Why Paul insisted on prayer without ceasing

Elder Joseph Vatopaidinos

Elder Joseph Vatopaidinos

REJOICE evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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WE have the need of the solidarity of the Spirit, so that we can, with his help, inch by inch, flee a sinful disposition.

We should first of all flee “active sin”, and after, the “active desire and thought”, so that it is finally erased from our mind.

Then the eye of the heart [Gk nous] is purified, and becomes more free to think and to take account of all those things which God wishes.

Going on from this – with grace – there comes also “pure in heart,” when it finds consummation more fully within the boundaries of sanctification, and it attains the divine promises, as the Fathers handed on to us.

For which reason, it is necessary to take care, so that space, time, place, what is within, our powers, everything, is assessed. Nothing should be forgotten. That all this should happen, it is necessary that the eye of the heart be upon its foundation.

And the eye of the heart is kept upon its foundation only by the remembrance of God.

The most effective method is “prayer”. This is why Paul insists on “to pray without ceasing“.

If the eye of the heart is found under the influence of the remembrance of God, everything comes to perfection, it cannot be led into error. With sin having no personal existence of its own, neither nature nor seat, it enters only by deception, fraud and blackmail.

When the eye of the heart, however, is found upon its seat, it is impossible for it to be deceived. Sin cannot do anything, it stands in a slight reminder and nothing else.

Elder Joseph Vatopaidinos, Διδαχές από τον Άθωνα.

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The Prayer of the Heart

LORD Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.

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