Archimandrite Kronid on prayer
If the heart has cooled toward prayer, and day after day a Christian remains without it, failing to feel it as an essential need, then one must immediately forsake this path and begin a life of regular prayer. There will be some difficulty in over-coming the indolence of the soul. But that is only in the beginning. The main thing is to be firmly decided upon constant prayer. The Lord is a quick helper to each Christian in any good endeavor, and in prayer also. No matter how much the devil tries to subordinate the Christian’s will, distract him from prayer, one must withstand this attack in spiritual combat with the evil spirit. It is very important to understand first of all that indolence towards prayer is an unnatural condition in the spiritual life of a Christian. Everyone who prays earnestly can testify to the fact that there is no more desirable activity than prayer, and that nothing gives a person’s soul so much sweetness and joy as prayer. It is only to someone who is personally unfamiliar with prayer that prayer may seem a boring, monotonous and lifeless activity. But whoever prays with a sincere, God-pleasing prayer – constantly feels in his soul an extraordinary light, warmth and joy. How many of the best spiritual laborers of Christ’s Church dedicated their entire life to constant prayer! And with what grace-filled light they shone to the world, what spiritual warmth they radiated around them!
A Christian must begin each activity with prayer, proceed in it with prayer, and end it with prayer. Those who do so avoid many difficulties, worries, anxieties, disappointments. All their work is done successfully, because they are invisibly aided by the Lord.
Prayer should be joined to firm and unshakeable faith in that the Lord will grant our request, if the latter serves for our good and for our salvation. Many of the faithful appeal to God in prayer only to ask Him for some earthly boon. Such people have not yet reached a spiritual condition wherein the soul breathes with prayer.
If your soul has been so given over to sinful pleasures or to worldly concerns that you do not have the spiritual strength to engage in earnest prayer, you should greatly sorrow over such a condition and ask God to grant you the necessary strength of prayer.
During prayer a Christian is especially subject to invisible attacks from the evil spirits, who try to influence the person’s will, in order to distract him from prayer. In this mysterious and to our mind incomprehensible combat with the world of the fallen angels we must be spiritually valiant and always try to come out victorious.