We must always be vigilant. Vigilance and discernment are the things we need. The Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, “Whatever you do, think it over well” (Joshua 1:8). If we at first believe that what we are about to say will be to someone’s benefit, but then, after we use our discernment, we decide that our words will only hurt the other person then it is better to remain silent. Everything should be done with discernment. When one uses one’s discernment, then one is also vigilant. Vigilance is also needed in prayer. Our attention must precede our prayer. We must know that what we are asking for in prayer. You see, when we ask a favor of someone, we say, “I know you can help me if you apply yourself to it.” That means our attention is on the words we are saying when asking for help. If this is the case when we are turning to a person for help, how much more should our attention be focused when we are praying to the Lord, Who is our life! But we have found ways to shorten our prayer rule: we recite our prayers by rote or merely read them from the book. Our hearts and our feeling have no part is such prayer, and n the end we often do not even know what we have read.
~Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica