What is Prayer?

“Without inner spiritual prayer there is no prayer at all, for this alone is real prayer, pleasing to God. It is the soul within the words of prayer that matters, whether the prayer is at home or in church, and if inner prayer is absent, then the words have only the appearance and not the reality of prayer. What then is prayer? Prayer is the raising of the mind and heart to God in praise and thanksgiving to Him and in supplication for the good things we need, both spiritual and physical. The essence of prayer is therefore the spiritual lifting of the heart towards God. The mind in the heart stands consciously before the face of God, filled with due reverence, and begins to pour itself out before Him. This is spiritual prayer, and all prayer should be of this nature. External prayer, whether at home or in church, is only prayer’s verbal expression and shape; the essence of the soul of prayer is within a man’s mind and heart.”

(St. Theophan the Recluse in The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology, pg. 53)

One thought on “What is Prayer?

  1. Pingback: Who Do You Pray To? | Matthewscottwallace's Blog

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