When Should We Pray the Jesus Prayer?|
Whatever work you are doing, or office you are holding, or journey you are going, do not cease to chant this. When you are going to bed, or eating, and in the last necessities of nature, think on this. This thought in your heart may be to you a saving formula...
St. John Cassian (d. 435) on repeating O God, make speed to save me: O Lord, make haste to help me
Set a definite length of time for prayer—a quarter of an hour, a half, or a whole hour (whatever is convenient), and regulate your vigil so that the clock striking on the half hour or the hour signals the end of prayers. Then when you begin prayers, do not concern yourself with the number of prayers read, but only lift your heart and mind to the Lord in prayer, and continue in a worthy manner for the time set aside. Others determine how many prayers can be done on the prayer rope in a given time and proceed in a calm and unhurried way to count them on the prayer rope.
Letters of St. Theophan the Recluse (d. 1894)
... ~ When you get up from your sleep, make the sign of the Cross over yourself three times with the Jesus Prayer.
... ~ When you lie down on your bed do not forget to make the sign of the Cross...repeating the Jesus Prayer.
... ~ When you are sleeping and you wake up or get up...make the sign of the Cross...and say the Jesus Prayer.
... ~ When your enter any swelling...say the Jesus Prayer and Amen, and bow to the icon which is in the room.
Russian Old Believer 17th century instructional manual A Son of the Church
Christians ought at all times to preserve the remembrance of God…in order that they may show love to the Lord not only when they go into the place of prayer, but that also when they are working, talking, or eating...
St. Macarius of Egypt (d.391) quoted in The Inner Kingdom
Go to sleep and sleep with the prayer of Jesus.
Sts Callistus and Ignatius (14th century) quoted in Writings of the Philokalia
When I arise in the morning, it starts me joyfully upon a new day. When I travel by air, land, or sea, it sings within my breast When I stand upon a platform and face my listeners, it beats encouragement. When I gather my children around me, it murmurs a blessing. And at the end of a weary day, when I lay me down to rest, I give my heart over to Jesus: "(Lord) into thy hands I commend my spirit". I sleep, but my heart as it beats prays on 'Jesus'.
Princess Illeana of Romania, princess and Orthodox nun (d.1991), Introduction to the Jesus Prayer
One must force oneself to pray, even if one has no spiritual prayer...In such a case, God, seeing that a man earnestly is striving, pushing himself against the will of his heart (that is, his thoughts), He grants him true prayer.
St. Macarius of Egypt (d.391) quoted by St. Theophan the Recluse