cyril_alexandriaOn Luke 18:1-8

For it is, I affirm, the duty of those who set apart their lives for His service, not to be sluggish in their prayers, nor again to consider it as a hard and laborious duty: but rather to rejoice, because of the freedom of access granted them by God; for He would have us converse with Him as sons with a father.

Is not this then a privilege worthy of being valued by us most highly? For suppose that some one of those possessed of great earthly power were easy of access to us, and were to permit us to converse with him with full license, should we not consider it as a reason for extraordinary rejoicing?

What possible doubt can there be of this? When therefore God permits us each one to offer our addresses unto Him for whatever we wish, and has set before those who fear Him an honour so truly great and worthy of their gaining, let all slothfulness cease that would lead men to an injurious silence therein;

and rather let us draw near with praises, and rejoicing that we have been commanded to converse with the Lord and God of all, having Christ as our Mediator, who with God the Father grants us the accomplishment of our supplications.

For the blessed Paul somewhere writes, “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.” And He somewhere Himself said to the holy apostles, “Hitherto you have asked nothing in My Name: ask, and it shall be given unto you.”

For He is our Mediator, our Expiation, our Comforter, and the Bestower of every request, and it is our duty therefore to “pray without ceasing,” according to the words of the blessed Paul, as well knowing, and being thoroughly assured, that He Whom we supplicate is able to accomplish all things.

“For let a man, it says, ask in faith, in nothing divided. For he who is divided is like a wave of the sea, troubled and blown about by the wind. Such a man should not think that he will receive anything of the Lord.”

For he that is divided is really guilty of mockery: for if you do not believe that He will incline unto you, and gladden you, and fulfil your request, do not draw near to Him at all, lest you be found an accuser of the Almighty, in that you foolishly art divided. We must avoid therefore so base a malady.

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444): Commentary on St Luke’s Gospel, Sermon 119.

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