Ask for repentance in your prayer and nothing else, neither for divine lights, nor miracles, nor prophecies, nor spiritual gifts—nothing but repentance. Repentance will bring you humility, humility will bring you the Grace of God, and God will have in His Grace everything you need for your salvation, or anything you might need to help another soul.
— Elder Paisios from Mt Athos
In Manifesting God, Fr. Keating writes,
The first thing [Jesus] said when he began to preach was, “Repent” (Matthew 4:17). This word does not refer to penitential exercises or external practices but means change the direction in which you are looking for happiness. Jesus’ teaching clearly implies that our present direction does not lead to where happiness can be found, and still less to where God can be found.
Thus, a definition for repent:
Repent = change the direction in which you are looking for happiness
In other words, turn toward God, look toward God. Look at the first two commandments, love God and love your neighbor.
Reread Elder Paisios’s quote above on prayer…