If you ask for seed for your field, then first fertilize the field to accept the seed. Reverend Abba Dorotheus (58, 224).
I, you say, many times asked and did not receive. Sure, it's because you asked badly - either with disbelief, or with pride, or unuseful for you; if he asked often and useful, then not with perseverance ... If you ask not with effort and great perseverance, you do not get it. First you need to wish, and wish, to ask truly with faith and patience useful to everyone, and that you should not be condemned by conscience as asking negligently or lightly, and then you will receive if God wants it. He knows better than you knows what is good for you, and maybe, because of this, he postpones the execution of the request, making you wise to be diligent to Him, so that you know what the gift of God means, and kept it with fear. After all, everything that is acquired with great effort, try to preserve, so that if you lose what you have received, do not destroy and great efforts and, rejecting the grace of the Lord, not be unworthy of Eternal Life (43, 966).
God will hear us, if, first, we are worthy of receiving what we ask; second, if we pray according to the commandments of God; third, if we pray unceasingly; Fourthly, if we do not ask for anything ordinary; Fifth, if we ask the useful; Sixthly, if we do the due and for our part and, by nature, being mortal, we communicate with God ascending to the Immortal Life. St. John Chrysostom (39, 85).
Not everyone who asks can receive what he desires, but he who has acquired the right to ask with boldness (17, 451).
Coming to the Benefactor, be yourself blessed; Coming to the Good, be yourself kind; when you approach the Righteous, be righteous yourself; coming to the Patient, be patient; Coming to the Philanthropic, be philanthropic; and also be all the others, approaching the Kind-hearted, the Beneficent, the Communionable in blessings, to the One Who is merciful, and, if something else is seen as divine, being likened to this in all, then acquire that daring for prayer. Saint Gregory of Nyssa (17, 451).
Without chastity, humanity, meekness and care for the poor ... prayer does not endure dwelling in the soul (36, 834).
Charity is the wing of prayer; if you do not do a wing prayer, then it does not fly, and when the soul is winged, it quickly rushes to the Sky (36, 907).
If you have good deeds that can intercede for you, then you will certainly be heard; on the contrary, if you do not have them, then even if you were David, you will not be able to plead with God (39, 11).
As incense, and is good in itself and fragrant, but produces a special fragrance when it is put on fire, so is prayer - and in itself is good, but it is better and more fragrant when brought from the heart, flaming jealousy (about the commandments of the Lord) When the soul becomes a censer and burns in itself a strong fire (39, 481).
From prayer, even prolonged, there is no use if the praying person remains in sins (40, 16).
Prayer is fire, especially when it is brought up by a sober and wakeful soul; But this fire needs more water to reach the most heavenly vaults. The oil for this fire is nothing but charity (42, 780).
How, someone will ask, can I be sure that I will receive what I ask? If you do not ask for anything disagreeing with what God is prepared to give you, about anything that is not worthy of the Tsar, about anything worldly, but only spiritual, if you act without anger, if you have clean, Reverend hands (45, 672).
Let the soul of the worshiper be pure and free from all passion, let no one come to God with enmity, let no one come with indignation and irritation (45, 672).
Prayer is done more successfully not by naked words, but by good deeds. For see: the divine David asks that God judge him according to his "integrity" (Psalm 7, 9); and the pious Hezekiah represents his prayerfulness as a prayer-book for himself (Isaiah 38, 3); and the widow in Joppa use intercessors the good deeds of the deceased (Acts 9, 39). If you do this your prayer, it will ascend directly to God "and bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday" (Psalm 36, 6). St. John Chrysostom (35, 220).
Try to be a pure temple, constantly in the morning and in the evening, offering God a sacrifice - an inner man. Rev. Abba Isaiah (34, 42).
The goal of every Christian is constant prayer and, as far as possible to a mortal man, in the unperturbed calm of the mind and its everlasting purity. To achieve this, we need: unflagging bodily labor and contrition of the spirit, so that between both of them there is a close mutual relationship. For as all virtues aspire to the perfection of prayer, so they themselves can not be firm and permanent unless they are united and secured by it. As without virtues one can not fully acquire a constant prayerful peace, so without this peace it is impossible to acquire precisely the virtues that contribute to this. Rev. John Cassian Roman (Abba Isaac 53, 323).
