What should be our foremost request from God?

Do not be disturbed by the fact that your mind sometimes wanders during prayer. Instead, humble yourself and find tranquility, knowing that over time your thoughts will settle. This is a battle against the enemy, who resists when we engage in spiritual warfare. However, through humility, we can drive him away. Yet, if you allow yourself to be troubled, he will grow stronger.

The Kingdom of Heaven should be the first thing we ask for, but while living in the world, with a family, you can also make requests concerning worldly matters or, as the Church asks daily, “give us the good and beneficial things for our souls,” and so on. The Lord said: ask, and it shall be given to you (Matthew 7:7). However, He gives only what is useful and necessary for us. You cannot, while living in the world and having children, to act in such a way that you have nothing and give away everything.

However, you must maintain the wise middle path: neither fleeing from the world nor becoming overly attached to it. If you need things for your children, keep them; if not, give them to those in need.

Source: Advice for Laypeople – Saint Macarius of Optina, Sophia Publishing House, via http://doxologia.ro.

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