me to read/pray even if I only have a few minutes.  There have been many many days that I've peeled out of bed and hit the ground running. . . wonder if any of the Apostles ended up with days like this?  If so, I want to know which one, so's I can get their Icon and ask for help! :)
I always find that if there are days when I have to hit the ground running praying my morning rule while I'm in the car helps a lot
 

lovesupreme

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I don't think I can explain how prayer helps me, but it does.

It's centering.
 

Mor Ephrem

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quietmorning said:
Today was the first time in nearly a year that I've been able to get back to some hint of my prayer rule. . . and for the first time in ages, my soul feels the warmth and love of the Holy Spirit in His comfort. 

What do you notice as being better when you are able to pray consistently?
I wish I could say "my soul feels the warmth and love of the Holy Spirit in His comfort".  Whenever I feel something I think approaches that, I wonder if it is for real or if I'm just tricking myself into believing that because of all the "God stuff" I'm saying and doing. 

When I am able to pray consistently, the one thing I notice in terms of improvement is my thoughts: they are less scattered, more focused.  And that carries over into my words and actions as well.  When I don't pray consistently, whether in terms of frequency or quality, I'm much more "all over the place". 

Altar Server said:
I always find that if there are days when I have to hit the ground running praying my morning rule while I'm in the car helps a lot
I know of people who do this, or who pray while walking/exercising.  Whenever I've tried this, I've found it to be frustrating.  I cannot concentrate in the same way I can when in church or in front of my icons.  Either I'm more or less reciting/repeating words almost by rote or I'm concentrating enough that I can't pay the necessary attention while driving or walking or whatever.  Is there a way to get better at this?  Or is it something that only certain types of people can do?  Or is there some value to this sort of rote prayer? 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Altar Server said:
I always find that if there are days when I have to hit the ground running praying my morning rule while I'm in the car helps a lot
I know of people who do this, or who pray while walking/exercising.  Whenever I've tried this, I've found it to be frustrating.  I cannot concentrate in the same way I can when in church or in front of my icons.  Either I'm more or less reciting/repeating words almost by rote or I'm concentrating enough that I can't pay the necessary attention while driving or walking or whatever.  Is there a way to get better at this?  Or is it something that only certain types of people can do?  Or is there some value to this sort of rote prayer? 
I'm not quite as focused as I would be in front of my icons....but I  always figure it's better than not praying at all. I think even just saying the prayers by rote with good intentions is better than not praying at all
 

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Most days I am consistant with my prayer rule. I have to set my mind to purposely do so. I fight laziness and I need this discipline but, more than that, it helps me to "die to self" in coming before the Lord to acknowledge that He is the Master of my day and not myself.  Those days I don't pray I sense a rebellious spirit within me  . . .sort of as if I'm telling the Lord "Today - I got this" (such pride and arrogance!) or it is because I have sinned in some way and am hiding from Him, as I have yet to come before Him to acknowledge my sin and ask for mercy and forgiveness.
 

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quietmorning said:
What do you notice as being better when you are able to pray consistently?
Everything.

Keeping a prayer rule is a major struggle and requires a great deal of forcefulness.  St. Barsanuphius of Optina said very well:

[size=10pt] Prayer, fasting, and vigilance over ourselves, i.e., carefully watching our thoughts and feelings, make us victors over the enemies of our salvation. The most difficult of these three works is prayer - an everlasting virtue which will become a habit if we practice it. But prayer, until our very death, will require coercion on our part, a constant struggle.
I think it is very helpful to remember this quote and to understand that even the great saints considered prayer to be a constant struggle.  It is very important to understand this struggle spiritually so that we recognize the cause and source of this struggle.  It is difficult to make any progress in this struggle unless we understand that it is the Evil One who wants to keep us from prayer, and so many of the excuses and distractions that prevent us from praying are temptations from the one who seeks to devour us. 

Starting the day by giving proper attention to prayer and fulfilling one's prayer rule is to begin the day with Christ and to start the day with a major victory over the Evil One.  If we devote sufficient time and attention to prayer, we will know the grace of God and how much we need and depend on God's grace for everything.  With the grace of God within us, we then are better equipped to face the challenges of our day in a more prayerful manner.  However, this grace can easily be dissipated if we are not careful, which is why the Fathers emphasize the importance of watchfulness. 

