Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes - Spiritual Nourishment for the Soul - February 2004   Last Modified February 6th, 2004

Monk Praying On Holy Mt. Athos Monk Praying On Holy Mt. Athos

Love To Pray To Our Lord God
by Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho, USA
February 2004

Prayer itself is born of love. The person, who seeks to improve his or her prayer life, so that it may become a perfect line of communication with our Lord God, will quickly find that prayer is founded on love – our love for God and His love for us. If our heart is right, filled with the desire to love our God, and know with a deep certainty His will for us, then the result will be a profound joy. On the other hand, if our prayers lack love and the desire to submit to His will, containing words and thoughts coming from an unrepentant heart, then the result will be very different. There is no joy to be found in complaining, no joy in finding fault with one’s neighbor. Such thoughts blacken our hearts and destroy this precious communication with our loving Lord. The true meaning and purpose of prayer is lost! True loving prayers contains our sorrow for having sinned, thankfulness to God for His forgiveness, our concern and compassion for our neighbor, and the desire that our neighbor should be spiritually nourished by God as we humbly pray.

The Holy Apostles themselves loved the Lord. They learned from Him how to pray, and in their prayers they did not forget to pray for everyone in the world. In the wonderful words that our Lord Jesus prayed, and which we can read in St. John’s Gospel Ch. 17:20-21: “I do not pray for these alone” (the disciples who were with Him at that moment) “but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one.” So the Holy Apostles preached about how we too should follow the example of loving our neighbor through the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this task they were empowered by the grace of the Holy Spirit (see Acts Ch, 2), and that same grace is available to us, as believers. They Holy Spirit, Who is the line of communication between us and our Lord, will teach us to pray for our neighbors, our community, and indeed for the whole world as He opens our hearts to the purposes of God.

All of us certainly have a task to perform. It does not matter what position we hold in the community, nor does it matter how we see ourselves. We all have the spiritual need to come before our Lord to meet Him face to face, beholding His glory and experiencing in our hearts His forgiveness, and then lifting up our whole mind, heart, and soul in prayer. The great reward of those who love to pray to our Lord our God is that they feel spiritually at peace, knowing the comfort of His presence. So, to love our Lord God then is to always to love to pray. Our minds and hearts must always be alert, ready at any moment to turn to Him in loving prayer. Everyday He will show our attentive minds countless situations – items in the news, something said by a neighbor, a letter in the mail – when He is calling us to pray.

When the whole mind, heart, and soul loves to pray to our Lord God, we stand before Him as our Creator, and we feel the awe and love of His presence. In awe because He is the Lord our true God; in love because the soul knows Him as Our Father who art in heaven, who comes and abides within us.

What a blessing it is for any soul to have our Lord God in our lives and abiding within us! And it is all because we bring our loving prayers before Him. We now discover that prayer is not difficult when it comes from our heart, mind and soul and is motivated by love. The Lord Himself will talk to us showing His mercy and inspiring yet further prayer, when we in return speak to Him; He listens like a loving Father. Our Lord our God does listen to our prayers especially when we pray lovingly in repentance, and offer Him our grateful thanks for all things!

The soul that prays grows spiritually through the presence of the Holy Spirit, because it is through the Holy Spirit that we begin to know our Lord God. To know our God is to love Him.

Love to say your prayers in your home, especially when you get up in the morning. Before you rest, say your evening prayers. Pray before your partake of your meals. Never be ashamed to pray in public before you eat your meal, by making the sign of the Cross and a prayer, such as the Our Father. Always ask our Lord God to bless your food when no priest is present. When you finish your meal give thanks to God by again making the sign of the Cross. These prayers are all acknowledgements of His great blessings for us, sustaining our bodies and keeping us healthy in His service.

+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Who prays for you on this Holy Night!
Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church
Boise, Idaho

Glory Be To God For All Things!
Content written/compiled by
(c)Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes