Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Prayer: The Way to Make it.

Make prayer unceasingly, in order that you may receive. For he who seeks finds, and he who knocks to Him it is opened, and he who asks receives. And in your prayer do not look to much speaking, for God looks on the heart; as he said through Solomon; "O my servant, give me your heart."

Truly, the hypocrites make much prayer in every part of the city in order to be seen and held for saints by the multitude: but their heart is full of wickedness, and therefore they do not mean that which they ask. It is needful that you mean your prayer if you will that God receive it.

Now tell me: who would go to speak to the Roman governor to Herod, except he first have made up his mind to whom he is going, and what he is going to do? Assuredly none. And if man does so in order to speak with man, what ought man to do in order to speak with God, and ask of him mercy for his sins, while thanking him for all that He has given him?

Truly, a very few make true prayer, and therefore Satan has power over them, because God wills not those who honour Him with their lips: ask [with] their lips for mercy, and their heart cries out for justice. Even as He says to Isaiah the prophet, saying: "Take away this people that is irksome to Me, because with their lips they honour Me, but their heart is far from Me."
Truly, he that goes to make prayer without consideration mocks God.

Now who would go to speak to Herod with his back towards him, and before him speak well of Pilate the governor, whom he hates to the death? Assuredly none. Yet no less does the man who goes to make prayer and prepares not himself, he turns his back to God and his face to Satan, and speaks well of him. For in his heart is the love of iniquity, whereof he has not repented. 

If one, having injured you, should with his lips say to you, "Forgive me,' and with his hands should strike you a blow, how would you forgive him? Even so shall God have mercy on those who with their lips say: "Lord, have mercy on us," and with their heart love iniquity and think on fresh sins." 
So we need to learn how to make a prayer.

"Consider what you would do if the Roman governor seized you to put you to death, and that same do you when you go to make prayer. And let your words be these:

"O Lord our God,
Hallowed be your holy name,
Your kingdom come in us,
Your will be done always, and
As it is done in heaven so be it done in earth;
Give us the bread for every day, and
Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive them that sin against us, and
Suffer us not to fall into temptations,
But deliver us from evil,
For you are alone our God,
To whom pertains glory and honour for ever."

But I do you to wit that it is necessary to observe that which God says by Isaiah the prophet, with these words: "Wash you and be clean, take away your thoughts from my eyes.'
Truly I say to you, that all the water of the sea will not wash him who with his heart loves iniquities.

And furthermore, no one will make prayer pleasing to God if he be not washed, but will burden his soul with sin like to idolatry. 'Believe me, in sooth, that if man should make prayer to God as is fitting, he would obtain all that he should ask.

Remember Moses the servant of God, who with his prayer scourged Egypt, opened the Red Sea, and there drowned Pharaoh and his host.

Remember Joshua, who made the sun stand still, Samuel, who smote with fear the innumerable host of the Philistines; Elijah, who made the fire to rain from heaven, Elisha raised a dead man, and so many other holy prophets, who by prayer obtained all that they asked. But those men truly did not seek their own in their matters, but sought only God and His honour."
The End.
Not Yet Verified.

Gospel of Barnabas.
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