||Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2011 - 05:50:02
Source: Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church
- Designate A Prayer Space: Whether it is in
the corner of your desk or a little stand in your room, it is important to
have a place where you can put your Bible, Icons, etc. Dedicate the use of
that space for God alone.
- Acquire A Time: Incorporate prayer in your
routine and set time aside to center your thoughts to God.
- Acquire A Library: Start with a Bible,
then get a small Orthodox Prayer Book, after that start collecting books. Here
are some suggestions: 'Living the Liturgy' (Fr. Stanley Harakas), 'The Way
of a Pilgrim' (Monk of the Eastern Church), 'For the Life of the World'
(Fr. Alexander Schmemann), 'Beginning to Pray' (Metropolitan Anthony
Bloom), 'Bread for Life' (Fr. Theodore Stylianopoulos), 'The Orthodox Way'
(Bishop Kallistos Ware), 'Way of the Aesetic (Tito Collander).
- Assemble An Altar: In your prayer center
gather icons (Christ, Theotokos, Guardian Angel and patron saint), service
books, incense, votive light, a cross, a prayer rope, etc. Incorporate
your five senses in prayer.
- Pray: Speak from your heart. Learn prayers
of the Church. Try the Jesus Prayer or the Lord's Prayer. Also
incorporate your own prayers and thoughts.
- Acquire A Spiritual Guide: This is a very
important step. One should build a relationship with either a member of
the clergy, monk or nun, who will become your spiritual guide. He/she will
help guide and pace you to a balanced prayer life. The Sacrament of
Confession can be arranged through your priest.
- Fasting and Almsgiving: Fasting adds a
dimension to your prayer life. Your fasting practice should be regulated
to avoid physical and spiritual harm. As for alms, give where you see a
need and trust that the Lord will provide.
- Build On What You Already Have: If you
already have a routine, build on it. If, for example, you pray before you
go to sleep, it will be easier to read a chapter from the Bible before
your bedtime prayers, than to set up some time during the day to read.
- Sanctify All That You Do. You may have set
aside a time and space for a prayer routine, but that doesn't mean you
should separate your life into sacred and secular. Privately thank God for
what you have at all times, and make Him aware of your every concern. Dedicate
everything you do to Him.
- Remember the power of the Life-giving
Cross, The sign of the Cross is a reminder of Christ in our lives. Blessing
oneself with the cross by holding the first two fingers of the right hand
and thumb together represents the Holy Trinity. The last two fingers held
to the palm represent the two natures of Christ - God and man. Orthodox
Christians cross themselves from the head to the breast and from shoulder
to shoulder, right to left. This unique and all embracing symbol shows
that the cross is the inspiration, power and indeed the very content of
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