"Let everyone who confesses the name of the Lord depart from iniquity" (2Time 2, 19). Let us depart from iniquity, sin and lawlessness, if we want to approach God unconvinced and for our good. For the prophet saith: "For thou art a God that do not love iniquity; Thy wickedness abideth in thee; the wicked will not abide in Your sight: You hate everyone who does iniquity "(Psalm 5, 5-6). Every unrighteous man is abominable in the sight of God, and bringing his prayer, which is a Christian sacrifice, is a "strangling dog" (Isaiah 66, 3). But He will show mercy only "to the humble and contrite spirit, and trembling before the word" Him (Isaiah 66, 2). Think about it, Christian, if you do not want to leave a sin, and you want to pray to God (104, 1114).
Before prayer it is required: firstly, not to be angry with anyone, not to be angry, but to leave any resentment so that God will also leave his sins. "Leave us our debts, as well as we leave our debtor ...". "And if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6, 12, 15). Secondly, we must reconcile ourselves to those who have been offended by either word or deed. "If you bring your gift to the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go first to reconcile with your brother, and then come and bring your gift" (Matthew 5, 23-24) (104, 1118-1119).
Without humility, prayer is not useful, for "God resists the proud" (James 4, 6; 1Pet 5, 5). On the contrary, God humbly accepts the humble: "He will look to the prayer of the helpless and will not despise their prayers," says David (Ps. 101, 18). So He looked at the prayer of a humble publican, although he was burdened with sins, so he rejected the proud self-praise of the Pharisees. "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Luke 18, 14). So the centurion in Capernaum, who considered himself unworthy for Christ to enter his house, received what was desired, and with praise: "And in Israel I did not find such faith," says Christ (Matthew 8, 10). For where true faith, there is also humility, humility is unceasing from faith. With such faith and humility, and we must begin the majesty of God, when we want something to ask and receive what we ask, remember who we are and to whom we approach with petition. Prelate Tikhon Zadonsky (104, 1124-1125).
The head of virtue is prayer, their foundation is fasting (108, 132).
If we sow the seeds of prayer without thinning the flesh, then instead of righteousness we will bear the fruit of sin ... If the body is weakened by fasting, and the soul is not cultivated by prayer, by reading, by humility, then fasting becomes the parent of numerous tares - spiritual passions: disdain (108, 135).
Being engaged in public duties, and if you are a monk, then by obedience, and not being able to devote as much time to prayer as you would like, do not be embarrassed by this ... Nothing contributes to the success in prayer, like conscience, satisfied with charitable activities (108, 145).
Mercy to the near and humility before them, in conjunction with the purity of the heart ... constitute the foundation and power of prayer (108, 146).
Willing to do the feat of prayer! Before you start this feat, try to forgive everyone ... who caused you whatever evil (108, 155).
The first preparation (for prayer) consists in the rejection of memory and condemnation of others (112, 95).
Intending to offer God a prayer, reject all the thoughts and cares of the earth (108, 143-144).
Before prayer, pour in your heart the incense of God's fear and holy reverence ... try to appease the Judge with humility (108, 144).
Prayer should be performed with faith, it should be based on patience (111, 369).
The enemy ... tries to shake the very foundation of the prayerful deed - mildness and gentleness (112, 356).
The preparation for prayer is served by: an unsatisfied womb, cutting off the care of the sword of faith, forgiveness from the sincerity of the heart of all grievances, thanksgiving to God for all mourning occasions of life, removing distractions and dreaminess from oneself, reverential fear (109, 160).
Outward reverential anticipation in prayer is very necessary and very useful for any prayer, which works feats, especially for the primordial, in which the position of the soul is most in accordance with the position of the body (112, 96).
Nothing is as conducive to prayer as obedience, killing us for the world and for ourselves (109, 158).
Consciousness of their sinfulness, the consciousness of their infirmity, their nothingness is a necessary condition for prayer to be graciously accepted and heard by God (108, 155).
For the correctness of prayer, it is necessary that it be pronounced from a heart full of poverty of spirit, from the heart of a contrite and humble (108, 140).
Stand by your prayer, how would you stand before God Himself (108, 143).
Feeling the fear of God, having felt the presence of God from the action of the fear of God at your prayer, you will see without seeing, spiritually, the Invisible, you will learn that prayer is a foretaste in the Last Judgment of God. Bishop Ignatius (Bryanchaninov) (112, 96).
Not the abundance of words implores God, but the soul is pure and good works (39, 11).
