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Godís help

Our every endeavor is powerless without the grace and help of God. A man can easily become debauched and so destroy himself, but he cannot correct himself and be saved without God. He can easily live according to the flesh as a boat floats down a river, but of himself he cannot stand against the flesh and live spiritually, as a vessel cannot of itself sail against the rush of the current. It must move either with rowers or with sails in the wind.

So a man must be helped in the spiritual life and in the work of salvation by a supernatural and all-powerful force. He must be victorious over his own self; but how can this be without the power of God present, which is able to do all things? So great is the corruption of our nature.

Up to now, the devil incessantly fights against man, and endeavors to lead him into sin, and to trap him in his snares. The temptations of the world surround him and entice him, and evil custom or habit draws him likewise. Hence we see that many begin to repent and live well, but are drawn off the good path and corrupted again.

And we cannot begin a good and Christian life, then, and live as Christians even to the end, without the almighty help of God. Those who test themselves know all this. For this reason the Lord says, "Without Me ye can do nothing" (Jn. 15:5). At every hour and minute, then, we need the help of God. For this reason, O Christian, when you wish to live piously and be a true

Christian and so be saved, pray to God incessantly and beg help of Him with fervor. Just as according to His love for man God commanded us to pray and ask of Him every good thing, He also promised to give us what we ask for, and most of all what is needful for our salvation.

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Mt. 7:7-8). Know, beloved, that a Christian without prayer is as a bird without wings and as a warrior without weapons.

Pray fervently, then, to Christ the Lord and give yourself to Him for direction, and He will correct and guide you to eternal life and blessedness according to His love for man. Only be careful and watch yourself, and seeing your care He will help you in everything. Read the Beatitudes, and the rest, often and with fervor.

The grace of God is the life of our souls. Our soul cannot be alive without the grace of God. For as our body lives by the soul, so our soul lives by the grace of God. Pray, then, always and sigh unto God that He give you His grace, and that He preserve you in it. We need the grace of God every minute. For this reason, sigh often from the depths of your heart, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thine Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me" (LXX-Ps. 50:12-14 [KJV-Ps. 51:10-12).

Whatever task you may begin, consider whether it is in agreement with conscience and with the Law of God, and whether it is truly profitable to you. When it is in accordance with the Law of God, begin and labor. When it is opposed to it, turn away from it lest you fall into the snare of the enemy who always seeks to catch a man in his snare. Not everything that seems useful to you is useful, but only that which is in agreement with healthy reason and the word of God.

At the beginning of every task call on the name of the Lord your God, and begin it with prayer, that the Lord may prosper you to begin it and complete it. And from this it is evident that a Christian ought not to begin anything that is contrary to the Law of God, but only that which is in agreement with it.

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