Say a Short Prayer but Never Quit Praying

 

Once you get accustomed to pray while breathing you can pray anytime.  Even if it is a short prayer at least you pray. Even when you work or cook, you sit on a chair and say “Lord…”

Of course that you will not spend hours praying. When you have the time, on holidays you can read some supplicatory canons or other prayers. Don’t waste your time with worthless things such as watching TV. Use that time to pray. Even on the way to work you can still say a short prayer such as “God help me” or “Lord have mercy on me, the sinner”. Once you get accustomed to pray while breathing you can pray anytime.  It is a short prayer but at least you pray. Even when you work or cook, you sit on a chair and say “Lord…”

This is just an exercise so that the seed of this prayer “Lord, Jesus….” can catch roots into your heart. Once we have achieved that, even when we talk to somebody else we can still pray. If you do or think about good deeds it is still considered a prayer. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”, Jesus said. So if two people are talking about spiritual things, God is there, present in the midst of them. It is considered prayer. Why shouldn’t it be a prayer? After you leave the conversation you say “Lord…” and you are praying. Do not ever think it is not a prayer. It is written in the Patericon that “prayer is not only when you are praying, it is a permanent condition.” The Holy Apostle Paul said “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This is what he said. Everybody prays so he did not said it only for the monks, he said it for all of us. And now think about it: how should I pray without ceasing? Say a short prayer “My Lord, help me”, or if you have a problem say the same. Whatever you do, pray to God. Think about what God said “and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”

(Translation from Ne vorbește Părintele Iulian de la Prodromu, în Ne vorbesc părinți athoniți, Editura Bunavestire, Galați, 2003, pp. 110-111)