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A Fifteen Minute Prayer Rule

Lecture on A Fifteen Minute Prayer Rule by fr John Kennerk

Lecture recording (right click, then save as to download)

handout (pdf format of below text)

A Fifteen Minute Prayer Rule 


The Foundations

Three Rules of Prayer:
1) Commit to a life of prayer.
2) It’s about the relationship, not the rule.
3) Begin again. If we get distracted, forget to pray, sleep in, we should not despair. Begin again.

Prayer Corner:
1) Dedicated private place in the home that is free from distractions.
2) Icon of the Lord, the Mother of God, and Name Saint, etc.
3) Olive oil vigil lamp or candle.

Choose a Time of Day:
1) We should pray in the morning and early evening.
2) One should be longer (15 minutes), the other should be brief (the opening prayers below,
concluding with the Our Father).

Our Primary Struggle: Wandering Thoughts
1) Ignore them and don’t despair.
2) Continue.

A Prayer Rule:
The Beginning:
Light candle or oil lamp
Stand in silence for a moment.
Bow slowly three times, saying: “O God, cleanse me a sinner and have mercy on me” each time.


In the name of the Father…
Glory to thee, our God... O heavenly King…
- Trisagion Prayers: Holy God... (3), Glory... Now and ever…, O most holy Trinity… Lord, have
mercy (3), Glory... Now and ever…, Our Father…, Through the prayers of our holy fathers...
- Troparia found in the Prayer Book
Morning: Having risen from sleep...
Evening: Have mercy on us…
- Psalm 50 (Have mercy on me, O God

5 prostrations ​with the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.” Slowly and
5 minutes ofsaying theJesus PrayerIn an attentive posture. Use prayer rope, but don’t count number of
prayers; user timer or clock instead (but not phone!)
(With time – say, after a year or so – this can increase to 10 prostrations + 10 min. of Jesus
Prayer. Later on, maybe 20 prostrations + 20 min. of Jesus Prayer, etc.)
Intercessory prayer, modeled on the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on thy
servant (or handmaid) N.”


as desired; for example:
• Morning prayers or prayers before sleep from the Prayer Book; or:
• An akathist hymn or a canon to Christ, or to the Mother of God, or to one of the saints
or just part of an akathist hymn or canon; this can be spread over a few days
• Some of the prayers of preparation for Communion (e.g., on Saturday night)

as desired, for example:
• Epistle and Gospel for the day (consult wall calendar); or:
• 1 full chapter of the Gospel or Acts or an Epistle
• 1 “stasis” (about 3 psalms) from the Psalter
• 1 chapter from Old Testament (for example; Isaiah, Wisdom of Solomon; Ecclesiasticus)

It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos...
Glory... Now and ever...
Lord, have mercy (3). Bless, O Lord.
“O Lord Jesus Christ our God, through the prayers of thy most pure Mother, of Saint N. [your
patron saint], of Saint N. [the patron saint of your church] and of all thy saints, have mercy on
us and save us, for thou art good and lovest mankind. Amen.”
Then stand in silence for another moment, bow, venerate your icons, and depart.


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