Updated: Dec 10, 2021
I hope you are having a loving and fruitful time of anticipation for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Why do we pray?
Here are a few quick thoughts and reflections for you this week.
“Humanity was made good but we struggle with the appropriation and use of this goodness by the snare of sin that works against the ‘good nature’ with us from the beginning. “Because of the fall we often feel ourselves trapped in a situation in which all our choices lead to evil, in which we end up doing what we know to be wrong even though we genuinely desire to do what is right”. (Bishop Kallistos Ware).
Fr. Anthony Coniaris offers some great perspective on Prayer. The simple answer, if you will, is that Prayer is communication with God. It is our vehicle to be with him and He with us. We spoke with God as His creation from the beginning and part of this communication was severed when we hid from Him. We never need to hide ourselves from God. The gap created in our communication now rests in that space between the “image” of God that we have and the “likeness” that we lost.
Prayer is our way or closing the gap with love for God so that we can walk with him who never left nor leaves us alone. He does indeed send His only begotten son to show us the way back to Him. In short, Prayer is:
Prayer is the response of the soul to the love of God.
Prayer is listening to God.
Prayer is a gift from God to us.
Prayer is tuning in to God’s eternal, unchanging love.
Prayer…uplifts and unites human beings with God.
Prayer is creating an openness where God can give Himself to us.
My hope is that we can all “stand before God with the mind of the heart” as St. Theophan the Recluse defines prayer and this definition is biblical in that “man believes in his heart and so is justified…” as St. Paul says in the book of Romans (Romans 10:10).
The Holy Spirit comes through prayer and “the effect of prayer is union with God” (St. Gregory of Nyssa). God is Love and He hears us. “God does not ask us to tell Him our needs that He may learn about them, but in order that we may be capable of receiving what He is prepared to give”.
So, let us always pray to the Lord!
Finally, we pray to unite and keep us focused on God because we are made in His ‘image’. Often, the struggle in life rests in that loss of the ‘likeness’ of God in how we treat each other and ourselves. So, we pray to also receive the “daughters of prayer: inner peace, healing power, union with God, love, and the Holy Spirit” (Fr. Anthony Coniaris).
So, let us be encouraged!
“The person that is struggling to the best of his abilities, who has no desire to live a disorderly life, but who--in the course of the struggle for faith and life—falls and rises again and again, God will never abandon” (Fr. Paisios).
Have a great week!
God Bless You all!