September 8, 2021

Homily on the Day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

"Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17).

Some of you, sometimes thinking that God will not hear you, or believing that your desire will not come true, do not pray to God at all, do not ask Him for what you want, what you need, what you lack - you do not pray to God, you do not ask Him, but grieve, lament, worry, sometimes even grumble that you do not have this or that.

Here is an example for you that the impossible, according to our concept, can come true if we ask God - the holy parents of the Most Holy Mother of God. Joachim and Anna were in old age, in such years when it was no longer possible to hope to have children, and especially they could not hope because even before that time they had no children at all. Despite the fact that they asked God for children, they persistently asked. Why? Because they really wanted to have children and they grieved very much that they did not have them.

Should old people ask for children for themselves? Is it possible to give birth to someone in old age having not given birth when younger in years? And yet, it turned out that with God the impossible is possible. Joachim and Anna, by faith and their prayers, in extreme old age, as you know, gave birth to a daughter, the Most Holy Mother of God.

Therefore, listener, ask God for everything, for everything that you lack, that you need, that you strongly desire, even if it seems to you impossible for God to fulfill your desire. Yes, it is better to pray than to grieve, lament, worry; maybe God will do it at your request; maybe He will hear your prayer. "Ask, and it will be given to you" (Matt. 7:7), says the Lord. It seems impossible to you, but nothing is impossible for God.

One must ask God more boldly, ask with boldness. When you ask God, forget that you may be asking for the impossible; remember one thing: with God everything is possible.

Suppose that God will not do it at your request, but your prayer will not remain fruitless for you even then. If God does not do such a miracle for you, so that you do not get what you want and what you grieve, then He will do another miracle for you for your prayer: He will do what you need, though about that you do not grieve and lament what you lack. The sick person prays that God will deliver him from the disease. The illness does not go away, but he still does not stop praying - and when he prays to God, his illness becomes not so painful for him, he is more complacent and easier to bear it then. The poor man asks God for his contentment, wealth; God does not give him it, but he asks for everything, and God gives him such consolation for his prayer that he, even in poverty, without wealth, is content and calm no less than a rich man.

Even if you wanted for yourself something sensual, even sinful, then even then your prayer to God will not remain in vain. The Lord will instruct you not to pray about this, or He will keep you from sinful desires, and you, as soon as you stand for prayer, will immediately calm down, stop desiring sinful things.

So, with our needs and shortcomings, with the failures and hardships of life, we should often reason like this: With my anxiety, lamentation, murmuring, do I help myself, will I do something for myself? I will not help myself, I will not get anything. If I pray, God can help me, maybe even do something for me, which seems impossible to me. At least, in any case, I will become calmer when I turn to Him in prayer. So it is better to pray to the All-Merciful and Almighty God than to be tormented, worry, and murmur uselessly. Amen.