Sunday, March 14, 2010

Quotations from the Ladder of Divine Ascent on Prayer

"If we wish to stand before our King and God and converse with Him, we must not rush into this without preparation, lest, seeing us from afar without weapons and clothing suitable for those who stand before the King, He should order His servants and slaves to seize us and banish us from His presence and tear up our petitions and throw them in our face." Step 28:3

"During prayer and supplication, stand with trembling, like a convict standing before a judge, so that, both by your outward appearance as well as by your inner disposition, you may extinguish the wrath of the just Judge; for He will not despise a widow soul standing before Him burdened with sorrow and wearying the Unwearying One." 7:11

"The work of prayer is one and the same for all, but there are many kinds of prayer…" 28:6

"Before all else, let us list sincere thanksgiving first on the scroll of our prayer. On the second line, we should put confession and heartfelt contrition of soul. Then let us present our petition to the King of all. This is the best way of prayer, as it was shown to one of the brethren by an angel of the Lord." 28:7.

"Do not be over-sophisticated in the words you use when praying, because the simple and unadorned lisping of children has often won the heart of their Heavenly Father." 28:9

"If you feel sweetness or compunction at some word of your prayer, dwell on it; for then our guardian angel is praying with us." 28:11

"Oil and salt are seasoning for food; and tears and chastity give wings to prayer." 28:14

"Try to lift up, or rather, to enclose your thoughts within the words of your prayer, and if in its infant state it wearies and falls, lift it up again. Instability is natural to the mind, but God is powerful to establish all things. If you persevere untiringly in this labor, He who sets the bound of the sea of the mind will visit you too, and during your prayer will say to the waves: Thus far shall ye come and no further. Spirit cannot be bound; but where the Creator of the spirit is, everything obeys." 28:17

"Constantly wrestle with your thoughts, and whenever it wanders call it back to you. God does not require from those still under obedience, prayer completely free of distraction. Do not despond when your thoughts are plundered, but take courage, and unceasingly recall your mind. Inviolability is proper only to an angel." 4:92

"Do not admit any sensory phantasies during prayer, lest you become subject to derangement." 28:42

"Ask with tears, seek with obedience, knock with patience. For thus he who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." 28:56

"Always let the remembrance of death and the Prayer of Jesus, being of single phrase, go to sleep with you and get up with you; for you will find nothing to equal these aids during sleep." 15:54

“Flog your enemies with the name of Jesus, for there is no stronger weapon in heaven or earth.” 21:7

"Let the remembrance of Jesus be present with each breath, and then you will know the value of stillness." 27:61

"War proves the Soldiers love for his king; but the time and discipline of prayer show the monks love for God." 28:33

"Your prayer will show you what condition you are in. Theologians say that prayer is the monk’s mirror." 28:34