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Hardness and perseverance are the fundamental factors of prayer

Hardness and perseverance are the fundamental factors of prayer

19.11.2017
Tags: Religion, Christianity

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you, for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to the one knocking is opened! (LX 11: 9-10).

Today, beloved in the Lord, we have heard the Gospel passage, in which the Lord teaches us proper prayer. He leads everyone now the famous prayer "Our Father" and shows on life examples that asking God for anything in prayer, one must be firm and persevering, with faith and hope waiting for the person asked.

So, the Lord says: Let's say that one of you, having a friend, will come to him at midnight and say to him: friend! Give me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has come to me from the road, and I have nothing to offer him; and he from within will say to him: Do not bother me, the doors are already locked, and my children are with me on the bed; I can not stand up and give you (Luke 11: 5-7).

The Savior does not accidentally give this example. After all, in this parable the petitioner's friend had to stand up at night, open the vaults with bread and give his friend to treat a friend who came to him unexpectedly [1].

But this man, who got up at night and gave the requested, had already laid the children, as he himself testifies and he, probably had to disturb their sleep, leave his wife and warm bed.

Why does he do this? The Lord shows us: If, I tell you, he will not rise and give him in friendship with him, then by perseverance, he will rise up and give him how much he asks (Luke 11: 8).

In the Greek original is used a stronger word, there instead of the words "by perseverance" is said "by importunity"

Professor Lopukhin here observes that the Greek original uses a stronger word, where instead of the words "by perseverance" it is said "by importunity". But in this case, this intrusiveness is not selfish, it burns with love for one's neighbor, is permeated with the ancient law of hospitality [2].

Let us, beloved in the Lord, always aspire to God and ask him with meekness and humility of spiritual and bodily benefits. We will try to strengthen our prayer with humble perseverance and hope for the mercy of the All-Good God.

We will try to ask more often not for ourselves, but for our neighbors, and the Lord will not leave us without comfort, as the holy righteous John of Kronstadt said: "You will pray for others, and for you the whole sky will intercede" [3].

And afterward the Lord says: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you, for everyone who asks receives, and the seeker finds, and the one knocking is opened (Luke 11: 9-10).

The Savior himself commands us to ask, seek and knock. But why does the Lord use these words to teach us true prayer?

Because in prayer, a person should not simply ask, but implore, according to the words of St. John Chrysostom, "with great care and effort - which is expressed by the word: seek. In fact, he who seeks, he, throwing all of his thoughts, strains his attention only to what he is looking for, and does not think of anything real "[4].

Why does Christ call to knock on the heavens? Because Christians "must approach God with power and warm thought" [5]. To make great efforts for virtue, to try, like earthly rich people, to gain their heavenly riches. Finally, Christ said "knock" to show that if He does not open soon, the true Christian should still wait.

Let us try, dear brothers and sisters, to communicate with all diligence and perseverance to God, knowing that He sometimes hesitates to help us for our benefit and exercises in prayer (Luke 18: 7).

Let us not weaken the prayer, seeing that it does not bring the desired result, we will always seek God and His all-good will, always knock and ask for spiritual and bodily benefits from the All-Merciful Savior.

Finally, the Lord completing his narrative brings another example with a lesson: Which of you father, when the son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? or, when he asks for fish, will he give him a snake instead of a fish? Or, if he asks for an egg, will he give him a scorpion? So if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11: 11-13).

In this parable, the Lord warns us against the idea that God can be asked about anything and must receive it

In this parable, the Lord warns us against the idea that God can be asked for anything and must receive it, provided he has the necessary firmness and perseverance in petition.

The Lord clearly shows that if you are a son of God by grace, then you must ask for something that will be useful to you. Blessed Theophylact of Bulgaria writes: "How these items constitute man's food, so our petitions should be useful to us and serve to help" [6].

But why does the Lord say: So, if you, being evil ... (Luke 11: 13)? Here, Christ does not reproach human nature for sin and evil, but here, according to the words of John Chrysostom, "calls fatherly love anger for difference from His goodness" [7].

Let us, beloved in the Lord, try with special perseverance and firmness to ask only what would really be useful in the perspective of our eternal life, according to the Savior's words: Try not for food perishable, but for food that lives in eternal life, which will give you Son of Man (John 6: 27). And then, of course, we will. For if we earnestly ask and do not receive, then we ask for a stone [8].

Let us, dear brothers and sisters, pray with all diligence and firmness to the Lord for ourselves and with the same diligence for our neighbors, knowing that this will also benefit us in heaven.

Let us not be lazy when we do not immediately receive what we ask, knowing that God sometimes hesitates to help us for our spiritual benefit. We will always ask with unshakable hope, seek and knock at the door to the Heavenly Master.

Let us try the character of our petitions to God. We will try not to ask God for the gift of a stone, a snake or a scorpion, but let us take a look at what the pleasers of God asked and, after directing the mind to God, we beg him to give us useful to our soul.

Let us try, brothers and sisters, in every possible way to strengthen our feeble prayer, firm hope in God, remembering the benefits already given and the example of saints, so that, armed with firmness, patience and unshakable hope, we can wait for help from the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.


[1] The Explicit Bible of Lopukhin A.P. Interpretation of the Gospel according to Luke // https://ekzeget.ru/tolk.php?kn=lk&gl=13&st=31&tolk=%D2%EE%EB%EA%EE%E2%E0%FF%20%C1%E8% E1% EB% E8% FF% 20% ... (date of circulation 8.11.2017 year).

[2] The Explicit Bible of Lopukhin A.P. Interpretation of the Gospel according to Luke // https://ekzeget.ru/tolk.php?kn=lk&gl=13&st=31&tolk=%D2%EE%EB%EA%EE%E2%E0%FF%20%C1%E8% E1% EB% E8% FF% 20% ... (date of circulation 8.11.2017 year).

[3] John of Kronstadt, right. My life in Christ // https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/Ioann_Kronshtadtskij/moja_gizn_vo_hriste/1_3 (date of circulation 8.11.2017 year).

[4] John Chrysostom, sv. Interpretation of the Gospel according to Matthew's creation. - M .: Publishing House of the Sretensky Monastery, 2013. S. 186.

[5] John Chrysostom, sv. Interpretation of the Gospel according to Matthew's creation. - M .: Publishing House of the Sretensky Monastery, 2013. S. 187.

[6] Theophylactus of Bulgaria, blessed. Interpretation of the Gospel according to Luke // https://ekzeget.ru/tolk.php?kn=lk&gl=13&st=31&id_tolk=39 (date of circulation 8.11.2017 year).

[7] John Chrysostom, sv. Interpretation of the Gospel according to Matthew // http://bible.optina.ru/new:mf:23:37(date circulation 8.11.2017 year).

[8] Theophylactus of Bulgaria, blessed. Interpretation of the Gospel according to Luke // https://ekzeget.ru/tolk.php?kn=lk&gl=13&st=31&id_tolk=39 (date of circulation 8.11.2017 year).

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