Evagrius, On Prayer 8–11


While weeping for their sins many people forget the point of tears and get lost in their madness.


Stand with diligence, persist in prayer with resolution, and continually turn away the attacks of cares and worrying thoughts. These vex and throng about you to sap away your resolution.


When demons see you desiring truly to carry out your prayer, they suggest thoughts of various tasks that seem necessary and soon stir up your memory about them, thereby moving the mind to seek after them. When it doesn’t find them, it gets upset and loses heart. When it then stands for prayer, they remind it of memories and these objects of seeking, so that the mind goes slack for this knowledge and loses the prayer that is truly fruitful.


Strive to have your mind stand deaf and speechless at the time of prayer, and you will be able to pray.

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