Book Notes: Beginning to Pray: Going Inward

Beginning to PrayBeginning to Pray,
by Anthony Bloom

Paulist Press, 1970

Going Inward

There are 3 kinds of prayer:

  1. Spontaneous:
    When we have become vividly aware of God, when we are face to face with Him.
    Or the opposite, when we are godless, in the depths of despair and dereliction
  2. Ready-made:
    We need a prayer of conviction, when we are neither at the peak nor at the bottom of the sea.
    These are the psalms, liturgical prayers, that we can learn by heart.
    We can try to apply within our day a sentence/prayer that we have learnt, like a slogan
  3. Short vocal prayers:
    These are like walking-sticks, that we can use throughout the day, like the Jesus Prayer.

Think of the deeper meanings of Kyrie Eleison = words of prayer become words of ointment.

Make the effort of going inwards, instead of outwards, and there of crying for help.
Pray not in spite of the turmoil, but because of it.


  • thank God for the new day
  • later, come back to God with 2 convictions: that you are God’s own; and that this is God’s day, and it’s new
  • ask God to bless that day, that all in it should be ruled by Him
  • and take it seriously, live it as you are Gods messenger, as you are the presence of the Lord = that’s your function, your mission

Then everyone/everything you meet is God’s gift, and you are ready to accept it, whatever it is.
Praying and acting then are 2 sides of the same coin.
This is so like the spirit of the Optina Fathers’ morning prayer.

Any reflection on these quotes?

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