Tell me, is there anything higher and sweeter than this? No there is not.
Truly, when we stand in front of an icon of our Panagia and pray to her, we must feel that the Panagia is present in this icon and sees us and hears us. And when we say from our heart the few words of our prayer, we feel happy and strengthened in the heart. This is real joy, which cannot be compared with any joy of the world, neither with carnal loves nor with worldly projections and glories and honors. Don’t get bored!
All this is in vain. Vain and hollow things. My Christians, pray! If I can get someone who did not pray or prayed shallowly and frivolously and not wholeheartedly, if I can get him, I say, to pray, then I have also succeeded in my mission as a priest and high priest. Otherwise I am a failure as a shepherd and let me imagine that I am doing something.
Pray, my Christians! Open your heart and talk to God freely. A great saint, Saint John of Climacus, tells us that we should take small children as an example of prayer. The children speak freely to their father and tell him demandingly that they want candy! This is how we should pray:
With childishness and trust in God and to say freely to him what we want. However, my Christians, learn to say these two short prayers as well, LORD JESUS CHRIST HAVE MERCY ON ME and the other prayer to our Panagia , MOST HOLY THEOTOKE SOSON IMAS.
Metropolitan Jeremias of Gortynos and Megalopolis