Prayer is not a rule, it’s a necessity

 

Saint Teophan the Recluse advises the parents not to force their children to read prayers from books but to pray from the heart: “God have mercy”, “Thank you God”, “Praise to you, O, Lord” every time he recalls God.

Many Christian families, who teach their children with an exaggerated zealotry, making them standing for hours in church, come to wonder that when they grow up, they don’t go as often to church as they used to. Saint Teophan the Recluse, a great ascetic father, scolds the parents who do this. He advises parents not to force their children to read prayers from books but to pray from the heart: “God have mercy”, “Thank you God”, “Praise to you, O, Lord” every time they recall God. This way they will feel the need to pray and will not see it as a must.

(Translated from Ierodiacon Savatie BastovoiÎn căutarea aproapelui pierdut, Editura Marineasa, Timișoara, 2002, pp. 58-59)