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Persistence in Prayer

“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)

#OrthodoxStudyBible #OCPM #LifeApplicationStudyBible #StMakariosofEgypt #SaintCyrilofAlexandria #Dynamis #StJohnClimacus #MonkMoses #EliastheElder #Theognostos #NiketasStethatos #FrBasil #FrJoshuaMakoul

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