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Five Best Books on Prayer

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  • Andrew
    Can anyone please tell me what they believe to be the best five books on prayer? Thanks, Andrew.
    Message 1 of 5 , May 30, 2007
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      Can anyone please tell me what they believe to be the best five books
      on prayer?

      Thanks,

      Andrew.
    • Christopher Orr
      The Way of a Pilgrim is a good intro to the spirit of the Jesus Prayer. A schemamonk I know always recommends the writings of St. Ignaty Brianchaninov, and I
      Message 2 of 5 , May 30, 2007
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        The Way of a Pilgrim is a good intro to the spirit of the Jesus Prayer. A
        schemamonk I know always recommends the writings of St. Ignaty
        Brianchaninov, and I would recommend St. Theophan the Recluse on prayer and
        the spiritual life ("The Spiritual Life", "The Path to Salvation", "Unseen
        Warfare"; "The Art of Prayer" by Igumen Chariton is also primarily composed
        of selections from St. Theophan). Others often point to Metropolitan
        Anthony Bloom's "Beginning to Pray" and Archimandrite Sophrony's "On
        Prayer". A good summation of the Philokalia on prayer and the ascetic life
        is "The Way of the Ascetics" by Tito Colliander.

        However, the best book to learn prayer from is a Prayer Book. Prayer
        teaches prayer. Choose a small rule to pray morning and evening, perhaps a
        Canon or Akathist once a week, and 'never let the Jesus Prayer be far from
        you', as my spiritual father said. And, of course, attendance at the Divine
        Services is also essential - especially Matins and/or Vespers since you can
        then hear the changeable hymns for the feast and seasons of the year.

        The general rule is to pray with your attention focused on the meaning of
        the words themselves with the sense that God is present all around you. Do
        not create or accept images, sounds, smells, etc. while praying, and don't
        worry about the proper posture, breathing, location or accouterments (i.e.,
        icons, incense, candles) - just start praying. Praying with attention is
        best, but praying while distracted is better than no prayer at all - God
        will take note of your obedience and desire. We are to pray like a candle:
        upright and on fire. If you cannot understand or concentrate, then let your
        standing in the Temple during services be your offering.

        You are laying your foundation of prayer. If there is one thing I wish I
        would have done better in my conversion it would have been to better
        establish myself in a prayer rule. Pray more than you read.

        Christopher



        On 5/30/07, Andrew <drew1095950@...> wrote:
        >
        > Can anyone please tell me what they believe to be the best five books
        > on prayer?
        >
        > Thanks,
        >
        > Andrew.
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • BPeter Brandt-Sorheim
        You have hit the nail on the head, Christopher. What is important is not so much talking about prayer but actually praying. After the Book of Psalms, I would
        Message 3 of 5 , May 30, 2007
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          You have hit the nail on the head, Christopher. What is important is not so much talking about prayer but actually praying. After the Book of Psalms, I would suggest prayerful reading of the cycle of liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church: the Menaion [especially the feast days], the Octoechos, and the Horologion. My favorite non liturgical anthology of prayer is the Spiritual Psalter of St Ephrem [quotes from St Ephrem arranged by St Theophan the Recluse]. I keep returning to the Way of the Ascetics. Has anyone ever located the Way of the Ascetics in a German translation?

          Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote: The Way of a Pilgrim is a good intro to the spirit of the Jesus Prayer. A
          schemamonk I know always recommends the writings of St. Ignaty
          Brianchaninov, and I would recommend St. Theophan the Recluse on prayer and
          the spiritual life ("The Spiritual Life", "The Path to Salvation", "Unseen
          Warfare"; "The Art of Prayer" by Igumen Chariton is also primarily composed
          of selections from St. Theophan). Others often point to Metropolitan
          Anthony Bloom's "Beginning to Pray" and Archimandrite Sophrony's "On
          Prayer". A good summation of the Philokalia on prayer and the ascetic life
          is "The Way of the Ascetics" by Tito Colliander.

          However, the best book to learn prayer from is a Prayer Book. Prayer
          teaches prayer. Choose a small rule to pray morning and evening, perhaps a
          Canon or Akathist once a week, and 'never let the Jesus Prayer be far from
          you', as my spiritual father said. And, of course, attendance at the Divine
          Services is also essential - especially Matins and/or Vespers since you can
          then hear the changeable hymns for the feast and seasons of the year.

