The relevance of noetic prayer in spiritual health and illness
Noetic prayer is prayer of the heart. Noetic prayer is indicative of spiritual health or illness, because its presence indicates an illuminated nous, thus a healthy soul. According to St Paul, “if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you . . . He that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies . . . For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God . . . the Spirit Himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings” (Rm 8:9, 11, 16, 26). Genuine noetic prayer, therefore, is absent when the nous – the heart of our souls – is darkened and closed. This results in our inability to have a “personal, spiritual relationship with God” (Met. Hierotheos. 2010. The science of spiritual medicine, p. 97), in terms of truly knowing God, because we would not have full, interior, personal communion with Him.
It should herewith be emphasized that both the manner of “knowing God” and having a “personal, spiritual relationship” with Him that are being referred to above, are totally different in both kind and nature than the current, especially prevalent, Protestant notion of having or developing a personal relationship with God, in order to be saved. The knowing God that is referred to above is defined as the same kind of knowing that the Apostles, the Apostolic Fathers and the Church Fathers had originally experienced, both interiorly and exteriorly. This is the beginning of acquiring true knowledge of God, through His Holy Spirit; the start of the real aim of man’s existence that is theosis: the deification of man through Divine grace.