Power of the Monk's Prayer
Down below Saint's Basil's, where the Zygos turns
towards Saint Ann's, there lived a monk of the Great
Lavra, who was assigned to look after the goats they
had there to graze. Once during Meatfare (Apokreas
:The word refers to the last day on which meat consumption
is allowed before the beginning of the Great Lent.
Furthermore, it is identified with the first three
weeks of the Triodion which begins with the Sunday
of the Publican and the Pharisee. During Apokreas,
it is a custom for people in the world to hold carnival
parties), just before Great Lent, while there was
a full moon and the assigned monk Father Ephraim,
a brother of the monastery, was praying with his komboskini,
he heard a great crowd outside. They weren't making
any trouble, just shouting "Oh! Oh!..."
"These people must be strangers making merry",
Father Ephraim thought to himself.
So out he went into the moonlight, but what should
he see! About three hundred demons being restless
and impatient, while their leader was saying:
"Just look! A skeletal monk delays our phalanx
for days and now we can't get out into the world in
time for the carnival parties and the revelry!"
Power of the Komboskini, of the Jesus Prayer
Once, there was a monk from the Monastery of Saint
Paul who had gone to the Church of Saint Gerasimos
on the island of Cephallonia. During the Divine Liturgy,
he stood in the Altar and was praying with his komboski
-the prayer of the heart Lord Jesus Christ, Son of
God, have mercy upon us- while outside they were chanting.
They had also brought a possessed person into the
church to be cured by Saint Gerasimos. While the monk
was saying the prayer in the Altar, the demon was
being seared outside and was shouting:
"Stop working that string, will you, monk, it
is burning me."
The priest heard it, too, and said to the monk:
"Pray with our komboskini as much as you can,
my brother, so that God's creature can be freed of
The demon then shouted in great anger:
"You, rotten priest, you. What are you telling
him to pull that string for ? It is burning me!"
The monk then prayed with his komboskini with even
greater effort and the possessed man was delivered
from the demon.
Power of the Jesus Prayer
Elder Zacharias used to say that at the hut of the
Transfiguration in New Skete, the fathers would say
the Jesus Prayer out loud.
Once, the demons had gathered, enraged, and one of
"They are saying the Jesus Prayer out loud. The
prayer has no power!"
One of the largest demons then said:
"The Jesus Prayer has power, whether they say
it aloud or in their hearts, since there is nothing
we can do about it."
Jesus Prayer with Labour
Elder Arsenios, the cave-dweller, used to say:
"When I pray with the komboskini standing, I
feel a strong divine fragrance. When I say the Jesus
Prayer sitting, I only feel a light fragrance."
Despite the fact that the elder was then ninety-five
years old, he continued to struggle with philotimo
and was constantly enriched spiritually, even though
he had already set aside a lot of spiritual capital!
THE BOOK OF ELDER PAISIOS, OF MOUNT ATHOS