          The general rule is to pray with your attention focused on the meaning of
          the words themselves with the sense that God is present all around you. Do
          not create or accept images, sounds, smells, etc. while praying, and don't
          worry about the proper posture, breathing, location or accouterments (i.e.,
          icons, incense, candles) - just start praying. Praying with attention is
          best, but praying while distracted is better than no prayer at all - God
          will take note of your obedience and desire. We are to pray like a candle:
          upright and on fire. If you cannot understand or concentrate, then let your
          standing in the Temple during services be your offering.

          You are laying your foundation of prayer. If there is one thing I wish I
          would have done better in my conversion it would have been to better
          establish myself in a prayer rule. Pray more than you read.

          Christopher

          On 5/30/07, Andrew <drew1095950@...> wrote:
          >
          > Can anyone please tell me what they believe to be the best five books
          > on prayer?
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          > Andrew.
          >
          >
          >

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Andrew
          I should have stated that I have indeed sought to follow a rule of prayer, and (Glory to God!), rather successfully. I ve been praying the morning, afternoon,
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 1 1:16 AM
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            I should have stated that I have indeed sought to follow a rule of
            prayer, and (Glory to God!), rather successfully. I've been praying
            the morning, afternoon, and evening prayers from that little red book
            that the Antiochian Archdiocese has published. I've also sought to
            incorporate the Jesus Prayer us much as I am able during the day (in
            between and sometimes during classes, in the car, during my shifts at
            Starbucks, etc.).

            The reason I asked about the five best books on prayer is because I've
            already experienced some of the fruit of this effort to pray everyday;
            there's been a constant sense of the abiding presence of God -- a
            presence I can't recall ever being so acutely aware of. It's opened up
            an understanding of communion with God that, quite frankly, has blown
            me away. In fact, it's been so incredible that I've afraid it's too
            good to be true. I'm worried that I'll wake up one day, realize that
            it was all just some chemical imbalance in my brain, and think that it
            was nice while it lasted.

            May it not be! Pray for me that I would continue to wrestle with God
            as did Jacob, and in a sense, I guess, force Him to bless me with His
            abiding presence.

            Andrew.

            --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Christopher Orr"
            <xcjorr@...> wrote:
            >
            > The Way of a Pilgrim is a good intro to the spirit of the Jesus
            Prayer. A
            > schemamonk I know always recommends the writings of St. Ignaty
            > Brianchaninov, and I would recommend St. Theophan the Recluse on
            prayer and
            > the spiritual life ("The Spiritual Life", "The Path to Salvation",
            "Unseen
            > Warfare"; "The Art of Prayer" by Igumen Chariton is also primarily
            composed
            > of selections from St. Theophan). Others often point to Metropolitan
            > Anthony Bloom's "Beginning to Pray" and Archimandrite Sophrony's "On
            > Prayer". A good summation of the Philokalia on prayer and the
            ascetic life
            > is "The Way of the Ascetics" by Tito Colliander.
            >
            > However, the best book to learn prayer from is a Prayer Book. Prayer
            > teaches prayer. Choose a small rule to pray morning and evening,
            perhaps a
            > Canon or Akathist once a week, and 'never let the Jesus Prayer be
            far from
            > you', as my spiritual father said. And, of course, attendance at
            the Divine
            > Services is also essential - especially Matins and/or Vespers since
            you can
            > then hear the changeable hymns for the feast and seasons of the year.
            >
            > The general rule is to pray with your attention focused on the
            meaning of
            > the words themselves with the sense that God is present all around
            you. Do
            > not create or accept images, sounds, smells, etc. while praying, and
            don't
            > worry about the proper posture, breathing, location or accouterments
            (i.e.,
            > icons, incense, candles) - just start praying. Praying with
            attention is
            > best, but praying while distracted is better than no prayer at all - God
            > will take note of your obedience and desire. We are to pray like a
            candle:
            > upright and on fire. If you cannot understand or concentrate, then
            let your
            > standing in the Temple during services be your offering.
            >
            > You are laying your foundation of prayer. If there is one thing I
            wish I
            > would have done better in my conversion it would have been to better
            > establish myself in a prayer rule. Pray more than you read.
            >
            > Christopher
            >
            >
            >
            > On 5/30/07, Andrew <drew1095950@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Can anyone please tell me what they believe to be the best five
            books
            > > on prayer?
            > >
            > > Thanks,
            > >
            > > Andrew.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Christopher Orr
            Wonderful! I have found these kinds of blessings to be preparation in the same way that that first rush of dating someone and the rush of the honeymoon period,
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 1 6:16 AM
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              Wonderful!

