Beyond Prayer by St. Isaac of Syria

Beverly Lanzetta Meditations, Prayer

“. . . Sometimes out of prayer contemplation is born; this cuts prayer off from the lips, and the person who beholds this is like a corpse without a soul in wonder. We call this the faculty of “vision in prayer;” it does not consist in any image or portrayable form, as foolish people say.

This contemplation in prayer also has its degrees and its gifts, but up to this point it is still prayer, for thought has not yet passed into the state where there is non-prayer, for there is something even more excellent than prayer.

For the movements of the tongue and of the heart during prayer act as the keys; what comes after these is the actual entry into the treasury; from this point onward mouth and tongue become still, as do the heart–the treasurer of the thoughts–the mind–the governor of the senses–, and the spirit–that swift bird–along with all the means and uses they possess. Requests too cease here, for the master of the house has come.”

From, “Daily Readings with St. Isaac of Syria”