Several orthodox saints have written on the subject of prayer. The invocation of God’s name in prayer kills all passions. Pure prayer comes from a soul that loves God. The Holy Spirit dwells in people who love God. This is the spirit that guides the soul during times of suffering and death.
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Meekness in the face of afflictions from one’s neighbor
Meekness is the virtue that enables us to endure insults and afflictions from our neighbor without losing our cool. It also makes us prepared to receive instruction from the least of the saints. The meek endure provocation without becoming inflamed, and they leave justice to God. Such a virtue can make us more compassionate and generous, and it can help us fulfill our true calling.
Meekness is one of the most difficult of all the virtues to translate, and Jesus elevated it to a high regard. In our modern world, we are conditioned to favor the conspicuous and aggressive. As a result, we are often rewarded and praised by those who are bold and assertive.
Meekness in the face of affictions from one’s neighbor does not mean that we should avoid rebuke or criticize others. Jesus himself was not the only one to stress the importance of being meek in the face of afflictions from a neighbor. Moreover, Jesus embodied meekness in His life, even as the Judge of all mankind. He could have easily demanded all living things to be put to death, but He did not.
Obedience to the will of God in times of suffering
Obedience to the will of God is a vital part of the Christian life, especially during times of suffering. In these times, we must aggressively seek our heavenly Father for comfort and guidance. Whether we are grieving or facing cancer, we must actively seek God for His comfort.
Obedience to the will of God is an important part of Christian discipleship. This means not only submitting to authority, but also carrying out the instructions of that authority. The early Anabaptists were very conscious of the importance of obedience. They made sacrifices for their faith and remained faithful to Christ, the church, and the Scriptures.
Moreover, Jesus learned obedience through His sufferings. As we learn from Hebrews 5:8, the Son was taught obedience through what he suffered. His obedience to the will of God, even when he was free from sin, required patience and quiet endurance. This is only possible through suffering.
Hating sinners but praying for him
Christians should not hate sinners. Instead, they should pray for them. It is a good practice for us to emulate Jesus who taught us to love the sinner while at the same time praying for the forgiveness of his sins. The orthodox saints say that we should not hate anyone.
Christians must know that God hears prayer. Prayers are a barometer for our influence in the world. If we pray fervently for our neighbor, our influence will increase. We must pray with the Spirit of God. If we have a desire for God, our prayer will be answered.
The Western and Eastern Orthodox churches have different definitions of sin. In the Orthodox church, sin is defined as a debt of honor or moral debt. By acknowledging our sin, we will become more humble.