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Prayer in Church

[II Tim. 3:16–4:4; Luke 19:45–48] My house is the house of prayer. And indeed, just enter into a church, and it already calls you to prayer. Every­thing there is dis­posed and done in order to dis­pose one to and assist prayer. There­fore, if you want to stir up prayer in your heart, go more often to the church of God. At home you will not pray as you can in church. There are those who pray warm­ly at home too, but if they pray this way at home, how much high­er is their prayer in Church? But when you are in church, be there not only in body, but rather in spir­it. Stand where it is qui­eter, and behold­ing the Lord before you with your mind, pour out before Him your soul. Chase a­ way day­dreams, do not allow con­ cerns, and heed only one job — the job of prayer. Lift up your heavy soul on high and break up its coarse­ness through con­tem­pla­tion of Divine things. If you have some [sin on your con­science], remove it from your­self through repen­tance and a promise of cor­rec­tion. If your con­science is not sat­is­fied, add deeds of self-denial and love. Stand­ ing in church, pre­pare for how you will be out­side of church for the rest of the time, pre­pare your­self to nev­ er step away from the Lord in thought, but always to see Him be­ fore you, so that your steps would not stray from the right path to the wrong one. Then, when you come to church it will be eas­i­er for you to be as you ought to be there. By stand­ ing appro­pri­ate­ly in church it will be eas­i­er for you to hold your atten­ tion before the Lord when you are out­side of church… Thus your [state of] abid­ing in the Lord will grow high­er and high­er. What more could one desire?

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse