Archive for June 23rd, 2007

On a Birthday – Many Years!

June 23, 2007

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Please indulge me in a personal post – I will be in Murfreesboro, TN, visiting with my youngest daughter who is in Governor’s School this summer on Saturday of this week, and on Sunday, my family and I will observe the birthday of my wife. My wish for “Many Years!” is for my wife for whom I give thanks to God constantly. I will be back to blogging regularly come Monday morning.

My wife and I met in a small prayergroup in her freshman year of college. I can say without fear of contradiction that she has been my closest spiritual friend since near that day. The journey we have made, we made very much together. I have trusted both her judgment and depended on her ceaseless prayers.

The joy I have in my children, I credit to the mercies of God, my wife’s prayers, and the tolerance they have all shone to me – and in that order. For her I credit the mercies of God and the ceaseless prayers of her parents and their godly example (may her Father’s memory be eternal)! “The prayers of parents are the foundation of a home.”

I am a man whom God rescued and has blessed beyond measure and surrounded me with godly advice and counsel and delivered me from the pit times without number. I do not deserve the life I have and so I say, ‘Glory to God for all things!’

A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 

She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 

She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar. 

She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens.

She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 

She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong. 

She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 

She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 

She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. 

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 

She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. 

She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers girdles to the merchant. 

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 

She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 

“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:10-31 

The Struggle in Prayer

June 23, 2007

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Prayer is infinite creation, the supreme art. Over and over again we experience an eager upsurge towards God, followed only by a falling away from His light. Time and again we are conscious of the mind’s inability to rise to Him. There are moments when we feel ourselves on the verge of insanity. ‘Thou didst give me Thy precept to love but there is no strength in me for love. Come and perform in me all that Thou hast commanded, for Thy commandment overtaxes my powers. My mind is too frail to comprehend Thee. My spirit cannot see into the mysteries of Thy will. My days pass in endless conflict. I am tortured by the fear of losing Thee because of the evil thoughts in my heart.’

Sometimes prayer seems to flag and we cry, ‘Make haste unto me, O God’ (Psalm 70:5). But if we do not let go of the hem of His garment, help will come. It is vital to dwell in prayer in order to counteract the persistently destructive influence of the outside world.

Prayer cannot fail to revive in us the divine breath which God breathed into Adam’s nostrils and by virtue of which Adam ‘became a living soul’ (Gen. 2:7). Then our regenerated spirit will marvel at the sublime mystery of being, and our hearts echo the Psalmist’s praise of the wonderful works of the Lord. We shall apprehend the meaning of Christ’s words, ‘I am come that [men] might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’ (John 10:10).

From His Life is Mine by the Elder Sophrony