Become a drop of dew in front of the Sun
What to do? Pray. This is a simple and obvious formula for the life of a Christian. But how many of us know how to pray, as it should, and even immediately, finding ourselves in a difficult situation, we recall the need to resort to prayer? Why is that? Do not pray, because we do not believe that God hears? Or does He not hear, because we do not believe in the power of prayer? Hegumen Nektariy (Morozov), editor of the newspaper “Orthodox Faith,” talks about this.
Last first way
Prayer in the life of a modern Christian takes up much less space than it should. By and large, a believer from an unbeliever is distinguished, first of all, by his deep inner connection with the spiritual world, which can be achieved only in prayer, through communication with God and with saints - prayers and intercessors for us. Praying and receiving help, a believer acquires the skill to always turn to God in every difficult life situation before acting on his own. Or, more correctly, should acquire such a skill.After all, it is absolutely clear that it is in the hands of the Lord that everything is located and everything depends on Him.
At the same time, when something distressing happens for us in our life, at first we get upset, worry, use the most diverse ways to solve the problem, and only at the end of a dead end, we suddenly remember the only way to go. No, sometimes we say: “Lord, help me!”, “Lord, enlighten!”, But how involved is our heart in this request, how much do we really believe that without God we cannotcreate more?..
All this is a natural consequence of the fact that the prayer really leaves our lives, comes down to the formal discharge of duty. Why it happens? Why is one of the most common sins in which a contemporary Christian confesses in confession - the sin of abandoning or shortening a prayer? Apparently, a person begins to lose faith in the importance of prayer, the conviction that more important than her, in fact, nothing. Without prayer, there is a removal from the source of our life, a break with God. And only prayer is a means of drawing closer to Him.
Rev. Isaac the Syrian said that there is no other way to approach God other than unceasing prayer. In this case, it implies not only purely ascetic labor, which is performed in conjunction with the feat of silence or asceticism, not only the heart’s prayer as such. Under unceasing prayer we can understand the constant turning towards God, the constant memory of Him. Modern man sometimes deliberately prefers to forget about God, because to remember him turns out to be very difficult: you can’t do this, you can’t afford it. This is one of the most important reasons for formalizing attitudes towards prayer.
A person really begins to pray when something terrible happens - then prayer is pulled out of the soul as a cry for help. But it also happens that a person who has become accustomed to praying formally, when it is necessary to pray no longer “for fun”, but seriously, is not capable of this: prayer is not born in his heart, so hardened.
Faith, prayer, life
The Lord does not promise His disciples that until the end of time Christians will be strong in faith, just the opposite: He says that because of the multiplication of iniquities, love will grow cold in many people.This way the impoverishment of faith and love goes modern humanity. The Christian is not removed from this process and is ill with all the ills of the world, the main of which is lukewarm, including in prayer. When a person is cold, he does not pray at all, when he is hot - his prayer is alive and real. When it is lukewarm, that is, it is not cold and not hot, then even if it is praying, it is difficult to call it a prayer ...
Faith and prayer ... They are directly related to each other. On the one hand, prayer is a consequence of faith, on the other hand, faith draws strength from genuine prayer. But at the same time it is important to understand that the dependence of prayer on life as such also exists. Now, a person fulfills a prayer rule and tries, while praying, to put the mind into words of prayer, he really works, but does not see the result of this work, because his heart remains completely cold, insensible. Why? After all, in the morning prayers from God he asks for mercy at the Last Judgment, the salvation of the soul - that which is the most important, the most vital. And then ... Then he leaves the house, goes on business and by his life proves that he doesn’t need everything he asked for, that he doesn’t care at all.How can prayer be alive? If, on the contrary, we live the day remembering the morning petitions, relating our lives to them when they are born with our life and form one whole with it, then we begin to pray differently.
One day, a certain monk asked Elder Paisius of Athos why the Jesus Prayer does not change anything in his heart, although he performs it "according to all the rules." The elder replied: “Do you notice the people around you, their pain, their misfortunes? When the pain of others becomes yours, then your heart will respond to prayer. ” We often share prayer and life. We want to experience the sensation of God's closeness, and when the Lord through people and circumstances knocks on the heart, we do not reveal. Unwillingness and fear of living a true life, letting other people into it, with their pain and joy, is one of the most important ills of modern man. What prayer can there be if a person does not want to notice God in his life?
Without changing, not working on himself and feeling that the prayer remains fruitless, a person soon comes to the conclusion: pray, do not pray - there is no difference. And initially fervent prayer in the life of such a person becomes formal, is shortened, and then disappears altogether.
Conversation two loving
There are situations in life when we ardently and ardently ask God for something, for example, about health or preserving the life of a loved one, but we do not receive what we ask. Sometimes one of us feels deceived in his expectations, comes to the conclusion that God is not good, not merciful, it is useless to pray to Him, he may even think that He is not there at all. Getting out of this terrible state can be very difficult.
If one of our loved ones experiences such a grudge against God, we must try to explain to him: to think that the Lord is needed only to fulfill our requests is consumerism. For our Father in Heaven, nothing pity for us; He is not angry with us, does not turn away from us. Simply consumerism towards God makes us strangers to him: “Give me what I want and not give — well, I don’t want to know You.”
If we decide to pray, then we must have in our heart that pattern of prayer that Christ left for us, turning first to His Fatherly sufferings to the Father:But not my will, but yours be(Luke 22, 42). When a person asks about things that are truly important for himself, he must understand that he appeals to Him Who Alone knows everything in advance, He alone knows what is best for us.After God's prayer, it is necessary to trust the will of God sincerely - no matter how strange or incomprehensible it may at first seem. Then God will never be offended.
Prayer is not a way to get something. It is a way to communicate with the One you love and the One who loves you more than anyone else. We pray in order to become at least a little like God, - standing at prayer, a person begins to feel and change Him at least to a small extent. St. Ignatius Bryanchaninov, the Bishop of the Caucasus, offers such an image for understanding this - dew drops. At night they are not visible, but the sun rises, and in each of the droplets the sun also lights up. Prayer is a person’s being as a dew drop in front of the Sun. The sun can fill the drop with its light, and then it will also begin to glow.
Need to talk
How constant is the need to talk with God? I am convinced that a person needs prayer as much as food or sleep. When you pray, you understand what real life is, because you are face to face with life. And then there is the illusion of life when, having deprived yourself of communion with God, you simply exist. When a person knows that there is real life, he is looking for it.But out of negligence, followed by oblivion and discouragement, it is possible to move away from this true life, not realizing the need for prayer. A person will be in a depressed state of mind, lose loved ones, because they simply will not be able to be with him - so much he will change ... A person will fade away and may even die for the reason that he does not pray. Not in the sense, of course, that he does not read the morning and evening rule, but in the fact that he broke his inner connection with God and lives without Him.
We have no right to turn into homeless children, for whom existence in inhuman conditions, conditions of isolation from their paternal home, becomes the norm. The absence of prayer and life in Christ should not become a familiar reality for us.
Recorded Inna Stromilova