Friday, January 14, 2011

How Do Saints Hear Our Prayers

Have you ever wondered about how the saints can hear our prayers.  This is a question that Saint Theophan tries to answer for us using the analogy of a telegraph line,


He writes,
When true prayer–that is, sincere prayer–moves in the soul, then that prayer, by means of the action of the element upon it, flies it has if on a beam of light to the Saints, and tells him what we want and what we are praying about. There is no gap between the time we make our prayer and when it is heard; the only necessity is that it comes from our heart. It is our telegraph line to Heaven. The very same prayers, which are not from our heart, but which come only from our head and tongue, do not produce a ray which rises to heaven, and they are not audible there. Those are not even prayers, but only prayer-like modes.
Prayers need to be sincere and said with feeling and not just read as if reading an email. Only those that are sincere are heard according to Saint Theophan.  As proof he suggests you notice how you feel after you have prayed fervently.  If it was sincere you will feel a calming and an inner assurance that you will be able to cope with what is troubling you.  This is the response that comes like the speed of light to a sincere prayer.


Saint Theophan says,
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.
Our thoughts in prayer must reflect a humbleness. Ask always, "if It be you will." Ask always for forgiveness of your failing to act as God has intended. And, always give thanks for all God does give you, knowing that even in times of difficulty He is providing you what you need for you spiritual growth.  Keep in mind that your aim is to become one with Him in His Kingdom and that all things of this world are only temporary and means for our becoming one with God.


Reference: The Spiritual Life, p 84-86

2 comments:

  1. “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me[a] for anything, I will do it.

    ---Jesus of Nazareth


    Do you remember asking Jesus for the BIG stuff when you were a little kid? You asked Jesus to give you three ponies ( a black one, a brown one, and a white one) for Christmas. You asked Jesus to bring back your favorite GI Joe after he washed down the street drain in a storm. When your dog, Tippy, died you asked Jesus to bring him back from the dead. When you heard about all the starving children in the world, you prayed to Jesus to leave an envelope with one million bucks inside on your doorstep the next morning so you could feed all those starving kids.

    So why don't you ask Jesus for the BIG stuff anymore? He said to ask for anything and he would do it!

    Answer: When we get a little older we realize that Jesus didn't really mean what he said. What he meant to say was this,

    "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it...if...it is my will to do it. If it isn't my will, I won't."

    So as we get older we stop asking Jesus for the big things, the hard things, because we have learned that Jesus never answers those prayers. Ok, maybe once in a great while Jesus answers a big or hard prayer but it is always something that could have happened by chance anyway, isn't it? Even really rare things can happen by chance. But Jesus never resurrects Grandpa or Grandma from the dead, no matter how hard we pray, does he? Jesus never reattaches a severed limb from an amputee, does he?

    No, Jesus doesn't answer those prayers. That is asking Jesus for just a little too much, isn't it, dear Christian? That is why when you get older you only ask Jesus for the easy stuff: To bless your food. To give you a "nice day". To keep your kids safe.

    And when it is time to go to bed at night, you get down on your knees by your bed and you ask Jesus to bless everyone in your life; you thank him for having let you and your children live one more day...and then you fall asleep into your pillow...to wake up in the morning...to repeat the same prayer...full of easy requests, so you don't ask too much of Jesus...who promised to give you anything that you asked for.

    But, maybe you're not asking Jesus for too much. Maybe the reason Jesus doesn't answer the big or the hard prayer requests is because Jesus can't hear you. Jesus can't hear you...because Jesus is dead.

    Dear Christian: You are an adult now. Just as you stopped believing in imaginary beings called Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, it is time to stop believing in and praying to an ancient man/god who died 2,000 years ago. The "Virgin Birth", the "Resurrection", etc., are ancient folk tales. Jesus doesn't answer your prayer requests any more than Santa and the Tooth Fairy answered your requests to them when you were a kid.

    It's a silly superstition and nothing more, friend. The fact that Jesus doesn't answer your "big" prayers is proof.

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  2. True prayer is based on faith and love.We are not all capable of hearing God. Often He says no.

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