Prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Church
“He who is able to pray correctly, even if he is the poorest of all people, is essentially the richest. And he who does not have proper prayer, is the poorest of all, even if he sits on a royal throne.” – St John Chrysostom
Prayer is the elevation of the mind and the heart to God in praise, in thanksgiving, and in petition for the spiritual and material goods we need. Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to enter into our inner room and there pray in secret. This inner room means the heart, the core of our being. The Apostle Paul says that we must always pray in our spirit. He commands prayer for all Christians without exception and asks us to pray unceasingly. Orthodox Christians engage in both corporate and personal prayer. One’s individual prayer life is balanced with participation in the liturgical services of the Church where the whole community gathers for prayer and worship.
The Nicene Creed: The Symbol of the Faith
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, True God of True God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;
And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, Who spoke by the Prophets; In one, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the world to come. Amen.
The daily cycle of Orthodox prayers and additional prayers can be found here:
- Orthodox Prayers – Orthodox Church in America
- Daily Prayers for Orthodox Christians – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
Additional prayers, references, and other materials can be found in any of the standard Orthodox prayer books, some of which are listed here:
- Orthodox Prayer Book – Holy Transfiguration Monastery
- The Orthodox Prayer Book (SVIT)
- Orthodox Daily Prayer