On Prayer

Hegoumen Nikon (Vorobyov)






                Distracted prayer is not prayer, although the Lord accepts such prayer in the beginning, from those who are still learning to pray. However, we must learn how to pray without becoming distracted.

                If you abstain from anger and preserve your peace, then your prayer will be good.  But if you become restless, you will not be able to pray.

                The Lord does not accept prayers offered while in a state of anger. Those who pray in such a manner are handed over to ruthless servants, to demons who drive people away from the spiritual table, far away from the wedding feast and into the darkness of every kind of vain, and sometimes unclean thought. This will prevail until we are humbled, until we cry out to the Lord from the depths of our heart, until we forgive our fellow men, and ourselves seek forgiveness, and until we attain peace of the spirit, for it is said: "In spiritual peace is the abode of  God."

                Where there is unrest reigns the evil one and darkness, heaviness of the soul and other seeds of Hades.

                Humility has the power to direct all of one's thoughts towards God, whereas restlessness, vanity and pride scatter them. If one's thoughts are greatly scattered, it is an indication that there is something in our soul which is not good.  It means that the devil (the enemy) has somehow found his way into our souls and we must repent and beg God for forgiveness and help. One should search for the cause of such a state. This sometimes occurs (even if no anger is involved) due to excessive pride, strong attachment to worldly matters, from long profane conversations, or from judging our neighbor.

                Good, attentive prayer that comes from the heart is the way to the Kingdom of God, which is "within ourselves." If we lack such prayer, this is a sure sign that we have angered God.

                Be attentive to yourself. Keep your inner peace, make haste to be reconciled with everyone, pour out your sins and your burdens before God more often. Act according to your conscience, then you will feel well and you will be saved.  It will then go well for you in this life, and after death you will gain eternal grace.

                Pray for me.