Thursday, April 20, 2017

Let My Prayer Come Before You

Let us always desire the happy life from the Lord God and always pray for it.  We turn our mind to the task of prayer at appointed hours, since that desire grows lukewarm, from our involvement in other concerns and occupations.  We remind ourselves through the words of prayer to focus our attention on the object of our desire; otherwise, the desire that began to grow lukewarm, may grow chill all together, and may be totally extinguished unless it is repeatedly stirred into flame.
               Therefore, when the Apostle says: Let your petitions become known before God, this should not be taken in the sense that they are in fact becoming known to God who certainly knew them even before they were made, but that they are becoming known to us before God through submission and not before men through boasting.
               Since this is the case, it is not wrong or useless to pray even for a long time when there is the opportunity.  To spend much time in prayer is to knock with a persistent and holy fervor at the door of the one who we beseech.  For it is even written in reference to the Lord himself that he spent the night in prayer and that he prayed at great length.  Was he not giving us an example by this?  In time, he prays when it is appropriate; and in eternity, he hears our prayers with the Father.   (Saint Augustine, bishop)
               Consider, one of the many reasons those in Monasteries practice The Liturgy of the Hours, is to remind themselves to pray always.  When the bell rings for prayer, the monastic stops his/her work immediately and heads to the chapel for prayer.  Consider the Muslim.  The cleric sings the call to prayer, and all stop, and bow to God and complete their prayers.  When I was in the library on campus, a young woman came and said, "Is it okay?"  I didn't know what she meant, but said yes.  She lay down her pray carpet, knelt, bowed and said her prayers.  Who among us would do likewise?  The least we can do is say our morning and bedtime prayers.  When we drive we can ask for blessings on the neighborhoods we pass, or say a requiescat in pace when we pass a cemetery.   Praying at all times for the sick, or those who have lost a loved one, or for the soul of a loved one or friend, this is something we can all do, whether in a monastery, a library, in the car, or at home.      kvs

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