Daily Ascesis

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We have provided a framework to aid you in both silent and structured prayer. During the Nativity Fast, we encourage you to try to make this structure a part of your mornings as much as you can (a small discipline of arising 15 minutes earlier is what you may need to do) but of course structured and silent prayer can be incorporated—and should be—at any time of day. This should take a little over 10 minutes a day (but remember something is better than nothing)

In front of an icon or in your icon corner if possible start with:

Trisagion Prayers

O heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who art in all places and fillest all things;

Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O gracious Lord.

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us.
Lord, cleanse us from our sins.
Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy God,
visit and heal our infirmities for thy Name's sake.

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy. Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit now and ever unto ages and ages. Amen

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

Morning Prayer (The Prayer of St. Philaret)
O Lord, grant that I may greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely on upon Your Holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that comes to me with peace of soul, and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by You.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of this coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray, and Yourself pray in me. Amen

Prayer of St. Ephraim
• Oh Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust for power and idle talk. (prostration)
• But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to your servant. (prostration)
• Yea, oh Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother.

For blessed art thou unto ages and ages. Amen (prostration)

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul
He leads me on the path of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
After these prayers, just listen to your breath, and wait for the Lord in silence. When things or people come into your mind, just say a small prayer, "Lord have Mercy", and continue to listen to each cleansing breath you take and for the Holy Spirit. You may want to use our tools that can be found under the "Practicing Silence" tab.


Silent Prayer
There are many ways to practice silent prayer with the center of the practice being, meditating on our Triune God. We encourage you to explore the different options included and also consider combining them in a way that works for you.
Get in a comfortable seated position and click the icon to listen to one of the 10-minute soothing sounds found nestled in God’s creation.

Option 1: Now gently close your eyes and bring your attention to the heart and focus simply on reciting the Jesus prayer:
On the inhale (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God)
On the exhale (have mercy on me a sinner)

Option 2: Another form of silent prayer is simply bringing the attention to your heart and reflecting on something you are grateful for. Simply breathe as you give thanks to God for this blessing.

Option 3: Sit and listen to the sounds of nature, and picture yourself in that location waiting on the Holy Spirit or meditating on the works of God.

Additional Suggestions when time permits:
After 10 minutes, read your devotion for the day.
It’s best to do your personal ascesis first thing each morning. You will be amazed at how your day will flow, and the energy and clarity that you may feel. If you don't feel like you did it right, or that your mind was racing, or that you didn't feel refreshed afterwards, it's ok. Just try again the next day. Each day will bring you closer to brain healing, lower stress, more energy, etc. Plus, you are practicing prayer without ceasing! Sometimes it helps to have music or sounds from nature to focus on to help you be still.  Here are three soundtracks that are 10 minutes long for you to chose from.  If you feel it is difficult to quiet your mind, these may help. 


Kosmas McLean

Kosmas McLean is a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach specializing in Christian health. Throughout his entire adult life he’s been fascinated with the creation of the human body and soul and is dedicated to understanding how to achieve balanced health. His maturing approach as a health pro sees that not only one health component is the answer, but the combination of them all. This includes spirituality and mindset, strength and power, mobility and flexibility, endurance and conditioning, nutrition, and rest and recovery, to which he has termed The Six Pillars of Holistic Health.

The Orthodox Fitness & Health Mission


Below you will find a 30 minute descriptive video explaining each exercise. The second video is one that you can follow along with for a 12 minute workout each day!


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