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A good friend, a nun whose job it is to do this kind of praying, told me once that the trying-to-pray part can occupy years, a discouraging thought. But she perked me up again by assuring me that God takes for Himself even the least hint that we are interested in Him. Trying to pray counts, at least a little, and He will use any little chink in our rusty armour to pour His unction.
Not for no reason do the Psalms so often refer to grace as oil for the soul, always poured out in great and over-generous abundance. So, what is with all the floating and bilocating and stigmata and all that, anyway? How did the martyrs make jokes during their gruesome deaths? How did the seven sons of the Maccabees, with manly cheerfulness, declare their preference for being tortured to death rather than betray God?
How did Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walk about in the midst of the flames of the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar singing hymns of praise to the Lord? All the saints say the same thing: mental prayer is the way to get this super-abundant unction, the way to become a saint. You turn to St.
Prayer is scary; do it anyway – What's Up With Francis-Church?
What should you actually do? What possible use could that be? These saints… you think, shaking your worldly little head. But its clear that the people of our great heroic past had similar misgivings. They asked, as did the rich young man of Christ Himself, what shall we do to be perfect?
Romuald just told you. A young man leaves his family, gives away his fortune, and goes out alone to the desert to ask what he should do to be saved. And it happened that one of them was called to be the head of a habitation of the brothers [a cenobium or monastery] but the other remained in the desert, where he became a man perfect in self-denial. And he was held by God to be worthy of the gift of healing those who were possessed of devils, and he knew beforehand the things which were about to happen, and he made whole the sick.
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Now when he who had become the head of a habitation of brothers heard these things, he decided in his mind that his fellow monk must have acquired these powers suddenly, and he lived a life of silence and ceased from converse with men for three weeks, and he made supplication to God continually that He would show him how the monk in the desert worked these mighty works, while he had not received even one of the gifts which he had. Therefore visit the sick, which is a great commandment. Thus little by little, by the agency of God, he advanced in the ascetic life until he reached the first rank, and received the power to resist the thoughts and to vanquish them.
Romuald and his student Bruno on how one may acquire it.
Prayer is scary; do it anyway First I must extend my sincere thanks to the kind readers and supporters of this site for their generous donations in the belated Autumn Funder. Prayer is scary. As scary as saintliness itself. Even trying it is difficult. In the invisible spiritual realm, an intense war is always on, and each of us as believers in Jesus Christ are in the theater of battle.
If we are not careful, we can and will become a casualty.
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One of the most common spiritual attacks we face targets our prayer life. The devil and his forces do everything they possibly can to keep us from praying. His tactics include:. Note that doubt is defined as a feeling! The devil loves to take us down with ugly feelings. It is a part of his strategy against us.
If God is in Control, Why Should We Pray?
If he can trapped us in the muck and mire of bad feelings, he can take us out of the battle and make us ineffective in our walk with God and service for God. When it comes to prayer, the devil seeks to saturate us with feelings of doubt. He makes us wonder if God really cares about us. He infiltrates us with the feeling that our prayers never make a difference. He tries to heap doubts onto our soul so that we will not pray.
“No Substitute for Family Prayer”
Why does the devil work so hard to keep us from prayer? Because he knows the difference it makes! He knows that prayer is a part of our artillery as believers. It is heavy spiritual artillery. Take a look at what the Apostle Paul said about the power of prayer in spiritual battle:.