“The only means by which you can spend the day in perfect holiness, peace, and without sin, is the most sincere, fervent prayer as soon as you rise from sleep in the morning. It will bring Christ into your heart, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and will thus strengthen and fortify your soul against any evil; but still it will be necessary for you carefully to guard your heart.”
– St John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ
God give us mercy in our prayer lives. I’m absolutely horrible at it. However, my priest tells me that settledness, or what the Fathers may call sobriety and watchfulness, comes from a secure prayer life. I’m very inconsistent with it and sometimes very nonchalant. God forgive me for this sinful, slothful attitude towards prayer. Prayer anchors us to the Lord. Our hearts find peace in prayer. Refusing prayer or to strengthen our prayer lives is like refusing to take medications for diseases.
I’m not one in a place to offer advice, but a great simple thing to do is to begin reciting The Jesus Prayer or The Lord’s Prayer a few times a day like when you arise from sleep, for meals, or before bed. A foundation isn’t built over night. It takes time. Start slowly and establish a sound, sure foundation.
May the words of St. John and his prayers benefit our poor souls. Guard your hearts.