The Prayer of Simplicity

This past summer, I discovered a book on our bookshelf I’d never picked up before. It was titled “Orthodox Spirituality: an Outline of the Orthodox Ascetical and Mystical Tradition”

In it was this description of “The Prayer of Simplicity”:

The prayer of simplicity consists in placing yourself in the presence of God and maintaining yourself in His presence for a certain time, in interior silence which is as complete as possible, while you concentrate upon the divine Object, reduce to unity the multiplicity of your thought and feelings, and endeavor to “keep yourself quiet” without words or arguments.

I was intrigued, and inspired to add this prayer of simplicity to my morning and evening routine. After my regular prayer rule, I started setting a timer for five minutes and prostrating in front of my icon corner. At first it was challenging to quiet my thoughts and just “be” in Christ’s presence, but over time I began to experience within that quiet a very stabilizing assurance of Christ’s sovereignty over every minute detail of my life, and the lives of my loved ones.  

Now I hunger to abide throughout the day within this prayer of simplicity, in which I think, ask, or defend nothing but simply concentrate on Christ. It’s like crawling onto an altar, lying on my back, and submissively, vulnerably, offering up every part of me (my wounds, expectations, confusion, worries…) to God. 

Creating more room for silence and stillness revealed an oasis of peace deep within my soul. Descending past my passions and reasonings, I encountered meekness and rest. The more I tap into that oasis by turning inward and placing myself wholly in God’s presence and hands, the more insulated I feel from the chaos of the world around me. 

If you are new to this prayer, like I was, start small with just a few minutes of interior silence. Feel the calm of release soothe your inner turmoil and awaken you to the possibility of communing with God through all your senses in the present moment. 

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