- For whatever our soul was thinking about before the time of
prayer inevitably occurs to us when we pray as a result of the operation of memory. Hence we must prepare ourselves before the time of prayer to be the prayerful persons that we wish to be. For the mind in prayer is shaped by the state that it was previously in, and, when we sink into prayer, the image of the same deeds, words, and thoughts plays itself out before our eyes.
John Cassian's Conference with Abba Isaac