A person who has learned to talk with God, as befits a man, becomes an angel, his soul abandons the bonds of the flesh - so his mind rises and moves to Heaven, so he despises everything worldly, so he gets to the throne of Tsarskoe himself, even if he was poor, even a commoner, at least unlearned (39, 13).
God requires in prayer not the beauty of speech and not the words of the exquisite, but beauty of the soul, and when she proclaims what is pleasing to Him, (39, 13).
Christ gave us a pattern of prayer, teaching us that to be heard by God depends not on a multitude of words, but on the vigilance of the soul. St. John Chrysostom (38, 793).
Whoever prays to the Lord with the heart disease, that prayer, the Lord hears and fulfills his petitions, if they are brought in the spiritual mind, if the one who is praying in the affliction of the spirit cares for his salvation, if he does not entangle anything worldly, if he works in fear of God in his powers, to present his unblemished soul to the Judgment of God. Reverend Abba Isaiah (82, 150-151).
Intending to ask (anything from the Lord) before resorting to the Giver, consider your petition, whether it is purely, carefully consider the reason prompting you to petition. If the motive for which we are asking leads to harm, then (Lord) ... let the sources of our petitions be blocked (29, 242).
If you ask God for something, then ask not to receive from Him without fail, but giving it to Him and His will. For example, you are often depressed by bad thoughts, and you are sad about it, and you want to plead with God that you will be free from warfare. But often it serves you well. For often this happens with you, so that you will not be exalted, but humble ... Also, if any grief or distress has overtaken you, do not ask that you necessarily get rid of them, because this, my brother, is often useful; I say to you, it often happens that during the prayer you will not care about your salvation, as it was with the Israelis ... And still, if you ask for something, do not ask to get it by all means. For I say: you, as a person, often consider useful for yourself what is useless. But if you leave your will and decide to walk according to the will of God, then you will be safe. He, who foresaw everything before the performance, forgives us for His condescension, and we do not know if it is useful to us for what we ask. Many, having reached the desired, later repented, and often fell into great trouble; without examining carefully, whether the will of God is for this, but thinking that it is good for them, and under some pretexts that have the appearance of truth, deceived by the devil, were exposed to extreme dangers. Many such deeds are accompanied by repentance, because we followed them to our own wishes. Listen to what the apostle says: "We do not know what to pray about as it should" (Rom. 8, 26). For "everything is permissible to me, but not everything is useful; everything is permissible to me, but not all edify "(1Cor. 10, 23). So, what is useful and instructive for each of us, God Himself knows, therefore, leave it to Him. I'm not saying this to prevent you from handling your petitions to God; on the contrary, I beg you to ask Him for everything from small to great. And this is what I tell you: when you pray, you open to Him what is in your heart, say to Him: however, it is not my will, but Yours to be (Lk. 22, 42); if it is useful, as He himself knows, so He created. For thus it is written: "Commit your way to the Lord and trust in Him, and He will do it" (Ps. 36, 5). Look to our Lord Jesus Christ, the House-builder, who prays and says: "My Father! if possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as You (Mt. 26, 39). Therefore, if you ask anything from God, stand firm in your petition, opening yourself before Him and saying: "If there is. Lord, it is your will that it should take place, then do it and make it successful. And if your will is not there, do not let it happen. Oh my God! Do not betray me to my own desire, for you know my irrationality ... but as you know it, so save me according to my condescension! "If you pray because of grief and thoughts, then say:" Lord! Thou shalt not reprove me in thy fury, and punish me not in thine anger. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak "(Ps. 6, 2-3). Look, what the prophet says: "To Thee, O Lord, I cry: O my stronghold! do not be silent for me, so that in your silence I will not be like those descending into the grave "(Ps. 27, 1); but give glory to your name, unblooded, remember not my sins and hear me. And, if possible, let my grief pass me by, nevertheless, not my will, but Thine will be, strengthen only and keep my soul, and I will be able to bear it, and I will have grace before You in this century and in the future. " And give to the Lord your grief, and He will do what is good for you. For know that He, as the Good, wants what is necessary for our salvation. Therefore, this good Shepherd laid down his soul (27, 301).
Mouths can ask for everything, but God only does what is useful. Rev. Ephraim the Syrian (29, 243).
