-English articles

“When our dear Lord refuses to grand us something we persistently request of Him….”. One of Saint Porphyrios teachings.

Our Dear Lord Jesus will satisfy the requests of the members of His holy church, when He deems that the outcome will only be for our own good. Therefore we should not be demanding, and similarly, we should not be impatient. We should ask politely and with perfect abandon. We will receive if, and when, HE knows, this is to our own true and eternal advantage.

“When the Lord does not give us something we persistently request of Him, then one of two things may be happening. He does not wish to give us something which is not for our own good, or we are unable to see when, and especially how, we should be asking. And these are not mutually exclusive; that is, both may be happening.

Regarding the first case, no one may discover the Lord’s wishes. And this is because no one is able to know the Mind of God. That is why I shall refrain from making a comment.

Regarding the second case, however, I could say a lot. First and foremost, when we are asking something from God we should refrain from digging our heels in and retort… “I must absolutely have this right now..”. Because this response is not just absurd; but also constitutes a great disrespect towards our Maker. Who are you, or, if you prefer, who am I, that I can demand things of the Lord? And not only that, but I am also prepared to tell Him exactly when He is supposed to satisfy these demands.

-But.., dear grandpa.., I have not demanded anything, and I haven’t set any time limits either. This you are already aware of, very well. And I am only asking because my problem has now become age-old…

-This is precisely what I am trying to explain to you, and by this, I am referring to the reason it has taken so long. In other words, when we are asking something from God, we should do so politely and pleadingly, and even then, only for a while. If we see that the Lord is continuing to refuse, then we, on our part, should stop bothering Him also. That is why insisting about something, as in this case, might only make it move further away. That is the reason we should now stop asking. And when we have already forgotten the whole thing, it will return to us without us being aware. And that is because God never forgets. He has received our message! He will save it and when the time is ripe He will respond accordingly, by granting our request!

That is why we must never insist that God does exactly what we want and, certainly not, at the time we want. To insist in this case, is counterproductive. It may cause harm instead of good. And in a case such as yours, where the demand is very intense, and it comes from a person who is not prepared to let go at all, then anything is possible, and it certainly won’t be any good.

Generally speaking my child, I wish you to understand that we must never try to change the Mind of God just because it suits us and especially whenever we see fit. Whenever we need to receive something we should never chase it but leave it entirely up to His wish. Otherwise the more we chase something, the further away it gets! Compare this with your shadow. No matter how fast you run, you will never catch it. No matter how fast you run, it runs the same way as you do!

Are you now clear about what I said regarding being persistent?

-I have understood grandpa, but I cannot agree with you….

-Well, in that case I shall give you a simple example and you will see that you will now agree with me.

Suppose we now take a large bottle with a bottleneck large enough for your hand to fit through (and thus come out the same way), and that once you have placed your hand in the bottle you clench your fingers to create a fist, and at the same time you are trying to bring it out again. You are now going to find out that, no matter how hard you insist, this is impossible to achieve and your hand will remain in the bottle. You may well be trying for days, months or even years without any result whatsoever. However, the minute you let go of your hand, in other words you stop clenching your fist, your hand will emerge from the bottle the same way it went in!

This is exactly what is happening with your problem.

For as long as you insist for a solution to appear, this in fact will be moving further away. And please remember me when I say so. If you wish, to achieve the solution to your problem, then, stop insisting. God already knows all about your problems. You have made your application to Him. He will decide. Please wait for his response, calmly and faithfully. If you act this way you will have a positive result. If you continue to insist, the way you are insisting, you will find that you have the opposite effect.

I advise you to stop being concerned with your problem, if you wish God to be concerned instead!

-And what about the “Knock and it will be opened; seek and you shall find”? What happens then grandpa? If I were to stop knocking on God’s door, how is He going to open? And if again, I were to stop seeking, how is He going to let me have anything?

-It all depends on how you are knocking on a door, for it to open, and again, how you are asking for something to be given.

If, for example you were to dare knock on a door with an audacious and threatening manner, please be certain that this door will never be opened to you! Even if it were to open, do not expect the owner to greet you with hospitality. More than likely, he will end up beating you up! On the contrary, if you knock on the door gently and pleadingly, the door will be opened wide, and the home owner will offer you every available type of hospitality!

The same you would expect to happen, if you are asking for something from someone. If you ask with audacity and threat, you will never receive anything.  While if you ask gently and pleadingly you are bound to receive immediately. To a great extend, this is mostly true for God, Who cannot respond to pressure, audacity or threats from anyone. God forbid, if this were to be the other way round.

So you see that, it’s not enough to knock on the door of God, but to also know how to do so, if the door were to open for us some day.

The same is true also, when we are requesting something from Him. In this case again, what actually counts, is not how many times we file in our request, as much as the way we do so. [1]

[1] Anargirou Kalliatsou, Father Porphyrios, 6th edition, Publications: Holy Monastery “ I metamorphosis tou Sotiros” Athens 2005, page. 165-168

Comment: The great wisdom of Father Porphyrios can be clearly observed within the lines of the above event. Father Porphyrios is actually teaching us what it means not to “possess an own wish”, and never request anything other than the will of God. This is the way our life becomes   devoid of sadness and completely relaxed, since we are always glad to accept all that happens, as God’s wish. May we have the blessings of our spiritually wise father Porphyrios.

Savvas Agioritis, Hieronmonk.

Translated into English by Panayiotis Konaris



About the author

Χαράλαμπος Τσαβδαρίδης