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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