What you need to know about prayer at home
- Why do you need to pray at home?
- How to pray to God correctly
- How to pray to the saints correctly
- What prayers should be read in the morning
- What prayers should be read in the evening
- Popular questions and answers
But the Lord sees and hears us everywhere, wherever we are and whatever we do, and it doesn’t matter to Him whether we are standing in front of the icon or cooking dinner at home. Therefore, do not hesitate to always talk to Him: if you want to complain about fate, tell God about your problems, a joyous event has happened in your life — thank him, have some need — Express your request. After all it is said: «Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you; for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7).
For a believer, prayer is a natural state and a need for communion with God. While we are on the street or at work, we are constantly distracted by some business and worries, but at home-in the morning and evening-you can relax a little from the day’s bustle and quietly communicate with God and the saints. Remember what good happened during the day and thank for it, or think about what you have sinned and ask for forgiveness, sincerely repenting. And don’t hesitate, you will be heard.
How to pray to God correctly
«But you, when you pray, enter into your cell, and when you have closed your doors, pray to your Father, who is in secret:and your Father, seeing in secret, will reward you openly ” (Matt. 6: 6).
Remember yourself as a child. You came to your parents and asked them for something, firmly believing and knowing that they would help, protect and never turn away from you. Or they apologized for some of their misdeeds, also not doubting that parental love will forgive everything. And if our fathers and mothers love us so much, how much more is the love of heaven!
But still, as in ordinary communion, we must adhere to certain norms in prayer.
First, it is necessary to follow the morning and evening prayer rule whenever possible (we will discuss this in more detail below). Secondly, the prayer should not be a “check mark”. You can know dozens of texts by heart, but you can always rattle them off without thinking about the meaning. Prayer is not an incantation, it is a meaningful conversation with God. But who will like a companion who is far away in his thoughts, and answers questions absent-mindedly?
The prayers themselves should be taken from verified sources, preferably from special prayer books purchased from Church shops. The Internet for this is extremely unreliable, there is a lot of unknown who wrote texts that have a lot of gross dogmatic violations, while any prayer from the Orthodox prayer books always has an author.
It is necessary to avoid all sorts of excessively emotional States during prayer: euphoria, emotion. All this belongs to the category of charms — it does not benefit the soul, but vanity can awaken: they say, I have already reached a high level of enlightenment, you can say, almost a Saint.
It is necessary to pray not only in the morning and evening, but if possible before eating and before starting any business. In the first case, it is a thank you to God that we do not starve, and in the second — a request for help in your endeavor.
But if we talk about the mandatory implementation of all prayer rules, then the opinions of the Holy fathers differ. Some people insist that it is necessary to pray, because it also disciplines the person, and others believe that if you do not have the opportunity to read the voluminous rule at all, then nothing will happen. The main thing is not to abuse it and not to look for reasons not to pray every time.
You can read prayers both aloud and to yourself — as it is more convenient for anyone. It is best to do this in front of the icons that any religious person has. It is good if the house is equipped with a red corner — a place where images hang and a lamp is lit.
How to pray to the saints correctly
In any Church shop or Orthodox bookstore, you can buy collections of prayers with akathists to various saints. Which one of them should I pray to?
First of all, to the Saint whose memory falls on this day, as well as to your heavenly patron, whose name you bear or whom you honor in particular. But about the” specialization ” of saints, the question is quite controversial.
Knowledge of the lives of saints helps you navigate who of them did what during their lifetime. For example, it is customary to pray to healers for health. However, this is the exception rather than the rule, because our heavenly intercessors do not have any “professional” specialization. And the popular belief that this one helps you get married, and that one over there helps you sell your car profitably — is no more than a legacy of pagan consciousness, when it was believed that different idols were responsible for different needs and phenomena.
What prayers should be read in the morning
There is such a thing as a”morning prayer rule”. It can be found in any Orthodox prayer book. However, the worldly vanity does not always leave us enough time for it, so you can limit yourself to 3-4 prayers, but you should read them consciously and without being distracted by extraneous thoughts. Of course, this list should include the main prayer of any Christian, “our father”, as well as “hail Mary, hail Mary” and “Creed”. It is also very good to learn the prayer of the Optina elders by heart, especially since it is not written in Church Slavonic, but in modern Russian, and every line of it is a guide for us, modern people, on how to live the coming day with maximum benefit for the soul and body.
And, of course, the best protection for a Christian is the Psalms. Choose for yourself a few that you feel most strongly about, learn them by heart, and read them every morning.
And if there is absolutely no time for prayers at home, the Holy fathers allow you to listen to them in recordings, for example, on the way to work.
What prayers should be read in the evening
How to pray for healing correctly
We have already touched a little on this topic above. There is no direct “professional specialization” among saints, but it is customary to ask for the healing of bodily ailments to those of them who were engaged in healing during their lifetime. These are the Holy great-Martyr Panteleimon the Healer, saints Cosmas and Damian, Saint Luke the Evangelist, Saint Luke of the Crimea and others. There are collections of prayers with akathists to these saints, their images hang in every Church, in many cities there are fragments of their relics.
However, this does not mean that other saints cannot be asked for healing. Any one of them is ready to listen to our requests and bring them to the Lord. So, we know hundreds of cases of healing through the prayers of St. Matrona of Moscow, St. Xenia of Petersburg, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, and most importantly — the Lord Jesus Christ and the mother of God. You only need to ask with faith and hope that God will help. And it is always necessary to understand that even diseases happen to us at His will and exclusively for our benefit. Therefore, you should never complain against God, no matter what happens, but always thank Him. Even for sickness and sorrow.
How to properly pray for the dead
Unlike us, the living, who still have a chance to repent and correct what they have done during their lives, those who have left this world can only hope for the grace of God and our intercession for them. This is why it is so important to pray for the dead, because we are their only helpers.
In addition to custom-made prayers, proskomidias and candles for the repose in the Church, which in no case should be neglected, we, of course, should pray every day for the deceased and at home. You can include a Requiem prayer for loved ones and benefactors in the morning and evening rule.
Popular questions and answers
“Of course you can and should. But the saints are our intercessors before Him, those who, unlike us, are constantly near God and can always ask for us. After all, they are not hindered in this by the sins with which we are abundantly burdened.What are the most effective prayers?
– All prayers, if they are approved by the Church, are equally pleasing to God, and everyone chooses those that are closer and more understandable. Of course, it is necessary to know the “our father” and the Jesus prayer, and the Psalms have a powerful power. For example, for protection from all evil, Psalm 90, “the Living in help” is read, but this does not mean that other prayers are weaker.Is it possible to ask God to punish the offender?
“No, prayer should never be directed to harming another, even if in your opinion he has done it himself. You can only pray for the salvation of this person’s soul.If you really want something, do you need to repeat your request in prayer every day?
– It is enough just to formulate your desire once, but do not demand its fulfillment from God and do not set any conditions. He has heard and remembered our request, and will grant it only if it is for our good.
Why ask God for anything at all, when he already sees everything and knows everything about us? And in General, why does God need our prayer?
– First of all, we need prayer as a “telephone” on which we talk with God. Of course, He knows all our needs, but a request in prayer is an act of good will, a Declaration that we expect a boon only from God, and only on him do we put our trust and trust.