ReBlog: The Boldness of Prayer

From Fr. Stephen’s Blog, I am linking a post on the boldness of prayer. I’m copying a passage from Mar Jacob of Serugh, from the 6th century. Fr. Stephen wrote: “It is a meditation on the ‘boldness’ of prayer and its measureless worth. I trust that readers may find it an encouragement in the life-long struggle.”

I find this very encouraging. It’s ever a struggle for me to put importance in prayer and find it stimulating to read the same texts each day. Yet when I let my heart focus on the power of the words I’m praying, I know that none of it is in vain or wasted time standing before my icon shelf.

“Prayer reveals the deep things of the Divine,
by it one enters to behold the mystery of hidden things.
It is the key able to open all doors.
From it one can clearly see what is hidden,
by it the soul can approach to speak with God,
it raises up the mind so that it reaches the Majesty.
It is easy for prayer to learn the mysteries of the divinity,
for it can go in and out unhindered by the angelic powers:
no angel is as swift-winged as prayer,
nor do the seraphim fly up with it as it ascends;
it whispers its words in the ears of the Lord, without any intermediary,
it murmurs in the heart, and God hears it in his exalted place.
Where it ascends not even the Watchers have ever reached,
for it is capable of approaching the very Divinity.
The seraph hides its face fromm the divine Being with its wings,
but prayer stands there unveiled before the Majesty:
nothing at all stands in the way between it and the Lord,
for it converses with him and he hears it gladly.
The Watchers tremble and the heavenly hosts in their modesty are held back,
whereas prayer goes in and relates its affairs before God.
The cherubim are harnessed and cannot see him whom they bear,
but prayer goes up and speaks with him lovingly.
In its love prayer speedily attains the exalted place,
in its love prayer advances to be raised up above the heavenly orders.
The cherub is afraid to raise its eyes to the Majesty,
being harnessed in its modesty with the pure yoke of flame;
the ranks of fire do not approach the Hidden One,
whereas prayer has authority to speak with him.
Prayer enters closer in than they and speaks unashamed;
above the myriads of heavenly hosts does it pass in flight, unhindered by their ranks.
As though to a close relation prayer reveals its secret to the Lord of the Watchers,
asking of him what is appropriate in all sorts of activities.
Prayer does not bend down to the angels to speak with them,
for it asks God himself, and he bids the angels attend to its affairs.”

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