Prayer, by reason of its nature

Prayer, by reason of its nature, is the converse and union of man with God, and by reason of its action upholds the world and brings about reconciliation with God; it is…

a bridge over temptations,
a wall against afflictions,
a crushing of conflicts,
future gladness,
boundless activity,
the source of graces,
invisible progress,
food of the soul,
the enlightening of the mind,
an axe for despair,
the annulling of sorrow,
the reduction of anger,
the mirror of progress,
the realization of success,
a proof of one’s spiritual condition,
a revelation of the future,
a sign of glory.
Have great courage, and you will have God himself for your teacher in prayer.

Just as it is impossible to learn to see by word of mouth because seeing depends on one’s own natural sight, so it is impossible to realize the beauty of prayer from the teaching of others. Prayer is learned by praying and it has a Teacher all its own: God, who teaches knowledge and grants the prayer of him who prays and blesses the years of the just.

     Saint John Climacus (c.575-c.650), monk on Mount Sinai, The Ladder of Divine Ascent (trans. Archimandrite Lazarus Moore; cf. coll. Spiritualité orientale no. 24, pp. 290.299-300 rev.)