Developing a Rule of Prayer

The main reason I’m out in the desert this week is as Coordinator for the St Philip’s Prayer Discipline. The website is coming along and should be complete soon. By your prayers!

Prayer. It’s one of the three pillars of our struggle as Orthodox Christians …

Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving.

It’s how we work out our salvation.

And yet, for many, Prayer presents the greatest challenge of the three.

In fact, if I may be so bold to say: Without Prayer the other two, Fasting and Almsgiving, are nothing more than Dieting and Philanthropy.

First of all, what do we mean by Prayer?

I’m always amused when others say of Orthodox: “Oh! You pray out of a book?”

Yes, it’s true, unless you’ve memorized the prayers – we do!

I’m tempted to respond: “What? Your preacher preaches out of a book?”

The chief end of Prayer is to glorify God. Now, for some, that may be a no-brainer. But, believe me, for many — it’s a new concept.

Let me state it clearly: Prayer is not simply talking to God (though it is that).

Prayer is not simply worrying in the name of Jesus. Remember? He told us not to worry. (Matthew 6:25-34)

Nope … worrying in Jesus name is not praying.

Our Prayer should give glory to God.

When the disciples came to Jesus and asked: “Master, how should we pray?”

Jesus did not respond: “Just talk to me.”

I mean, they were talking to him!

Rather, as recorded in the Gospel according to Luke: He was praying in a certain place, and when He ceased, one of his disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

And He said to them …

Listen to the Orthodixie Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.

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