They asked abba Macarius, "How should we pray?" And the old manreplied, "There is no need to speak much in prayer; often stretchout your hands and say, "Lord, as you will and as you know, have mercy on me." But if there is war in your soul, add, "Help me!" andbecause he knows what we need, he shows mercy on us."
Abba Lot went to see abba Joseph and he said to him, "Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray andmeditate, I live in peace and as far as I can I purify my thoughts.What else can I do?" Then the old man stood up and stretched hishands toward heaven; his fingers became like ten lamps of fire andhe said to him, "If you will, you can become all flame."
The brothers said, "In what way ought we to pray before God?" The old man said, "For the repentance of sinners, the finding of the lost, the drawing near of those who are far off, friendliness toward those who do us harm, love towards those who persecute us, and sorrowful care for those who provoke God to wrath. And if a man doeth these things truly and with a penitent mind, the sinners will often gain life, and the living soul will be redeemed.
Now the prayer which our lord delivered to us as to the needs of the body, is one which applieth to the whole community, and it was not uttered for the sake of those who are strangers to the world, and with whom the pleasures of the body are held in contempt. He in whose life the kingdom of God and His righteousness are found lacks nothing, even when he asks not."