Krihtova Tatiana

Perception of the goals and effects of personal prayer by contemporary orthodox priests

Krihtova Tatiana (2021) "Perception of the goals and effects of personal prayer by contemporary orthodox priests ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2021, vol. 93, pp. 65-76 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI202193.65-76


This article analyses the goals and motives of personal prayer of contemporary Orthodox priests. The analysis is based on interviews with 27 Orthodox priests of different age and working experience living in diff erent regions of Russia. Interviews were carried out in 2015–2018, their questions were related to the way of becoming a priest, daily practices and main tasks of the ministry. Personal prayer is a religious activity that is necessary for all Orthodox priests, but, unlike all their other actions (church service, conversations with parishioners, administrative activities), it is almost impossible for the researcher to observe and study from the outside. At the same time, for each person performing a prayer the purpose of reciting a prayer can be diff erent every time. The article describes four types of personal prayer of Orthodox priests that were mentioned in the interviews. We divided prayers according to its object: for God, for ourselves, for people, and for the world. In their stories about personal prayers, priests often defi ne them as a mandatory action. For the informants, prayer becomes, on the one hand, an action that determines their identity as priests (prayer is always successful, unlike other actions) and, on the other hand, the most basic action in their ministry, a minimum of communication with God, and a minimum of helping people, an element of communication and care which is available to the priest regardless of the kind and success of the actions that he performs at all other times.


priests, Orthodoxy, daily routine of priests, interview, praying, prayer, Heiler, religious experience, field research, religious action


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Information about the author

Krihtova Tatiana

Student status: Graduate student;
Place of study: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities; 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
Post: researcher;
ORCID: 0000-0003-2572-8316;
Email: krihtova@gmail.com.