Prayer

by Scott D. Hendricks

If work is preceded by prayer, sin will find no entrance into the soul. For when the consciousness of God is firmly established in the heart, the devices of the devil remain sterile, and matters of dispute will always be settled according to justice. Prayer prevents the farmer from committing sin, for his fruit will multiply even on a small plot of land, so that sin no longer enters together with the desire for more. It is the same with everyone; with the traveller, with somebody who prepares an expedition or a marriage. Whatever anyone may set out to do, if it is done with prayer the undertaking will prosper and he will be kept from sin, because there is nothing to oppose him and drag the soul into passion. If, on the other hand, a man leaves God out and gives  his attention to nothing but his business, then he is inevitably opposed to God, because he is separated from Him. For a person who does not unite himself to God through prayer is separated from God. Therefore we must learn first of all that we ought always to pray and not to faint. For the effect of prayer is union with God, and if someone is with God, he is separated from the enemy.

~ St. Gregory of Nyssa

St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Lord’s Prayer; The Beatitudes, translated by Hilda C. Graef (Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1954), 23-24.