The mental state of the scientist engaged in research, of the artist creating a work of art, of the thinker wrapped up in philosophy- even of professional theologians propounding their doctrines- cannot be compared to that of the man of prayer brought face to Face with the living God. Each and every kind of mental activity presents less of a strain than prayer. We may be capable of working for ten or twelve hours on end but a few moments of prayer and we are exhausted.
Real prayer, of course, does not come readily. It is no simple matter to preserve inspiration while surrounded by the icy waters of the world that does not pray. Christ cast the Divine Fire on earth, and we pray Him so to fire our hearts that we may not be overcome even by cosmic cold, that no black cloud blot out the bright flame.
St Gregory of Sinai say that prayer is God Himself acting in us. ‘Do Thou Thyself pray in me,’ was the constant appeal of Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow in the last century.
St Paul say: ‘And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father’ (Gal. 4,6).
Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov. His Life is Mine.