If prayer is so strong, then why does not everyone get what he asks for? To this the holy apostle James gives this answer: "Ask, and do not receive, because you ask not for good" (James 4, 3). Who wants to receive, he must ask well. If the petitioners do not always receive, then it is not the prayer that is to blame, but not the ones who pray well. As one who does not know how to manage a good ship does not sail to the intended haven, but repeatedly breaks down on stones, and it is not the ship that is to blame but the bad management of it, so prayer, when the praying person does not receive the petition, is not to blame for this, but he who Do not pray well.
Only those who are either themselves angry and do not want to evade evil to do good, or ask evil things from God, or, finally, though they ask for a good thing, are asked for, but they do not ask well, not as they should . Prayer is strong, but not any, but perfect, the prayer of those who pray well.
What kind of prayer is that? This requires more than one day, and therefore I will briefly recall at least something.
The prayer of one who obeys the Lord can be heard and pleasing to God. Whoever hears the words of the Lord, as the Lord Himself told us: "Not everyone who says to me:" Lord! Lord, enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but He who does the will of My Father in Heaven "(Matthew 7, 21), who walks" in the law of the Lord "(Psalm 118, 1) and does His will, the desire of the Lord to fulfill and hear prayer who obey him. A humble prayer, not a Pharisee, rises high, up to the Third Heaven, to the very throne of the Most High, the prayer of the humble will pass through the clouds. Such, for example, was the prayer of a humble publican: "My God! be merciful to me a sinner! "(Luke 18, 13) and Manasseh, the king of Jerusalem. The wings of prayer, on which she flies to the Supreme, sitting on the six-winged Seraphim, are all virtues, especially humility, hiding and charity, as Tobias Archangel Raphael, who fled from Heaven, said: "A good deed is prayer with fasting and charity and justice ... It is better to create alms than to collect gold "(Comrade 12, 8). As in every virtue, especially in prayer, diligence and diligence are necessary: "A strong prayer of the righteous can do much" (James 5, 16). It is not in vain that our Savior said: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you "(Matthew 7, 7). Saint Dimitry of Rostov (103, 361-362).
The most necessary feats are prayer. Prayer is a means to attract and a hand to receive all the blessings so abundantly poured upon us from an inexhaustible source - the love and the mercy of God, boundless to us. In spiritual warfare, you put your sword in the right hand of God, that He would fight for you with your enemies and overcome them. But in order for prayer to manifest in you all its power, it is necessary that it remain in you unceasingly, as a natural manifestation of your spirit, and be protected and inspired by the following dispositions:
1. You must always have a living desire to serve God alone in every way, and to serve as He pleases. In revival and maintenance of such aspiration, persuade and persevere in the thought that to the Lord, according to the precedents of His qualities - goodness, greatness, wisdom and other countless and immense perfections - every intelligent creature should render worship, honor and service. And when you will constantly remember that He Himself immeasurably and beneficently served you incarnated by His Housebuilding, He has redeemed you and took from you a great oath, healed and healed your ulcers, the poison of sin caused to you, not by wine and oil and not by any plasters , but priceless Blood, which has expired from the Most Holy Ribs of His and the Most Pure Flesh, tortured by pests, thorns and nails, can you resist that every moment you devote yourself to serving Him alone and with word, deed, and thought? Moreover, you should not forget how beneficial this service is to us, because it makes us masters over ourselves, the victors of the devil and the sons of God.
2. You must have a living and warm faith that God, by His great mercy and by the multitude of His bounties, Himself desires and is ready to give you all that is necessary for your proper service to Him, and every good that is needed for you. Such faith and such hope will be in you a vessel, which God's infinite mercy will fill with the treasures of His grace. And the larger and more capacious this vessel, the more abundant gifts will each time come back to the bosom of your prayer. And how can you imagine that God, an alien change of the Almighty, who commanded to pray to Him and promised to give us the requested blessings, refused to make us partakers of them, when we with our earnest and patient prayer ask them of Him, and would not give us His Spirit? ..
3. It is necessary for you to start prayer with such a mood that you would desire one Divine will, and not your own, both in the petition itself and in the receipt of the petition, namely: that you also be moved by prayer because God wants it, and He wanted to be heard, because He wants to. In a word, let it be in your mind and heart that you completely unite your will with the will of God and obey everything in it and not at all desire the will of God to put your will on your will ...
