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See Chapter 18: On Prepration for Prayer from Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov’s Book The Arena here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/arena_prayer.aspx


All of us have this little sin hanging about us: Though we make painstaking preparations for every other task (no matter how trivial), we do not prepare for prayer. We take up our prayer with flighty thoughts, without regard, and rush to get it over with, as if it were an incidental, though unavoidable, bother—and not the center of our life, as it should be. Without preparation, how can there be a gathering of thought and feeling in prayer? Without preparation, prayer proceeds shakily instead of firmly.

No, you must determine to deny yourself this little sin and under no circumstance allow yourself to come to prayer with your heart and mind unprepared, your thoughts and feelings scattered in a dozen different directions. Such a careless attitude toward prayer is a crime, a serious one—a capital one.

…So, morning or evening, immediately before you begin to repeat your prayers, stand awhile, sit for awhile, or walk a little and try to steady your mind and turn it away from all worldly activities and objects. After this, think who He is to whom you turn in prayer, then recollect who you are; who it is who is about to start this invocation to Him in prayer. Do this in such a way as to awake in your heart a feeling of humility and reverent awe that your are standing in the presence of God. It is the beginning of prayer, and a good beginning is half the complete task. – Bishop Theophan the Recluse


To read the complete Homily from which the above excerpt is taken, visit: http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts/228-theophan-prayer1