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But I have prayed for you, that your faith would not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brethren.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
Confess your offences to one another and pray for one another in order to be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective!
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Let's collect quotes from those who have gone before us and place them here for the spiritual good of all.
I'll start with one from Saint Paisios of Athos.
>Some people tell me that they are scandalized because they see many things wrong in the Church. I tell them that if you ask a fly, “Are there any flowers in this area?” it will say, “I don’t know about flowers, but over there in that heap of rubbish you can find all the filth you want.” And it will go on to list all the unclean things it has been to.
>Now, if you ask a honeybee, “Have you seen any unclean things in this area?” it will reply, “Unclean things? No, I have not seen any; the place here is full of the most fragrant flowers.” And it will go on to name all the flowers of the garden or the meadow.
>You see, the fly only knows where the unclean things are, while the honeybee knows where the beautiful iris or hyacinth is.
>As I have come to understand, some people resemble the honeybee and some resemble the fly. Those who resemble the fly seek to find evil in every circumstance and are preoccupied with it; they see no good anywhere. But those who resemble the honeybee only see the good in everything they see. The stupid person thinks stupidly and takes everything in the wrong way, whereas the person who has good thoughts, no matter what he sees, no matter what you tell him, maintains a positive and good thought.
- St. Paisios of Mt. Athos, “Good and Evil Thoughts,” Spiritual Counsels III: Spiritual Struggle
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A Life of Careful Devotion
1. Recognise that though "God is everywhere and fillest all things", you often go through the world as if He were not particularly present at all and things were just empty things. When you see this, make it a matter of confession and repentance.
2. Always approach the church and the sacraments (where we have an even more specific promise of His presence) with awe. Never treat the building of things that have been set aside as holy as though they were common or empty. Do not divide your life into two - "now He's here, now He's not". Syrian Christians traditionally believed that the Shekinah presence of God left the temple and took up abode in the cross - every cross - and thus they had extraordinary devotion to each and every cross. We should never be indifferent to the icon or prayer corner in our home. Cross yourself whenever you pass it or come into it's presence.
3. Make careful preparation for communion. Always read the precommunion prayers if you are going to receive communion (and perhaps even if you are not); pray Akathists and other devotional prayers that particularly focus on Christ and his presence, such as the Akathist to the Sweetest Lord Jesus. The traditional Western hymn written by Saint Patrick, known as his "breastplate", is also a very fine hymn to know. Find it, keep it with you, and learn it.
4. Learn by heart psalms of presence, such as Psalm 23, "The Lord is my Shepherd," and Psalm 91, "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High", and any others that strike you. Repeat them frequently throughout the day.
5. Throughout the day, search for God. He is everywhere present, and yet our searching helps us to be more properly aware. In searching, expect to find him. He delights in sharing His presence.
6. Approach others with deep respect and wonder - it will often be the foundation for love. As much as is possible, forgive everyone for everything, staying mindful of the great mystery that is every human being. If you cannot yet pray for an enemy, begin by saying, "O Lord, do not hold this sin against them on judgement day on my account." It seems to postpone the forgiveness, but it also makes a beginning.
7. More than anything, give thanks to God for all things. There is no better way to acknowledge his presence. "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thess. 5:18).
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Why all the hate against the Eastern church?
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Christian Music Sharethread
We ought to take advantage of the fact that we can upload audio files on this site. Share you favorite Christian music here! And remember to support the musicians who pour their heart and soul into their music - especially those who do so for Christ's sake.
Attached is a great song by a small Canadian group called Little Kid. I'm not sure they would describe themselves as a Christian band, but all of their music is overtly religious - and very beautiful.
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That Feel When No GF Advice
We get a lot of tfw no gf posts and people always rag on op and make fun of people. What could you say to someone who actually wants advice on this?
Not just statements like be a man or some nonsense, actual substantive advice
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It's very kind of you to provide this website! Let's hope it grows and prospers.
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International House of Prayer