top of page

Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Persistence in Prayer

“We all struggle to persist in prayer…Mercifully, Christ aids us in our labors at prayer. Our King and God presents us with three types of action in [Luke 11] verse 9: ask, seek, knock. We understand these actions as commands to be obeyed. Furthermore, these required actions must be ongoing or continuous – asking, seeking knocking – for this approach emphasizes persistence. We are to keep praying or, as Saint Paul says, “pray without ceasing” (I Thes 5:17).” (Dynamis 10/28/2020)

“It was possible that those who had obtained from Him this precious and saving lesson, might sometimes make indeed their supplications according to the pattern given them, but would do so wearily and lazily…In order, therefore, that we not experience this . . . He teaches us that we must diligently continue the practice, and, in the form of parable, plainly shows that weariness in prayer is to our loss, while patience therein is greatly to our profit.” (Saint Cyril of Alexandria)

“Persistence in prayer and worship is one of the signs of effective faith. If faith represents the columns on which the temple of spiritual truth stands, perseverance represents the stones by which the whole edifice is constructed. But to assess the value of the spirit of persistence in prayer, we should first consider the spirit of despondency. Despondency is the folly of pride and stiffness of neck. The desperate man follows his own stubborn counsel and chooses the torment of everlasting hell. He does not wish to yield to God or accept from His hand the sweetness and the bitterness of this life. By doing so, he refuses the crown of eternal life. The spirit of perseverance, on the other hand, is a sign of humility and surrender. The man who persists in prayer and worship does not think himself worthy of anything; his self is not dear to him. He persists in submission and obedience because he cannot cease from persistence and submission.” (Matthew the Poor)

“In our distress, we might be unable to affirm that God is working out His goodwill in desperate circumstances. But there is something that we can do in our trials, something that the Lord Himself taught. He told the parable of the “Persistent Widow and the Unjust Judge” to make the point that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1-6). We can be like the widow who prevails in her pleas to a judge because of her nagging. We, too, can bring our affliction to our Heavenly Father with the assurance that He will answer our prayers and give us relief from our burdens.” (Fr. Basil)

“…everything comes from God. So let’s turn to Him in prayer…Speak to Him about your every need, even the least significant, and ask Him for continuous support. This is the purest form of prayer. Why do you listen to him who’s discouraging you from praying? Don’t you realize that this, too, is the work of the enemy? Yes, it is, without doubt. He whispers in your ear: ‘Don’t pray’. And sometimes, if he manages to take over your whole body, he gets you to go to bed and fall asleep. All of these are ploys of his. But while the evil one is going about his task of trying to distract you from your good works, you have to get on with them, persisting in them to the end. Arm yourself with courage, as I’ve told you so many times, and don’t listen to the enemy. Pay absolutely no attention to his whispering. And, besides, get angry! If you get angry with him, it’s as if you’re striking a blow at his chest. He immediately becomes no more than smoke.” (Saint Theophan the Recluse)

“These benefits of prayer led the Fathers to teach monologia, or “singleness of thought.” The Jesus Prayer [Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on a sinner] is the best-known form of monologia. Regular use of the simple Jesus prayer reveals our scattered spiritual condition. But if we persist in the struggle to pray, we discover that “what is obtained by frequent and prolonged prayer is lasting”…What do we obtain from constant prayer? First of all, it leads to singleness or sincerity of heart. Prayer in the Spirit discloses the confusion of our mixed motives and helps us distinguish between what comes from God and what comes from our passions, or demonic suggestion.” (Dynamis 10/22/2021, St. John Climacus)

“…the unceasing, spiritual prayer of the heart, marked by a single unwavering thought otherwise known as the Jesus Prayer… In time the Lord will bless us with the prayer of the heart when we will be able to pray without constraints and distracting imaginations. …whoever you are strong or weak, warm or cold, young or old, educated or uneducated, wealthy or poor, clergymen or laymen know that not even a single word of our prayers is in vain. They are all heard, all of them. (Monk Moses, Elias the Elder, Theognostos, Niketas Stethatos)

“Paul described the weapons that believers should use against the forces of wickedness (vs. 12). Then fully armed, the believers must stand guard, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18). They must be “watchful” as the Lord admonished Peter in the Garden on the night of His arrest (Matt. 26:41). The Greek word for “watchful” refers to being awake and alert, not merely to ward off sleep but to achieve a purpose…Thus, we must stand in prayer like the guardians of a king. With perseverance, we must “pray in the Spirit.” When we pray, we must not be slothful or preoccupied with the affairs of this world. Nor should we be fearful or cowardly. But we should be diligent, single-minded, bold, and courageous. And we should persist through all temptations within and turmoil without.” (Fr. Basil)

“Persisting in prayer may be likened to clarifying butter: a slow, protracted heating causes the solids and impurities to rise to the surface, where they may be skimmed off. As we pray persistently, our soul warms and is gradually cleansed until the heart reaches aphtharsía: singleness and purity.” (Dynamis 10/22/2021)

“Prayer is the single most important activity we can do to obtain the peace of God and to reacquire it if lost….Each time we pray, we are taking on the peace of God.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“In Greek, the verbs rendered ask, seek, and knock imply a continuing action and are better translated, “keep asking,” “keep seeking,” and “keep knocking.” God responds when we persistently ask for things that are good.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 11:9-13)

“When a disciple asks Jesus to teach his followers to pray, the Lord offers a two-part answer. He first provides us with a model prayer (Luke 11:2-4). Then He offers two instructive parables with comments (vss. 5-13) urging us to persist in prayer.” (OCPM 10/24/2017)

“Our persistence [in prayer] is an expression of our faith that God answers our prayers. Faith shouldn’t die if the answers come slowly, for the delay may be God’s way of working his will in our lives…To persist in prayer and not give up does not mean endless repetition or painfully long prayer sessions. Constant prayer means keeping our requests continually before God as we live for him day by day, believing He will answer. When we live by faith, we are not to give up. God may delay answering, but His delays always have good reasons. As we persist in prayer, we grow in character, faith, and hope.” (Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 4:2, Luke 18:1)

“Those not yet capable of persisting in prayer can easily grow arrogant, thus allowing the machinations of evil to destroy the good work in which they are engaged and making a present of it to the devil. Unless humility and love, simplicity and goodness regulate our prayer, the pretense of prayer cannot profit us.” (St. Makarios of Egypt)

“…weariness in prayer is to our loss, while patience therein is greatly to our profit.” (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

Quote of the Day


bottom of page