A pilgrim of the Holy Mountain visited a hermitic skete and stayed in the hut of a known elder. He had the idea that prayer is easy work and that monks do not toil a lot for it .
Then the elderly ascetic told the pilgrim to be obedient and to stay awake one night- according to the typikon of prayer of the hesychasts- and to do prostrations and prayer with the prayer rope for a certain number of hours.
That man really stayed awake and tried to pray as the elder had instructed him.
When dawn finally came, he asked him : '' How did it go, brother? ''
''What can I tell you, Father, forgive me . I couldn't wait for daybreak.
I feel so tired from the vigil and from the attacks of the evil spirits that I would have preferred
to dig in a garden all day with the hoe. ''
'' Brother, the work of prayer, especially of pure prayer, is toilsome. That is why it has so many fruits and gifts. ''
Themes from the Philokalia pg. 66