Thursday, May 6, 2010

Personal Prayer

Metropolitan Anthony Bloom of Sourozh writes in his book Beginning to Pray:

...it is very important to remember that prayer is an encounter and a relationship, a relationship that cannot be forced either on us or on God...A relationship must start and develop in mutual freedom. If you look at the relationship in terms of mutual relationship you will see God could complain about us a great deal more than we about Him. We complain that He does not make Himself present to us for the few minutes we reserve for Him, but what about the twenty three and a half hours during which God may be knocking at our door and we answer, ‘I am busy, I am sorry’ or when we do not answer at all because we do not even hear the knock on the door of our heart... Let us think of our prayers, yours and mine; think of the warmth, the depth and intensity of your prayer when it concerns someone you love or something which matters to your life. Then your heart is open, all your inner self is recollected in the prayer. Does it mean God matters to you? No, it doesn’t. It simply means that the subject matter of your prayer matters to you. For when you have made your passionate, deep, intense prayer concerning the person you love or the situation that worries you, and you turn to the next item, which does not matter so much – if you suddenly grow cold, what has changed? Has God grown cold? Has He gone? No, it means that all the elation, all the intensity in your prayer was not born of God’s presence, of your faith in Him, of your longing for Him, of your awareness of Him; it was born of nothing but your concern for him or her or it, not for God. How can we feel surprised, then, that this absence of God affects us? It is we who make ourselves absent, it is we who grow cold the moment we are no longer concerned with God. Why? Because He does not matter so much...

2 comments:

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

My favorite book on prayer, and one of my favorite passages. Thanks for posting this. I hope many read it. Prayer is not what many people think. At least, it is far more, or can be far more, than they think. It is God Himself who alone transforms our recitation or reading of the written prayers into co-substantial life with Him, but when we talk to Him in our own words in the prison of our hearts, He cannot help but hear us, and we Him.

FOCUS UNSW said...

Amen, brother!!