March 24, 2023

Homily on Praying for Everything You Need (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 Pray for Everything You Need

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on April 8, 1948 - Thursday of the 4th Week of Great Lent)

Some of you are embarrassed, thinking within yourself: “How dare I turn to the Great and Terrible God with my prayer, with a prayer for everyday troubles and sorrows? Do I dare to disturb the Great God with my petty needs, petty sufferings? Do I dare to ask for all this?”

Whoever thinks so is wrong. Why is it wrong? Because God cares about all people. The world was created by the outpouring of God's love. The love of God is a spiritual energy, a great, precious power, from which all other forces, all forms of physical energy have their origin: both light energy, and thermal, and electrical energy, everything is from this spiritual energy, God's love. And if the whole world was created by the love of God, if God, at the end of each of the six days of creation, reviewed what He had created and said that “everything is good”, if so, is it really all the good that He created, left without His care? Love is characterized by concern for what it is directed to. We have care for everyone we love, we care about them, and God loves the whole world created by Him.

How can one think that the Lord, loving the world, left it to its own fate, does not care about it!? Of course, He takes care of the whole world; of course, the whole world is under His providence. The Lord has care for the angels, for the saints, even for evil spirits, whose malice is restrained. The Lord has care for all of nature, for those countless worlds that shine for us in the night sky with bright and faint stars. The Lord has care for all earthly nature, for everything that He has arranged on earth, He has care even for earthly creatures: for all birds, for all animals, for all cattle - His love is directed to everything. If so, if God loves cattle, beasts and birds, and they live and eat thanks to His care, is it possible to think that man, the highest creation of God, is deprived of this care, this love? Of course not, for man is created in the image and likeness of God, and this is the greatest merit. It is clear that the Lord has care for each of us, not only for entire nations and states, but for each person. For you know that we all have a Guardian Angel sent to us by God, who always directs our path to good, guides us to the truth and keeps us from all evil. Is it really possible to think that all our needs are indifferent to God? Everything that a person lives by - all worries, all our sorrows and sufferings, our needs, even the smallest ones - make up our spiritual life, for all our experiences, all our needs leave an imprint on the life of our spirit, and if so, then they are important in the eyes of God, for the goal of every person's life is to become pure, holy.

This means that everything that interferes with the life of the spirit, that darkens it, that distracts our spirit from the path of goodness, cannot be indifferent to God and the Angels. The Lord knows how important all our experiences, sufferings and needs are for us, and therefore He takes care of everything, for His love for people is immeasurable and boundless. The Lord cares first of all and most of all about worthy people striving for righteousness, and those who reject the path of virtues, who are mired in sins, in crimes, mired in wickedness and iniquity, the Lord leaves those, the Guardian Angel departs from them with tears, leaving them to their own evil fate.

The fact that the Lord takes care of all the righteous, you often hear in the words of Holy Scripture, in the words of the Psalms of David: “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are attentive to their prayer” (Ps. 33:16). He hears and accepts the prayer of each of us. You hear also from Psalm 102: "The mercy of the Lord is from age to age on those who fear Him" (v. 17). The merciful Lord preserves all that is good, “the Lord preserves all who love Him, and consumes all sinners” (Ps. 144:20). "The Lord Preserves" . We are clearly told this.

And the holy apostle Peter confirms this, he says: “Surely the Lord knows how to deliver the pious from temptation, and to keep the lawless to the day of judgment, for punishment” (2 Pet. 2:9). The Lord knows and keeps everything. He knows that our vital needs and our sorrows are very important in our spiritual life, therefore, none of our petty needs, none of our small sorrows can be indifferent to God.

Therefore, always ask God for everything you need, without being embarrassed by the thought that it is not worthy of Him to send up prayers for your daily needs. Like little children, stretch out your hands to God, always ask for everything without embarrassment, ask for what you need: with childlike confidence, expecting help in everything that is not contrary to the will of God.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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