Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Power of Prayer

From, The Way of the Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way.  Pp184-186.

Prayer is so powerful, so mighty, that "pray, and do what you like."  Prayer will guide you to right and just action.  In order to please God nothing more is needed than love.  "Love and do what you will," says the blessed Augustine, "for the one who truly loves cannot wish to do anything which is not pleasing to the one who is loved."  Since prayer is the outpouring and the activity of love, then one can truly say of it similarly, "Nothing more is needed for salvation than continuous prayer." . . . .
  1. "Pray and think what you will," your thought will be purified by prayer.
  2. "Pray and do what you will," your acts will be pleasing to God and useful and salutary to yourself.
  3. "Pray and do not labor much to conquer your passions by your own strength."  Prayer will destroy them in you.
  4. "Pray and fear nothing," Fear no misfortunes, fear no disasters.  Prayer will protect you and ward them off.
  5. Pray somehow or other, only pray always and be disturbed by nothing.
  6. It is noted, finally, that if the time of your vigilance in prayer is prolonged, then naturally no time will be left for doing sinful actions or even for thinking of them.
To pray somehow is within our power, but to pray purely is a gift of grace.  So offer to God what is within your power to offer.  Bring to him at first just quantity (which is within your power) and God will pour upon you strength in your weakness.  Prayer, dry and distracted may be, but continuous, will establish a habit and become second nature and turn itself into prayer which is pure, luminous, flaming and worthy.

1 comment:

rcwollan said...

I love the simplicity and the power I see intertwined is these comments on prayer. So many, including myself, have such a difficult time moving our prayers beyond the laundry list of people, illnesses and issues. But we must move beyond lists if we are to be more fully united to the Trinity (that is, if we are to be holy).

For Christmas I purchased the first volume of the Philokalia. I'm looking forward to digesting it very, very slowly.

A book I recommend for Lent is FIRST FRUITS OF PRAYER: A Forty-Day Journey Through the Canon of St. Andrew. It's by Frederica Mathewes-Green. The book is worth it just for her introduction. But I also have little doubt that the prayer will nourish and challenge me.

Peace of Christ, brother,
Rich