You see what kind of prayers are needed to receive answer from God at our requests especially when these are serious and hard to solve?
How many problems concern us, family, economic matters, problems related to children for whom all the parents suffer a terrible agony today because outside the house wolves and lions lurk to tear them. As a consequence, the agony of these people is very painful as we see how Satan catches them in his net, in his hook and takes them out of the sea. In this way it is caused this decay and spiritual death of the children. All these children need a lot of prayer.
We have of course many examples of mothers whose prayer saved their children, as it is Saint Monica. As you know, Saint Monica was the mother of Blessed Augustin. This one before sanctifying himself was a lewd, one of the greatest sinners. But this saint woman was not smitten by this great danger facing the perdition of her son. She did not lose herself when she saw her son weltering in debauchery all the time as her courage and faith were great. She made great endeavours in her prayer and her tears were as powerful. Her pain brought him to repentance.
Augustin repented. But even later when he fell into heresy his mother had another great struggle to bring him back to the true Orthodox faith. She went to Mediolan and arriving at Saint Ambrosius cried and sighed before him showing him all the deeds of her son. Seeing her tears and the pain of her soul and her faith, he told her:
`Woman, these tears you are shedding won`t remain without their reward. Believe me that your son will change.
And he changed indeed and he became blessed Augustine who is celebrated today among the Saints of the Church.
You see the great victories of the mothers ? They were not afraid, they did not lose their hope when they saw their offsprings destroying themselves. They have never left room for discouragement. This is a great evil. That is why we must strengthen the children and engrain within them the seed of the true veneration and don`t lose our courage as what we sow it is not lost. The seed gets engrained in their soul and even if now in their youth they don`t receive anything, they respond without shame, go out, don`t come to the church and make certain mistakes, they have inside faith, inside themselves it is hidden a very beautiful human. Know that the seed will bring its fruit. There will come the time when God will give a favourable wind, it will rain and the sun will shine and it will bring a lot of fruit. If God calls them as we hope to happen and they will become worthy of martyrdom then you will see that nothing was lost because Christ crucified Himself for the whole world and especially for the children who in the society of nowadays endanger themselves a lot.
The fathers and the Church and especially we the spiritual confessors who see the hidden ones of every child and know what happens must pray. We must pray day and night and especially for those children who are born in superstitions and for those who were destroyed by drugs and wander all over without any protection without having anyone to take care of them. All these need ease from pain and sickness and from the psychological ailments which became a permanent affection of the young ones.
Excerpt from The Art of Salvation – Pious Ephrem Philotheos, Evanghelismos.