In keeping our prayer rule we gain a great victory over the Evil One, but he does not give up easily and will try to find another way to trip us up.  If we preserve the fruits of prayer as we go through our day, we will have the strength to battle against him.  But, to begin our day without sufficient time and attention in prayer is like entering a battle field naked, with no armor, and on an empty stomach. 

We should all pray for each other that we would become more prayerful and that we might truly know the grace and love of God. 
 

WPM

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I agree about daily prayer.
 

Mor Ephrem

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jah777 said:
Starting the day by giving proper attention to prayer and fulfilling one's prayer rule is to begin the day with Christ and to start the day with a major victory over the Evil One.  If we devote sufficient time and attention to prayer, we will know the grace of God and how much we need and depend on God's grace for everything.  With the grace of God within us, we then are better equipped to face the challenges of our day in a more prayerful manner.  However, this grace can easily be dissipated if we are not careful, which is why the Fathers emphasize the importance of watchfulness. 
It's so good to see "dissipated" used properly for once. 
 

yeshuaisiam

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This thread is great.  Prayer is such a wonderful thing to do, and do frequently.  For me it brings me a closer feeling to God and less of a feeling of "it's all on my shoulders".  It helps my faith in God as well.
 

quietmorning

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jah777 said:
quietmorning said:
What do you notice as being better when you are able to pray consistently?
Everything.

Keeping a prayer rule is a major struggle and requires a great deal of forcefulness.  St. Barsanuphius of Optina said very well:

[size=10pt] Prayer, fasting, and vigilance over ourselves, i.e., carefully watching our thoughts and feelings, make us victors over the enemies of our salvation. The most difficult of these three works is prayer - an everlasting virtue which will become a habit if we practice it. But prayer, until our very death, will require coercion on our part, a constant struggle.
I think it is very helpful to remember this quote and to understand that even the great saints considered prayer to be a constant struggle.  It is very important to understand this struggle spiritually so that we recognize the cause and source of this struggle.  It is difficult to make any progress in this struggle unless we understand that it is the Evil One who wants to keep us from prayer, and so many of the excuses and distractions that prevent us from praying are temptations from the one who seeks to devour us. 

Starting the day by giving proper attention to prayer and fulfilling one's prayer rule is to begin the day with Christ and to start the day with a major victory over the Evil One.  If we devote sufficient time and attention to prayer, we will know the grace of God and how much we need and depend on God's grace for everything.  With the grace of God within us, we then are better equipped to face the challenges of our day in a more prayerful manner.  However, this grace can easily be dissipated if we are not careful, which is why the Fathers emphasize the importance of watchfulness. 

In keeping our prayer rule we gain a great victory over the Evil One, but he does not give up easily and will try to find another way to trip us up.  If we preserve the fruits of prayer as we go through our day, we will have the strength to battle against him.  But, to begin our day without sufficient time and attention in prayer is like entering a battle field naked, with no armor, and on an empty stomach. 

We should all pray for each other that we would become more prayerful and that we might truly know the grace and love of God. 
Jah777, this is very helpful.  Thank you for the reminder.  :)
 

Alveus Lacuna

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My wife asked me if I feel closer to God from keepig a prayer rule/reading prayers, because this way of praying is pretty foreign to her. I told her that I see the results of prayer in my life more than get a feeling. I find myself more faithful with the things that matter. But usually my emotions are consistently unreliable.
 

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Great thread. My main benefit of prayer is simply remembrance of God, although I find it centering and calming and some of the other things already mentioned here. If I start missing my prayers, God begins to become something I cry out to when I'm stressed or maybe complain to when something in my life goes wrong. God goes way into the background, and other things move to the forefront to fill in the gap (excessive alcohol, sports, tv shows, socializing, etc.), which is never a good thing.
 

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lovesupreme said:
I don't think I can explain how prayer helps me, but it does.

It's centering.
This.  Also, I usually do not follow a "prayer rule".  I talk to God throughout the day, sometimes out loud and sometimes just in my mind.  I am most "at peace" when I am in nature marveling at His creation and the beauty thereof. 
 

