Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
Saint Nikolai Velimirovici
You complain that God doesn’t listen to your prayers. You prayed to God in so many hardships and He didn’t save you! How it happened that He didn’t save you but it was you who survived to these hardships and not them that survived to you? But let me ask you a question: do you listen to God? In both Testaments, the Old and the New one, the Most High God promised to listen to people if people listened to Him. Do you listen to God when you want to be heard by Him? Do you fulfill God’s commandments and do you keep His ordinances? If you don’t do this, your claim to be heard and listened by Him is odd.
God descended to earth and washed the feet of those who love Him. How much He rejoices to listen to His obedient children. The Creator listened to Moses, Abraham and Jacob in everything they asked Him.
And by natural and supernatural works He showered His mercy over those who fulfill His Law. If He didn’t want to listen to my prayers or to yours this happens either because we didn’t want to obey His commandments from His Law, or because our prayers were not as they should have been.
God spoke through Isaiah to the disobedient people: Even when you offer many prayers, I’m not listening and a little further: If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land.(Isaiah 1, 15-19)
So God listen to us when we are obedient and He doesn’t listen to us when we are disobedient. He doesn’t listen when we ask for something harmful or meaningless. The apostles Jacob and John asked God once to bring fire from the skies over the village where they didn’t want to offer them housing. But Jesus turned and rebuked them.(Luke 9, 55)
Not only He didn’t listen to their request, but rebuked them. Think if your prayers were worthy of man and worthy of God.
Something more. Why do you pray to God only in hardships? By doing this you only humiliate yourself and offend God.
Our Creator asks from us to feel continually that we are before Him and to have ceaseless communion with Him through prayer. Pray without ceasing!
If you pray to God only when a misfortune strikes you, you make an ordinary beggar of yourself and you offend God, because you call Him as if you called a fireman when your house is on fire. Christ allowed us to call His Father our Father. What is sweeter than this? And what is sweeter for the children than being in front of their parents?
Therefore let’s strive without cease to stand before our Heavenly Father with our heart, thoughts and prayers. Our prayers in times of prosperity and joy are like a spiritual asset, which is more beneficial for us in times of need and distress than the momentary prayer made when facing days of vicissitudes.
Peace to you from God!