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“Our prayer reflects our attitude towards God. He who is careless of salvation has a different attitude toward God from him who has abandoned sin and is zealous for virtue but has not yet entered within himself and works for the Lord only outwardly. Finally, he who has entered within and carries the Lord within himself, standing before Him, has yet another attitude. The first man is negligent in prayer, just as he is negligent in life, and he prays in church and at home merely according to the established custom, without attention or feeling. The second man reads many prayers and goes often to church, trying at the same time to keep his attention from wandering and to experience feelings in accordance with the prayers which are read, although he is seldom successful. The third man, wholly concentrated within, stands with his mind before God, and prays to Him in his heart without distraction, without long verbal prayers, even when standing for a long time at prayer in his home or in church. … Every prayer must come from the heart and any other prayer is no prayer at all. Prayer-book prayers, your own prayers and very short prayers, all must issue forth from the heart to God, seen before you.” —St. Theophan the Recluse
 
“Now more than ever, lay people have to pray from the heart, because this will be our only salvation. In the heart is the root of all passions and that is where we need to direct our struggles.
 
If in the later years Christianity became lukewarm and superficial, we have to end all that now, this is not going to be enough anymore.
 
If we will not pray from the heart, we will not be able to sustain the psychological attacks, because the evil one has hidden brainwashing methods that are unknown to us.
 
The greatest sin today is carelessness. We pray carelessly, we repent carelessly, even if we do it. Times will come when only the ones that have the Spirit of God will be able to know good from evil. The human mind itself on its own will not be able to tell the difference.
 
There will be great deceptions and only the Holy Spirit will give us the discernment we need so we can save ourselves. Pray that you will not be deceived! Only through prayer can we receive the Holy Spirit. If we don't pray and just persevere in our laziness and unrepentant ways, we will completely lose the Holy Spirit and His guidance.
 
May it not be that we lose the guidance of the Holy Spirit!” —Elder Justin (Pârvu) of Romania
“It is sometimes well during prayer to say a few words of your own, breathing fervent faith and love to the Lord. Yes, let us not always converse with God in the words of others, not always remain children in faith and hope; we must also show our own mind, indite a good matter from our own heart also. Moreover, we grow too accustomed to the words of others and grow cold in prayer. And how pleasing this lipsing of our own is, coming from a believing, loving, and thankful heart. It is impossible to explain this; it is only needful to say that when you are praying to God with your own words the soul trembles with joy, it becomes wholly inflamed, vivified, and beatified. You will utter few words, but you will experience such blessedness as you would not have obtained saying the longest most touching prayers of others, pronounced out of habit and insincerely.” —St. John of Kronstadt
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