Ranks of Prayer
Pray without ceasing.
—1 Thessalonians 5:17
“Prayer is the primary work of the moral and religious life,” wrote St. Theophan the Recluse (1815-1894). Theophan, once a bishop who retreated into the Russian wilderness to live as a hermit, spent hours each day giving spiritual advice in letters. This spiritual “Dear Abby” was particularly known for his writings on prayer.
“The root of this life is a free and conscious relationship with God, which then directs everything,” he continued. “It is the practice of prayer that expresses this free and conscious attitude towards God, just as the . . .
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