4. It is incumbent upon you to embark on prayer, also adorned with deeds, consistent with your petitions, and after prayer work even harder to become a worthy receptacle of grace and virtue that you ask. The work of prayer, therefore, must be accompanied by the feat of self-coercion and the stress of ourselves on what we are asking for, because here, in the orders of spiritual life, the petition, and your own search, follow one after another, are interdependent. If, however, someone in prayer asks God for any virtue, and he himself is neglected, without using any definite means to acquire this virtue, and does not undertake any deeds for this without taking up feats, then, in fact, he so tempts God more, and Do not pray ...
5. In your prayer, you must combine four actions ... First, glorify God, then thank Him for the blessings shown to you, then confess to Him your sins and the crimes of His commandments, and, finally, ask Him for what is necessary for you, especially in the work of salvation ...
6. In order that your prayer may have power before God and attracted you to His favor, inspire it and beautify it with undoubted faith not only in the immense divine generosity and immutability of His promise to hear us crying to Him, even before our prayer ends, but especially because of the embodied in us of the House-building of our Lord Jesus Christ, who for us accepted the death of the cross, risen, ascended to Heaven and sitting on the right hand of the Father, where he now intercedes for us ... Hope to be heard, also entrust the petition of Preslav th Virgin and Ever-Virgin Mary, day and night, praying for us, and to the intercession of all the saints. Archangels and Angels, apostles and prophets, pastors and teachers, martyrs and martyrs, reverend fathers and mothers, all kinds of benefits favored by God, your Guardian Angel, the saint whose name you wear, and the saint to whom the church is dedicated, in which you are baptized and You always pray. Predicting these prayers for your prayer, you will presuppose your humility, favored by which there is nothing for God, not looking at anyone so graciously as a meek and humble person ...
7. It is necessary for you to perform your prayers always with indefatigable diligence, as commanded by the Lord and the Apostle: "Be constant in prayer, being awake in it with thanksgiving" (Col. 4, 2). For humble patience, tirelessness and perseverance in prayer defeat the invincible God and bow to Him to mercy (64, 181).
Wishing and looking for success in prayer work, adapt to this all the rest, so as not to ruin with one hand what the other creates. 1. Keep your body strictly in food, and in sleep, and in rest: do not give it anything to him only because it wants it, as the apostle commands: "Do not make flesh care of lust" (Rom., 13, 14). Do not give rest to the flesh. 2. External relations to the most unavoidable. This is the time of teaching yourself to pray. After prayer, acting in you, will indicate that without damage to it can be added. Especially, feel the feelings, and between them the most - eyes, hearing, tie the tongue. Without observing this, you can not make a step forward in the matter of prayer. How can not a candle burn in the wind and rain, so it is impossible to warm up the prayer with the influx of impressions from the outside. 3. Use all your free time after reading and reading. For reading, choose predominantly such books in which one writes about prayer and generally about inner spiritual life. Reflect solely on God and the things of the divine, about the Incarnate House-building of our salvation, and in it especially about the suffering and death of the Lord Savior. Doing this, you will sink into the sea of Divine light. Join this procession to the church as soon as you have the opportunity. One presence in the temple will overshadow you with a prayer cloud. What do you get if the whole service is idle in a truly prayerful mood! 4. Know that you can not succeed in prayer without succeeding in general in the Christian life. It is necessary that no one sin, not purified by repentance, lies on the soul; and if, during prayer work, you do something that embarrasses your conscience, hurry to be purified by repentance so that you can boldly contemplate the Lord. Constantly hold in your heart a humble affliction. Do not miss a single upcoming event to do some kind of good or to show some kind of good disposition, especially humility, obedience and renunciation of one's will. But it goes without saying that the jealousy of salvation must burn unquenchable and, filling the whole soul, in everything from the small to the great, should be the main driving force, with the fear of God and unshakable hope. 5. So, in the mood, bother yourself in prayer work, praying: either by ready prayers, then by your own, then by brief calls to the Lord, then by Jesus' prayer, but not missing anything that can contribute to this work, and you will get what you are looking for. I will remind you what the holy Egyptian Makarius says: "God will see your prayer work and that you sincerely wish success in prayer - and give you prayer. For know that although the work done and the prayer achieved by one's own efforts is pleasing to God, the real prayer is that which infuses into the heart and becomes unrelenting. It is the gift of God, the work of God's grace. Therefore, praying for everything, do not forget to pray for prayer. "The Monk Nicodemus of the Holy Cross (64, 205).