orthodox.faith + Authoritative information about the Orthodox Christian Faith

Establishing a “rule of prayer”

For many Christians, the very idea of a rule of prayer is strange? Shouldn’t we only pray when and how we feel like it? It may seem this way to the modern mind, but the model of Jesus Christ and his Apostles shows us a pattern of prayer life found throughout the Old Testament: prayers (of different kinds) throughout the day and at specific hours of the day. For instance in the book of Acts:

Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour…

As long as they could (by being present in Jerusalem or allow to enter the place), the Apostles went up to the Temple at the ‘set hours of the day’ to offer prayers (or in Greek better translated, “the prayers” which indicates a ‘rule of prayers’ including specific Psalms).

When away from Jerusalem, the Apostle Peter still kept his rule of prayer:

Acts 10:9 The next day, as they were on their journey and coming near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.

A rule of prayer:

  • ideally follows the hours (see special article)
  • includes prayers before and after meals
  • includes suitable Psalms
  • is ‘doable’ based on a person’s situation (children, work, etc)
  • includes both written prayers and personal intentions
  • is easy to observe when written down and discussed by a spiritual elder.