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Prayer (Fervent)

“Paul not only urges us to pray, but he teaches us how we should do it. He writes that we should offer our petitions and supplications to God with intensity…Paul is saying that prayer must be vigorous. We might say that for Paul, effective prayer requires intense exertion. It takes a strong effort that overcomes all obstacles…Paul goes on to identify three characteristics of forceful prayer. First, it is vigilant. That is, it is awake, alert, and on guard against diversions. Distractions in prayer are born of inattentiveness. The mind forgets its intention of presenting its supplications to the Throne of God. When we notice this mental meandering, we must strongly and immediately return to our single-minded focus on God’s mercy. The second quality of fervent prayer is thanksgiving. Gratitude to God warms the heart and fills our supplications with zeal and devotion. A lack of appreciation for our blessings makes the heart cold. Then our appeals to God become demands rather than childlike requests to our Heavenly Father. Finally…Paul suggests the third trait of energetic prayer. Fervent prayer calls upon God urgently for the needs of others.” (Fr. Basil)

“The more we seek to devote ourselves to prayer, the greater the temptation will be to distract ourselves from the struggle to become fully present to God. To do so is very hard for us, whether during services or in our private prayers. Profound humility is required to open our hearts to the One Who is infinitely “Holy, Holy, Holy” as we “lay aside all earthly cares” to focus on the one thing needful. When even a glimmer of the brilliant light of the Divine Glory begins to shine through the eyes of our souls, the darkness within us becomes brutally obvious.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“Because you can’t pray with a heart that’s wandering about all over the place and with a mind that’s distracted. You have to turn to God and pray with as much humility, contrition of heart, attentiveness of mind and such great fortitude and patience as you would if you were in a tempest at sea and had no hope of survival except help from God. Because God doesn’t refuse anything to such contrite and humble prayer. He gives whatever’s necessary for salvation, because He himself said: ‘Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives; and everyone who seeks, finds’ (Matthew 7, 7-8). He also gave the example of the widow and the hard hearted judge, to teach us to pray at length and not complain when we don’t receive an immediate answer to our requests. He told this parable so that people would continue to pray and not lose heart. Since it’s impossible that God should go back on His word and prove to be untrustworthy, so it’s impossible that you won’t be heard at the right time, if you continue to pray without ceasing and entreat Him in the manner we’ve described.” (Saint Nicodemus the Hagiorite)

“Every person that does any evil, that gratifies any passion, is sufficiently punished by the evil he has committed, by the passion he serves, but chiefly by the fact that he withdraws himself from God, and God withdraws Himself from him: it would therefore be insane and most inhuman to nourish anger against such a man; it would be the same as to drown a sinking man, or to push into the fire a person who is already being devoured by the flames. To such a man, as to one in danger of perishing, we must show double love, and pray fervently to God for him; not judging him, not rejoicing at his misfortune.” (St John of Kronstadt)

“If you do not feel like praying, you have to force yourself. The Holy Fathers say that prayer with force is higher than prayer unforced. You do not want to but force yourself:  ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force’” (Matt. 11:12) (St. Ambrose of Optina)

“Fervent prayer is motivated by love and deep concern and is offered with enthusiasm, feeling, and faith. This is not a casual listing of requests, but prayer that flows from the heart over a pressing need. For example, when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was in agony and “praying very fervently” (Luke 22:44). It’s also persistent prayer that doesn’t stop asking, seeking, and knocking until God answers (Matt. 7:7).” (Charles F. Stanley)

“In response to fervent prayer, God may change the course of your life..." (Life Application Study Bible, Isaiah 38:1-5)

“It is possible to offer fervent prayer even while walking in public or strolling alone, or seated in your shop,...while buying or selling...or even while cooking.” (St. John Chrysostom)

“In a very real way, we are alive at this hour because of the piety and prayers of men and women unknown to us, unknown to the world. These are, as St. James writes, the righteous ones whose “effective, fervent prayer” matters much (James 5:16).” (Father John Oliver)

“No matter how intense or fervent or long your prayers may be, if you have unconfessed sin in your life, your prayers are really going nowhere.” (Greg Laurie)

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