Friday, April 16, 2010

Worthiness and Prayer

Many of us complain that when we pray we do feel God is listening to us. "Why doesn't He answer me?" we cry out in quiet anguish.  Why is this such a common ailment?

Elder Porphyrios tells us it is due because we are not worthy. "We must become worthy in order to pray.  We are not worthy because we do not love our neighbor as ourself," he says. He then quotes Jesus Christ: "If you bring your gift to the altar and there you remember that your brother holds something against you, leave there your gift before the altar and go first be reconciled with your brother and then come and offer your gift."(Matt 5:23-4)

This tells us that if we want to be worthy we must first reconcile our differences with our brothers and sisters. Porphyrios says, "If that is not done, yo will be unable to pray.  If you are not worthy, you can do nothing. Once you have set in order all your unsettled business and prepared yourself, then go and offer your gift."

This is why there is such an emphasis on preparation for communion with fasting and repentance.  To expect to be in God's grace we have to work at acting as He instructs us.  Think about how you feel when someone asks you for advice and you lovingly give it.  But then, nothing is done to act on it.  This is what we do to God when we do not follow His simple commandment to love our neighbor.  This is what it means to be worthy. We are expected to do as He commands.

We must do as elder Porphyrios says, "abandon ourselves to the will of God."  Again he quotes Christ: "He who has my commandments and keeps them, he is the one who loves me; and he who loves me shall be loved by my Father and I will love him and will manifest myself to him." (John 14:21)

We must make an effort!

Quotes from Wounded by Love. p 116.

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