February 19

Even if you had the wisdom of Solomon, the faith of Abraham, the patience of Job, the fiery spirit of David, it would still be little in comparison to what still must be acquired. Conscious of this, those great righteous men said of themselves: I am earth and ashes; not a man but a worm, a defamation of men and the humiliation of the people….

When you have this feeling, then you will have a feeling of need and crisis; and when you have that, you will have a need for prayer. If this need would remain permanently in your soul, it would teach you further through the very work of prayer. Necessity teaches everything.

The need for prayer teaches one to pray. Where can one get wisdom and quick understanding? Either in solitude or at common prayer, in the cell or on the road, in church, at the table or at your handiwork….

Just don’t think that the act of prayer is somehow complex and confusing. When a child wants to eat he comes to his mother and says, ‘Give me some bread.’…the same goes for prayer to God….

When you feel the need, come and tell the Lord about it with a simple heart.

~St Theophan the Recluse


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