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Punch said:
lovesupreme said:
I don't think I can explain how prayer helps me, but it does.

It's centering.
This.  Also, I usually do not follow a "prayer rule".  I talk to God throughout the day, sometimes out loud and sometimes just in my mind.  I am most "at peace" when I am in nature marveling at His creation and the beauty thereof. 
Ah, try it.

I chant the Paracleisis to the Most Holy Theotokos every night. Now I can chant it from memory without a book, but I use the book anyway. Last night, my sleepy husband tried to chant it from memory, and it came out really funny, so he quickly opened the book.

When a prayer is recited every day, it becomes habitual, and one can even chant it during sleep. Thus sleep becomes more peaceful.
 

Alpo

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Generally I'm happier if I pray on a daily basis. Frankly I don't really care whether it's just my emotions or something else. It's nice to be happy.
 

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I have not prayed in a few years. Last time I prayed I broke down in tears confessing my sins and defects asking to be cleared of doubts and pain, praying for those in my life I have wronged, and praying for my family members, friends, and people I barely know. I will admit I felt so good afterwords, but praying the way I do and releasing the pain inside me keeps me afraid of praying. I am stuck on stupid and stuck in my sins.  :'(
 

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Alpo said:
Generally I'm happier if I pray on a daily basis. Frankly I don't really care whether it's just my emotions or something else. It's nice to be happy.
Years ago, I could not think this way. I had to KNOW!! But now I think an attitude like yours is a good one to have.
 

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stavros_388 said:
Great thread. My main benefit of prayer is simply remembrance of God, although I find it centering and calming and some of the other things already mentioned here. If I start missing my prayers, God begins to become something I cry out to when I'm stressed or maybe complain to when something in my life goes wrong. God goes way into the background, and other things move to the forefront to fill in the gap (excessive alcohol, sports, tv shows, socializing, etc.), which is never a good thing.
How would you explain that? Seems normal. Everything in between
 

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The days I don't start with prayer usually end up sucking.  I've been having some sucky days.  It's good to talk to God, even if it's to remind myself to give thanks for being allowed to breathe.
 

quietmorning

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Prayer slows my thinking down. . .and I start really paying attention and it is obvious that I am much more sober minded when I pray than when I don't. 
 

WPM

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quietmorning said:
What do you notice as being better when you are able to pray consistently?
Hi,

I have been experimenting with a Buddhist prayer rope. Where prayer is much more mechanical and actually resolves problems.
 

quietmorning

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WPM said:
quietmorning said:
What do you notice as being better when you are able to pray consistently?
Hi,

I have been experimenting with a Buddhist prayer rope. Where prayer is much more mechanical and actually resolves problems.
I made one for my son a few years ago - it was loooooooong. :)  How do you use it - do you use it like the Orthodox Prayer rope?  What type of problems does it resolve?
 

WPM

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quietmorning said:
WPM said:
quietmorning said:
What do you notice as being better when you are able to pray consistently?
Hi,

I have been experimenting with a Buddhist prayer rope. Where prayer is much more mechanical and actually resolves problems.
I made one for my son a few years ago - it was loooooooong. :)  How do you use it - do you use it like the Orthodox Prayer rope?  What type of problems does it resolve?
Trying to make sense of Prayer and my particular reasons ... It resolves a problem in Psychology. (My experiment with Buddhist prayer beads) ... It means ~

Things we love/Things we hate  

Plus acquiring things we hope for.  
 

quietmorning

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WPM said:
quietmorning said:
WPM said:
quietmorning said:
What do you notice as being better when you are able to pray consistently?
Hi,

I have been experimenting with a Buddhist prayer rope. Where prayer is much more mechanical and actually resolves problems.
I made one for my son a few years ago - it was loooooooong. :)  How do you use it - do you use it like the Orthodox Prayer rope?  What type of problems does it resolve?
Trying to make sense of Prayer and my particular reasons ... It resolves a problem in Psychology. (My experiment with Buddhist prayer beads) ... It means ~

Things we love/Things we hate  

Plus acquiring things we hope for.  
Ah, ok. . . that makes sense with the resolution.  Is this a meditation?  Or a form of meditation?  I can see how it can resolve problems in Psychology (or problem) as there are often so many conflicts.
 
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