Chris Hall, in Worshiping With the Church Fathers
, examines the topic of prayer in the fathers and begins with a rather bald description of his own difficulties in praying — that paragraph is worth the price of the chp — and the chp is worth more than its own value. (Make sense? maybe not.) Anyway, there’s much to harvest here.
On praying without ceasing: Hall discusses this through Cassian’s famous Conferences. There is a reciprocal link between our bodily behavior, the inner state of the soul, and the cultivation of the virtues necessary for unceasing prayer (93). We must purge the passions (special meaning and not just strong emotions). Our thoughts need preparation by cultivating the “heart”. We need to cultivate moderation. Thus, unceasing prayer is learning to focus by ridding the soul, heart and mind of distractions.