Prayer rule is daily spiritual "training"
Orthodoxy teaches that prayer is communion with God. But it is not so easy to turn your communication into a dialogue with the Lord, who does not communicate with a person with words. It will take desire and systematicity for regular "training" - the rule of prayer.
What should God do to hear?
God does not hear me - they say many. Someone even give up and they do not want to continue to continue the appeal. But before this prayer still need to grow.
In order for a musician to successfully get some kind of composition, it takes a lot of rehearsals, repeating individual parts. The athlete, to achieve high results, you need to systematically train. Success does not come immediately. Not only do you have talent, you need to develop it.
The ability to pray really requires a lot of effort from a person, regular "training." Often influenced by the conditions under which a person turns to the Lord.
The word "prayer" has several meanings:
- the sacred text by which we turn to God;
- the very process of turning to God. This article mainly focuses on this understanding.
In most cases, we primarily execute the prayer rule.
Real prayer is obtained when a person realizes that he really needs God. Often the serious illnesses of a person or his family open their eyes to the spiritual state of a person. Relief no one to expect. Man understands that his life in this world and in the other is in the hands of God. This is not some kind of fate, fate, but what he deserves with his life.
Then he turns to God for help, promises himself to change and moves in that direction. These are usually brief moments of “insight”, accompanied by the understanding that God has heard a person and will do what is best for him.
But these brief moments are worthwhile for a person to continue his “spiritual training,” which is called the prayer rule.
What to include in the "spiritual schedule"?
The word “rule” itself indicates a systematic and obligatory execution. For each person it has an individual character.
Usually common to all believers are morning and evening prayers ("coming to sleep"). Why is it desirable to read them? Because they set up a person for the beginning of a new day and for its completion. In the morning we ask God for the health and repose of family and dear people, as well as for peace in the country, for all Orthodox Christians, we call upon our own Guardian Angel and the Most Holy Mother of God. In the evening we sum up the past day and repent before God in all sins committed.
Many Orthodox also include the reading of the Gospel and the Psalms (each day, one chapter and kathisma). In order to protect oneself from a false understanding of the sacred texts, it is advisable to use the interpretations of the holy fathers. Because of the misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures, various sects and religious movements appeared in all ages, which “in their own way” understood the content of the Bible.
Before you expand your prayer rule, you should consult with your confessor and ask for his blessings. He has relevant experience, knows your spiritual level and can give recommendations. In addition, the prayer rule is characterized by regular execution. If you backtrack from what you promised, then you sin already, and you need to repent of it.
Therefore, it is necessary to expand it gradually, by force, in order to create a prayer with a "broken heart" and not to repay oneself as a great prayer book.
Over time, you can add to your spiritual schedule the Mother of God rule (150 times, "Virgin, Hail, Rejoice," after each dozen — additional requests — about relatives who have fallen away from the Church, grieving, for deliverance from temptation, need, and so on).
It is useful to read the Psalm of the Mother of God, which resembles the Psalter of King David in structure.
Also in the prayer rule, you can include texts, appeals to those saints, whom you especially revere. You can also read akathists, who are laudatory chants dedicated to the Savior, the Most Holy Theotokos, individual saints. Everyone determines how much time he can spend on his rule.
Is it possible to pray constantly?
The Apostle Paul says that it is necessary to pray without ceasing. How to do it in the conditions of modern life, if you are not in a monastery?
We must approach this philosophically. It is not necessary to constantly whisper the words of memorized texts. To live with God in your heart and learn to serve him with all your actions, to fulfill it with love and gratitude.When there is time, but there is no opportunity to retire in front of the icons and get the prayer book, you can silently read the Jesus Prayer or "The Virgin Mary, rejoice" or simply "Lord, have mercy."
This can also be a small prayer rule. Remember the advice of Serafim Sarovsky to those who do not have time to turn to the Lord with the texts from the prayer book, being in solitude. It is necessary in the morning and in the evening thrice to read the Lord’s Prayer and the “Virgin to the Virgin, rejoice” and once the Symbol of Faith. All the rest of the time, create the Jesus prayer or turn to the Most Holy Theotokos.
In prayer, it is important not so much quantity as quality. It is possible to “mumble” morning, evening, and five more akathists, but the heart does not understand anything.
This special gift must also be earned. First, you need a desire. Secondly, be prepared for the fact that the quality will not be immediately. First you have to keep at a moderate amount and regularity. The saints did not immediately acquire such a gift. It took nights of tears and kneeling. But who knocks, they open it.