In the spiritual life, prayer is as necessary as breathing, and with practice becomes as just natural. The goal of prayer is not merely to "say prayers," but rather to become prayer, to acquire a prayerful way of being in the world, to embody a peaceful and joyful presence.
Making Prayer a Part of Daily Life
One of the best ways to begin making prayer a part of our daily routine is to learn a few simple prayers we can use in different situations: in the morning, in the car, at work, before meals, and before sleeping. Here are a few examples of prayers that can be used throughout the day:
The Jesus Prayer
In the Orthodox Tradition, one of the most simple and beautiful prayers is the Jesus Prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me." This prayer may be repeated meditatively with the help of a "prayer rope," or may simply be said from time to time throughout the day while breathing in and out slowly and peacefully.
The Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer is the prayer which Jesus taught His disciples when they asked, "How should we pray?" This is a beautiful prayer to say in the morning and evening, before meals, or at any time we seek God's blessing upon our endeavors.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
Of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Now and always, and forever and ever. Amen.
A Prayer to the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the mysterious presence of God in all things, the one who makes all things one. This is a beautiful prayer to say at the beginning of the day, or whenever we are seeking a deeper sense of connectedness:
O heavenly king, Comforter, the Spirit of truth
You are present everywhere and fill all things
The treasury of blessings and the giver of life
Come and dwell in us and cleanse us from every stain
And save our souls, O good Spirit.