Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 45

In the following snippet of a conversation between Met. Cyprian, of blessed memory, and one of his spiritual children, we see problem common to many in these days. As parents we should be concerned as we recognize the difficulty of our children to be still in church and to maintain a prayer rule at home.

As this snippet points us, the problem is less an issue of prayer and more in the inability to be still. Each and every day we can see those around us, on the bus, the train, or even in the backseat of our car, who have difficulty setting the cell phone down or removing the earbuds. There is a need for constant stimulation – from music, texting, or talking on the cellphone. How difficult it is indeed to remain still.

As we struggle to teach our children to walk after the Lord and to seek holiness, perhaps the best place to start is to teach them the beauty of quiet – something missing in these times.

Remain for a short while alone, by yourself…

“Father, I have difficulty praying in the evening. I invariably feel bored. My mind keeps wandering and I don’t even feel like concentrating.”
“Are you able to read something?”
“I am usually too tired to read.”
“Well then, put on some gentle music and sit quietly in an armchair, without doing anything.”
“But I can’t bear doing nothing at all!”
“Just what do you want to do?”
“I want to watch the news… to see what’s happening in the world, to be informed….”
“So then, your main problem is not that you are not able to pray, but that you are unable to remain a short while alone, by yourself.
“How can you endure standing before God when you cannot endure your own self in quietude? Without inner quiet, there can be no prayer.”

Metropolitan Cyprian
July 9/22, 2014

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