St. [[Apostle Paul|Paul]], in his first letter to the Thessalonians says, "pray without ceasing", and to the Romans, "be constant in prayer." This has been interpreted by Orthodox tradition in two different ways. One is to have regular times for prayer which are never skipped, a [[prayer rule]]. The other is to have a brief prayer verse, usually the [[Jesus Prayer]] which is repeated over and over, literally hundreds of times throughout the day and night, until it becomes perpetually implanted in the heart, as a continual presence in the soul, calling out to the Lord.
According with Father Cleopa there are the following stages of prayer:
<li>prayer of the lips
When prayer is just said<li>prayer of the mind When mind comprehends the prayer<li>prayer of the hearth When the hearth feels the prayer<li> self moving prayer When hearth starts praying alone even in sleep<li> vision prayer When unseen world including angels becomes visible together with future, past<li> extasy prayer <li> spiritula prayer When people can be taken to Heaven
Orthodoxy teaches that Jesus, in praying to his [[God the Father|Father]], prayed for his people, and he is the only competent intercessor for mankind before God. In his resurrected glory, he prays eternally to his Father on behalf of all. In and through Christ, Orthodox Christians become competent to intercede before God. In the name of Jesus, Christians are authorized to pray for each other and for all creation. All prayer is to God the Father, through his Son, in his [[Holy Spirit]], even if not mentioned in the words of the prayer.