What is the rhythm of the Orthodox life?
The prayer rule is the daily morning and evening prayers that Christians perform. Their texts can be found in the prayer book.
The rule is general - it is obligatory for all, or an individual confessor to be selected for the believer, taking into account his spiritual state, strength and employment.
The prayer rule of an Orthodox person consists of morning and evening prayers, which are performed daily. There are three basic prayer rules:
1) a complete prayer rule for monks and spiritually experienced laity, which is printed in the Orthodox prayer book;
2) a short prayer rule for all believers; in the morning: "To the Heavenly King", Trisagion, Our Father, "Virgin Virgin", "Rising from sleep", "May I have mercy, God", "I Believe", "God, cleanse", "To You, Vladyko", "Holy Angel" "," Blessed Lady ", calling the saints, a prayer for the living and the departed; in the evening: “To the King of Heaven”, Trisagion, Our Father, “Have mercy on us, Lord”, “Eternal God”, “Good King”, “Angel of Christ”, from “Climbed Governor” to “It is Worthy”; these prayers are contained in any prayer book;
3) a short prayer rule of St. Seraphim of Sarov: three times Our Father, three times “The Virgin Virgin” and once “I Believe” - for those days and circumstances when a person is extremely tired or very limited in time.
Prayer rule sets the rhythm of life of an Orthodox person. This rhythm is necessary. Otherwise, the soul easily falls out of the prayer life, as if waking up only occasionally. In prayer, as in any large and difficult work, inspiration, mood and improvisation are not enough.
Duration of prayer rule
The duration of prayers, their number is determined by the spiritual fathers, the priests, taking into account the way of life of each and his spiritual experience.
Just do not lower the prayer rule. Even if it is read without proper attention, the words of prayers, penetrating into the soul, have their cleansing effect. To one family person, St. Theophan writes: “In case of chance, you should be able to shorten the rule. It is not enough in family life of accidents. When things do not allow to make a completely prayer rule, then make it abbreviated.
And you should never hurry ...The rule is not an essential part of a prayer, but only its external side. But the main thing is - the prayer of the mind and heart to God, offered up with praise, thanksgiving and petition ... and finally with the devotion to the Lord entirely. When there are such movements in the heart, there is prayer there, and when there is no, there is no prayer, even if you stand on the rule for whole days. ”
Special prayer rule
A special prayer rule is made during preparation for the Sacraments of Confession and Communion. These days (they are called goven and continue for at least three days) it is customary to more diligently fulfill their prayer rule: who usually reads not all morning and evening prayers, let him read everything completely, who does not read canons, let them read at least one canon.
On the eve of communion, one must be in the evening divine service and read at home, besides the usual prayers for bedtime, the canon of repentance, the canon of the Virgin Mary and the canon to the Guardian Angel. The canon of communion is also read, and whoever desires, the akathist to Jesus the Sweetest. In the morning, morning prayers and all the followings to Holy Communion are read.
During fasting prayers are especially long, in orderas the holy righteous John of Kronstadt writes, “in order to prolong our cold, hardened hearts in the long vanity with the duration of fervent prayer. For it is strange to think, all the more so, to demand that the heart of worldly life, which matures in the bustle, can soon become imbued with the warmth of faith and love for God during prayer. No, it takes time and labor. The kingdom of heaven is taken by force, and those who use force enrapture him (Matt. 11, 12). Not soon the kingdom of God comes into the heart when people run so eagerly from it. The Lord God Himself expressed His will so that we would not pray briefly when presenting as an example a widow who had been going to the judge for a long time and had troubled her for a long time (Luke 18, 2-6). ”