Thursday, 15 September 2011

Praying the prayer everywhere

Bishop Kallistos Ware, Bishop of Diokleia, speaks of the free and formal uses of The Jesus Prayer.  The free use of The Jesus Prayer occurs when we are going about the normal activities of our day, prayed once or more often “. . . in the scattered moments which otherwise would be spiritually wasted:  when occupied with familiar tasks . . . when walking or driving . . . when waiting in lines or traffic jams . . . when unable to sleep.  Part of the distinctive value of the Jesus Prayer lies precisely in its radical simplicity; it can be prayed in conditions of distraction when more complex forms of prayer are impossible.  It is especially helpful in moments of tension and anxiety.”  (The Power of the Name. Fairacres, Oxford: 1974).  Bishop Ware goes on to speak of the formal use where our whole concentration is focused on the saying of the Prayer to the exclusion of external activity.  The Jesus Prayer then forms a part of our intentional time of prayer.

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