Many people with whom I`ve talked until now asked me to pray to God for various problems of high concern for them. One was concerned about his health, another one about his happiness in his marital life, another one for more children, another one for the release of his children from the drug addiction. But nobody asked me to pray for the salvation of his soul.
Starting from this thought and living in these hard times with the problems caused by the economic crisis not only in the economic matters but also in our hearts, I feel the need to speak about prayer.
During prayer we must be only by ourselves and with God. This means personal prayer. If we want to see our prayer is listened quickly by God we must speak to Him humbly and we should not ask Him to fulfill our will. What we must ask is to strengthen our faith and trust in Him. When all these are strengthened God will take care of our problem.
I know that in our egocentric society, in the society of scientific achievements some people placed themselves above God. How wrong it is to consider themselves so important! When I explain to them that we are so insignificant before our God and Lord they realize the great mistake they`ve made considering themselves equal to God.
If we knew how great is the power of the prayer it would never be missing from our lips. Since the prayer is the only way God gave the man to communicate with Him. In prayer the man can say how many things burden him and poison his soul. At the end of our prayer we must not forget the words: `God, may Your will be fulfilled!`
The prayer is the oxygen of our soul. How many times, my beloved brothers, the human hand, the achievements of science, of medicine remained helpless in solving our problems? And how many of us did not turn our eyes towards the icon of Christ, of Theotokos and of our Saints, praying them to help us? How many of us prayed fervently and saw their problems solving immediately? And how many of us were those who came to Christ because they had no one else to lean on but whose prayer was not listened and they saw no result? And because of this they became discouraged and quitted their endeavors to approach Christ?
They must have been in wrong somewhere for sure. It seems they didn`t know that we can approach Christ only with a broken heart, with repentance, with sincerity, with insistence, with patience and with ardent heart.
And this because He respects our freedom which many times ends up in anarchy.
Some people complain that we are living some very hard times and they have lost their courage, others use psycho drugs to heal their spiritual pain. Some choose to commit suicide not knowing that they lose their souls in that way while others are so confused they can`t clear their mind at all.
Today on the sea of life with its numerous problems the ship of our soul is endangered to crush on rocks and shores. That is why especially now we need a good spiritual guide and that`s only prayer, the prayer accompanied by the tears of our repentance and by the ardent request to our Creator to become our compass and Adviser. When and how He will act, He will decide for our benefit.
But we must not rush. God doesn`t rush. Only the devil rushes.
Today the man needs prayer. We must know that when we are concerned by certain things for which we have no solutions and we don`t trust in God, this is a scheming of the devil. It is a craft of satan to draw us on his side. Prayer means safety, it is a guarding shield. It is enough only to believe for real, without selfishness and pride. It is a great thing when someone entrust himself in the hands of Christ by prayer. The people make plans and they try to fulfill them without paying attention to see what is the will of Christ.
He will straighten our life and we, just with a little bit of magnanimity, will succeed to fulfill our duty. The Lord said: `Without me you can`t do anything.` John 15,5) Meaning if we don`t entrust ourselves to Him, we will suffer our whole life. Elder Paisios said that only by humbleness and prayer the incorrigible things are corrected.
Nowadays is the age of speed. Things change very fast and nobody knows what happens with him from night till morning. This is one more reason for us to strengthen our prayer and fight by it with the evil. Let us pray God to have mercy on His creatures. Thus the pains from our times which are unavoidable will be less painful and they will not multiply. A lot of prayer is needed from us all so that God may enlighten the people who lead us in order not to think only about destruction. Because by destroying us they will destroy themselves. When the house of our neighbor is on fire that fire will reach our house too for sure. Let us pray to God to enlighten them and turn them back from their cunning schemes.
Prayer makes miracles. With the prayer the Holy Martyrs endured the pains. With the prayer the wall sin has built between the mind and heart is demolished.
With the prayer are chased away the powers of evil, are defeated the fleshly passions, the soul is released and is united spiritually with God.
By prayer we glorify our God Who made Himself man and Who prayed on the Mountain of Olives and crucified for our sins.
We are today full of selfishness, of malice, of cunning, of dirty thoughts. The complaints, discontents, nerves are not missing from any of us. The relationships between people changed, the families are destroyed, trust was lost, the values disappeared, the evil reigns everywhere.
But those who must pray the most are the parents. The prayer of the parents reaches faster the throne of God. Leave the advice and pray every day to Christ, to the Theotokos and to the Saints to enlighten you and protect you and your children. Elder Porphyrios said: `Say just a few words to your children and many to the Theotokos !` The prayer is the best pedagogical means. The students and pupils got strengthened. That`s why the morning prayer should not be missing from our schools.
All the towns and villages are full of churches, of monasteries, of places for worshiping and glorifying Christ. But even for those who say they have no time, the mountain, the sea, their home or office may become places of prayer.
Let us all unite our prayer with that of the arrays of priests, hieromonks and
Monks, to ask our Lord and God to have mercy on us and escape us of all evil!
God is alive!
Excerpt from the book Listen to me ! by nun Porfiria, published by Evanghelismos.