Article on Prayer by His Eminence Metropolitan Sergios
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. … Prayer is a way of communicating with our Creator. Scientists accept that primitive man, after he had lost Paradise and come into the world, had a need to communicate with God. He had never lost the virtuous memory of God, first chanted as an expression of the need for prayer and later used as the language for his biotic needs. Prayer is an element of discrimination between humans and animals by using linguistic communication. Prayer exists as the basic element in many religious systems of our world. Monotheistic and polytheistic religions have in common their adoration by prayer, whether public or as an individual activity. The Church, as communion of life between the Triune God and His people, wants her members to pray ceaselessly to have constant and continuous contact with Him. The programme of the Orthodox Church is complete with daily prayers, where the faithful have the opportunity to accept the grace of God. The services, regular and extraordinary, the Holy Mysteries, the blessing actions and rituals, provide the necessary energy to the faithful. Frequently attending in the common prayer regulates the quality of your spiritual life. At the same time, however, regular individual prayer strengthens the spirit. To pray is an essential act because we find ourselves to temptation and we sin continuously. Prayer bridges the gap between God and His people. It closes wounds, it cures passions, it strengthens hope, it empowers the faith and it increases the possibility of living as an authentic Christian. I request therefore, my brothers and sisters, that you remain involved in the sacramental life of our Church. Try to find the time to attend church with the members of your family. When praying, be attentive and concentrate on communicating with God. The hour of prayer is holy, this time is profitable if it is used correctly and efficiently. Your prayer must be free from hypocritical attitudes and formalities. Mountains can be moved with the power of prayer or, better, the sinner can become a saint with the good use of prayer. Remember the prayer of the humble tax collector that was more acceptable to God than that of the Pharisee. I pray for each one of you to find more time for prayer in your daily programme.
+Archbishop Sergios of Good Hope
Metropolitan Bishop of Cape Town
From the Prologue to the 2011 Calendar of our Archbishopric