6. How can you be moved in prayer, reading and
singing of Psalms? In prayer, the feeling comes from recollecting your sins.
The praying person must bring to mind his deeds, how sinners that have
committed similar sins will be judged and the terrifying words of the Judge: "Depart
from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire" (Mat 25:41).
During the uttering and singing of prayers, the
feeling comes when the person compels his mind to be attentive to the words and
grasp with all his soul the power that is enclosed in them. If despite this,
that feeling is still absent within you, do not weaken but persevere patiently
because merciful, generous and long-patient God will accept our endeavors.
Always remember the Psalmistís words: "I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me, And heard my cry" (Psalms
40:1). Act in this way and have trust that Godís mercy will visit you.
8. How many times does one pray in order to
receive advisory thoughts as to what course of action to take? If you are
unable to ask an experienced elder, you then have to utter your prayer on the
given subject three times. After this, examine your heart and if it leans by
even a hairís breadth ó act accordingly. This type of communication is
noticeable and fully understood by the heart.
8. How do you pray three times: at different
intervals or all at once? Sometimes you canít defer them. If you have spare
time, pray three times over three days. But if there are urgent circumstances
like that with the betrayal of Christ ó where He went away three times to pray
and uttered the same words each time ó then use that as your guide.
8. When you intend doing a God-pleasing deed and a
contrary thought opposes it, this lets you know that the intended act is truly
pleasing to God. Pray and observe, whether during
prayer your heart corroborates the goodness and this goodness grows and does
not lessen, and accordingly, whether the opposing thought increases or not.
Know that every good deed definitely has bitter opposition from the devilís
jealousy, while a good deed through prayer gains ascendancy over it. If an
ostensibly good deed is implanted by the devil and then be opposed by him, ó
then prayer will weaken this illusory good deed, together with its illusory
opposition. In this instance, it is apparent that the reason why the devil
opposes the thought he himself had implanted, is to beguile us into accepting
his concept as good.
8. When in thinking about something, you see
confusion in your thoughts, and after calling upon God this confusion remains ó
even slightly ó then know that what you are thinking of doing has been
motivated by the deceiver. Then, under no circumstances are you to do this ó
because nothing is pleasing to God that is done with confusion. In a situation
where there are opposing thoughts to this type of confusion, then there is no
need to immediately regard the matter as evil. Examine the subject, is it good
or evil ó if evil, then leave it and if itís good, carry it out and reject the
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