The Gospel of the day (Mark 11, 22-26)

The power of faith

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

The prayer to God and its fulfillment

Saint Cyprian, About the Lord`s prayer, XXXI-XXXII, in Church Fathers and Writers (1981), vol. 3, pp. 482-483

`Those who pray don`t come to God with empty prayers and without the core of deeds. The supplication remains without answer when God is invoked by a vain prayer. As the tree without fruit is cut and thrown in the fire (Matthew 3, 10), the prayer without fruit can`t be worthy of God because it is not accompanied by deeds. That is why the Holy Scripture teaches us saying: `Good is the prayer accompanied by fasting and alms (Tobit 12, 8). That One who will give reward in the Day of Judgment for the good deeds and alms today listens with benevolence the one who comes to prayer after doing good deeds. This is how Cornelius the centurion while praying deserved to be listened because he had done many deeds of charity for people and always prayed to God. While he was praying at the 9th hour of the day the Angel came near him with a confirmation for his deeds saying to him: `Cornelius, your prayers and alms raised to God and He won`t forget them.  (Acts 10, 4). The prayers which are brought before God by our good deeds arrive quickly at Him.

Origen, Contra Celsum, the 8th book, cap. LXIV, in Church Fathers and Writers (1984), vol. 9, pp. 558-559

„(…) We dare say that whenever the people turn with all their heart towards the impassable goods and bring their prayers to God, many holy powers pray together with them  – even if they were not invoked – and they come to the aid of our helpless being. I dare say that the Angels come to our aid because they see the demons how they struggle against the salvation of those who dedicated themselves completely to God

Origen, About prayer, XII, 2, in Church Fathers and Writers (1982), vol. 7, p. 224

Because the fulfillment of good and of the commandments is part of the prayer, we must understand that it is impossible not to pair prayer with the good deed and the good deed with the prayer. Only in this way we can consider the command `pray without cease!` fulfilled, considering the whole life of the Christian as a ceaseless and big prayer, what we usually call prayer being only a small part of it.


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