This is a story of one of the spiritual children of St. Porphyrios , told about how he taught them to pray.
He placed us towards the east, two of us to his left and two to the right, with him in the middle. “Now we’ll pray noetically. first, I will say the words, and you will repeat them. But be careful, without anxiety or force, you’ll say the words calmly, humbly, with love and sweetness.”
The Elder started off with his fine, delicate and eloquent voice, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” He said it very slowly, word by word, without forcing it at all. It was a though he had Christ before and he was begging him, with a log pause after the word “Christ”, Coloring his words “have mercy on me” with an entreating tone. And we repeated it each time, trying to imitate his stance, the color of his voice and if it at all possible his spiritual disposition.
At some point, the Elder stopped saying the prayer out loud and just continued whispering it on his lips. We did the same thing. How long did our night-time prayer take? I don’t remember. All I remember was that the Elder imparted an emotion to us that I cannot express with human words.