Prayer & the Rope

Liturgical prayers give shape and words to our prayer, and are one main context for the experience of communion with God.

The most powerful aspect, though, is the practice of the Jesus Prayer, the prayer of stillness. 

The goal of prayer is to enter into Christ’s own prayer to the Father; thus, the practice of the Jesus Prayer is transformed and becomes the prayer of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit. It is an ascent to communion, to participation in Christ’s own relationship with the Father by the Spirit. On another level, the prayer of silence is the means of stilling the mind, and the context of vigilance against intrusive thoughts, so that we can keep our attention/consciousness/awareness fixed on the Presence. This in turn allows us to enter more and more deeply into the living experience of communion, without distraction. 

There is a correspondence between the liturgical prayer and the prayer of stillness: the deeper one’s experience of silent prayer, the deeper also will be the liturgical prayer. As it is very easy to loose one’s moorings, as it were, in non-conceptual silent prayer, life structure by liturgical prayer provides a conceptual framework to keep one from going off into mystical darkness beyond one's strength, at least on the initial levels of practice.