Friday, June 10, 2011

Success in Prayer

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you (John 16:23) the Lord said, even confirming the point: Verily, verily, I say unto you. What a shame for us that we do not know how to make use of such a true promise! It would be alright if were only the shame this causes; but a shadow is cast also over the promise itself, as though it were too great and impossible. No, the guilt lies entirely on us, mainly because we recognize that we are not faithful servants of Christ, and our conscience does not allow us to expect mercy from the Lord. In addition it happens that if someone starts asking God about something, he does it with divided soul: he mentions that thing in his prayer once or twice as if in passing—and drops it, and then says later: “God does not hear.” No, when asking for something in particular, one must be persistent and indefatigable in prayer, like the widow who forced even the heartless judge to satisfy her petition by simply not giving him any peace. When true men of prayer ask for something in prayer, they unite with it fasting, vigil, all sorts of deprivation, and charity; furthermore they ask not for a day or two, but for months and years. For this they receive it. Imitate them, if you desire to have success in prayer."

- Saint Theophan the Recluse