              I have found these kinds of blessings to be preparation in the same way that
              that first rush of dating someone and the rush of the honeymoon period, etc.
              are preparation for the deeper, not always so dramatic, experiences of a
              marriage. Enjoy these experiences.

              St. Theophan speaks of how these feelings and experiences are then later
              taken away as an opportunity to be obedient, to struggle, and in some sense
              to win what has (and will again) be given. Another Orthodox speaker once
              said that miracles (and such experiences are) take away our free will - we
              HAVE to believe if we see something like that. Miracles rob of us the
              blessedness of those that have not seen and yet believe. There seems to be
              a cycling of blessings and trials, blessings and trials that spiral us
              upward.

              Christopher


              On 6/1/07, Andrew <drew1095950@...> wrote:
              >
              > I should have stated that I have indeed sought to follow a rule of
              > prayer, and (Glory to God!), rather successfully. I've been praying
              > the morning, afternoon, and evening prayers from that little red book
              > that the Antiochian Archdiocese has published. I've also sought to
              > incorporate the Jesus Prayer us much as I am able during the day (in
              > between and sometimes during classes, in the car, during my shifts at
              > Starbucks, etc.).
              >
              > The reason I asked about the five best books on prayer is because I've
              > already experienced some of the fruit of this effort to pray everyday;
              > there's been a constant sense of the abiding presence of God -- a
              > presence I can't recall ever being so acutely aware of. It's opened up
              > an understanding of communion with God that, quite frankly, has blown
              > me away. In fact, it's been so incredible that I've afraid it's too
              > good to be true. I'm worried that I'll wake up one day, realize that
              > it was all just some chemical imbalance in my brain, and think that it
              > was nice while it lasted.
              >
              > May it not be! Pray for me that I would continue to wrestle with God
              > as did Jacob, and in a sense, I guess, force Him to bless me with His
              > abiding presence.
              >
              > Andrew.
              >
              > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
              > "Christopher Orr"
              >
              > <xcjorr@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > The Way of a Pilgrim is a good intro to the spirit of the Jesus
              > Prayer. A
              > > schemamonk I know always recommends the writings of St. Ignaty
              > > Brianchaninov, and I would recommend St. Theophan the Recluse on
              > prayer and
              > > the spiritual life ("The Spiritual Life", "The Path to Salvation",
              > "Unseen
              > > Warfare"; "The Art of Prayer" by Igumen Chariton is also primarily
              > composed
              > > of selections from St. Theophan). Others often point to Metropolitan
              > > Anthony Bloom's "Beginning to Pray" and Archimandrite Sophrony's "On
              > > Prayer". A good summation of the Philokalia on prayer and the
              > ascetic life
              > > is "The Way of the Ascetics" by Tito Colliander.
              > >
              > > However, the best book to learn prayer from is a Prayer Book. Prayer
              > > teaches prayer. Choose a small rule to pray morning and evening,
              > perhaps a
              > > Canon or Akathist once a week, and 'never let the Jesus Prayer be
              > far from
              > > you', as my spiritual father said. And, of course, attendance at
              > the Divine
              > > Services is also essential - especially Matins and/or Vespers since
              > you can
              > > then hear the changeable hymns for the feast and seasons of the year.
              > >
              > > The general rule is to pray with your attention focused on the
              > meaning of
              > > the words themselves with the sense that God is present all around
              > you. Do
              > > not create or accept images, sounds, smells, etc. while praying, and
              > don't
              > > worry about the proper posture, breathing, location or accouterments
              > (i.e.,
              > > icons, incense, candles) - just start praying. Praying with
              > attention is
              > > best, but praying while distracted is better than no prayer at all - God
              > > will take note of your obedience and desire. We are to pray like a
              > candle:
              > > upright and on fire. If you cannot understand or concentrate, then
              > let your
              > > standing in the Temple during services be your offering.
              > >
              > > You are laying your foundation of prayer. If there is one thing I
              > wish I
              > > would have done better in my conversion it would have been to better
              > > establish myself in a prayer rule. Pray more than you read.
              > >
              > > Christopher
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > On 5/30/07, Andrew <drew1095950@...> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Can anyone please tell me what they believe to be the best five
              > books
              > > > on prayer?
              > > >
              > > > Thanks,
              > > >
              > > > Andrew.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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