Prayer is the key to Heaven

Prayer is the key to Heaven, it’s strength is capable of everything. It protects our souls, and it becomes a source of all virtues, a ladder by which we climb to God, the work of the angles and the basis of faith.

- St. Augustine

Babies are in constant contact with God

- I’ve noticed, Elder, that babies sometimes smile during the Divine Liturgy.

- Not only during the Divine Liturgy. Babies are in constant contact with God, because they don’t have concerns. What did Christ said for little Children? “Their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven”. They have communication with God and with their Guardian Angel, who is with them all the time. In their sleep they laugh, sometimes cry, because they see things. Sometimes they see their Angel and play with him - he caresses them, he shakes their hands and they laugh - once again they see scenes of temptation and they cry.

- What they see, when they are little, do they remember when they grow up?

- No, they forget them. If the child remembered how many times he saw the Angel, he would fall into pride. That is why, when he grows up, he will forget. God works with wisdom.

— Taken from the book “Family Life” by Elder Paisios the Athonite (amature translation by me)

A prayer for peace

Almighty God and Creator, You are the Father of all people on the earth. Guide, I pray, all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace. Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict and war. Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred. Teach us to cease the storing and using of implements of war. Lead us to find peace, respect and freedom. Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace against ignorance, poverty, disease and oppression. Grant that we may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters created in Your image, to Your honor and praise. Amen.

So deeply have I fallen…

What am I? Upon the one side sin, an abyss of sin, all opposition to my God, the Creator and Worker of everything, deserving of every condemnation and torment; upon the other, entire poverty in every virtue and infirmity for every virtue. So deeply have I fallen and become corrupt and impotent. Without my Savior I can do nothing in accordance with His Word and in accordance with mine own innumerable experiences. He has created me, soul and body; He has reared me; He has educated my faculties; He still continues to accomplish everything that is good within me if I do anything good, whilst I of myself am only evil. But, my Creator and my Redeemer, Thou hast created me; I am Thy creature, Thy servant. Direct me and fulfill Thy will through me. Grant me Thy grace, that I may entirely subdue my will to Thy will, for I cannot do this without Thy grace. Thou, my Shepherd, pasture me. Thou, my Savior, save me. Thou, my light, enlighten me. Thou, my strength, strengthen me.

- Saint John of Kronstadt

Every moment…

Every moment is a time [in eternity] and every sigh can become a prayer.

- Elder Arsenie

Prayer to St. Seraphim of Sarov, the Wonderworker
O great Saint of God, our venerable and God-bearing Father, Seraphim! Look down from the glory that is above, upon us who are humble and weak, burdened with our many sins, and ask thy help and consolation. Bend down to us in thy loving kindness, and help us to carry out God’s commandments without stain, firmly to keep the Orthodox Faith, to approach God in heartfelt contrition for all our sins, to make progress in Christian devotion and to be worthy of thy prayers before God.
Yea, O Saint of God, hearken unto us, who pray to thee in faith and love, and despise us not who seek thee as our defender: now, and at the hour of our departure, help us and defend us by thy prayers from the wicked assaults of the devil, lest evil powers should have dominion over us; but let us be granted, by thy help, to inherit the bliss of heavenly mansions.
For we place our hope in thee, O kind-hearted father: be thou indeed our guide to salvation, and bring us to the unwaning light of eternal life, by thy good intercession before the throne of the Most Holy Trinity, so that we may glorify and hymn with all the Saints, the name worthy of adoration, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, for ages of ages. Amen.
- From an Akathist. “Polny Sbornik Molitv”, pp. 202-203.

Prayer to St. Seraphim of Sarov, the Wonderworker

O great Saint of God, our venerable and God-bearing Father, Seraphim! Look down from the glory that is above, upon us who are humble and weak, burdened with our many sins, and ask thy help and consolation. Bend down to us in thy loving kindness, and help us to carry out God’s commandments without stain, firmly to keep the Orthodox Faith, to approach God in heartfelt contrition for all our sins, to make progress in Christian devotion and to be worthy of thy prayers before God.

Yea, O Saint of God, hearken unto us, who pray to thee in faith and love, and despise us not who seek thee as our defender: now, and at the hour of our departure, help us and defend us by thy prayers from the wicked assaults of the devil, lest evil powers should have dominion over us; but let us be granted, by thy help, to inherit the bliss of heavenly mansions.

For we place our hope in thee, O kind-hearted father: be thou indeed our guide to salvation, and bring us to the unwaning light of eternal life, by thy good intercession before the throne of the Most Holy Trinity, so that we may glorify and hymn with all the Saints, the name worthy of adoration, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, for ages of ages. Amen.

- From an Akathist. “Polny Sbornik Molitv”, pp. 202-203.

Prayer is the breath of the heart

Prayer is the breath of the heart.
It is the mouth of heaven, of paradise.
It is the mouth of the angels.
When we pray, we are actually similar to the angels,
who are in a state of ceaseless prayer for God.
Therefore, we are told that prayer should be ceaseless.

- Archimandrite Seraphim Man - From the monastery St. Ana, Romania

On prayer

Prayers that are offered up to God remain behind closed doors if they do not contain love, for only love can open the doors for prayer.

- St. Ephraim the Syrian

Every day becomes Pentecost

No prayer is complete unless it includes a petition to the Holy Spirit that He come to dwell in us. Thus, through prayer every day becomes Pentecost.

- Fr. Anthony Coniaris

Even a little…

Should you pray, even a little, from the heart for salvation, you will be saved.

- Counsels of the Optina Elder Moses (Putilov)

Prayer request

These days (as well as the past few months) I am in great need of prayers, so if you could say a quick prayer for me again it could be so great. I really count in all of you, my family in Christ, for your prayers to our Lord.

Christ is Risen! God bless you!

How to decide a difficult matter

Do not try to decide a difficult matter by means of disputing, but that which is enjoined by the spiritual law, namely patience, prayer, and thoughtful hope.

- St. Mark the Ascetic

Prayer comes to someone who labors…

image

Prayer comes to someone who labors at it, but it will not come to anyone who does not work at it. We see that the Holy Fathers labored a great deal at prayer, and by these very labors kindled within themselves a prayerful spirit.

- Saint Theophan the Recluse