On real prayer, which strikes through the heavens and reaches the throne of God

23 May 2023

(edited by Stelios Koukos)

Noetic prayer is also called prayer of the heart. You ask if oral prayer can also be called prayer of the heart. Unless it’s pure, neither noetic or oral prayer can be called ‘of the heart’.

It’s prayer of the heart when the heart literally swallows the mind.

Bombs could fall, the house could be on fire, but the mind wouldn’t think of leaving the heart, even if it was in danger of being consumed by fire.

Elder Haralambos Dionysiatis, Former Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint Dionysios, Athos (1908-2001)

Read the life of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou if you want to understand. Satan set fire to her clothes, her body was being burned and she stood elevated, above the ground and motionless, like a candle.

That’s real prayer, which strikes through the heavens and reaches the throne of God.

Moses, without even opening his mouth, heard God say to him: ‘Why are you calling me?’.

This means that a cry escaped from within him. It means that he penetrated heaven with his heart.

As regards the oral prayer of beginners, it’s mixed up with other thoughts; it’s not pure. How then can it be called prayer of the heart?

But even with the mouth, a prayer is often from the heart. This is what David meant when he said ‘Out of the depths I cried’.

When the Canaanite woman begged Christ on behalf of her child, she said ‘Have pity on me’ with her mouth, but it came from the depths of her soul. That was prayer of the heart.

When your mind’s absorbed in God, son, even if you say it with your mouth, the prayer’s of the heart. Heart and mind are united with God.

Another necessary condition:

In order to be free to practice noetic prayer, it’s essential that you have a clear conscience as regards other people.

Say you live in a monastery with fifty other monks. It’s your duty to get on with all of them, as far as you’re in a position to do so. If you get on with forty-nine and disdain one, that one wins and your prayer doesn’t prosper. He’s an obstacle.

Sometimes another monk’s at fault and refuses to recognize it. If you want to find God in your prayer, you’ll take the blame yourself. You’ll say your sorry. You’ll say a komboskini for him. You’ll do whatever you can to bring him peace.

If the other person has a malignant spirit and avoids you, then, of necessity, you’ll have to be patient. We have some who are moved by the spirit of envy and it clouds their mind. You can’t get through to them. But we still have a duty to love them and to say a komboskini for them.

You live in the outside world. Be straight and polite to everybody, at home and at work. Avoid those who can injure you, and be careful not to show particular friendship towards others in front of them. They’ll notice and you’ll be in trouble.