BARGAINING WITH GOD

Our Prayers Should Not Be in the Form of Bargaining

When we approach the Lord with our needs we should take care that our prayer not be a form of bargainingl. God knows our needs before we ask, and it is from our fallen nature that we tend to approach God while trying to bargain with Him. If we want to be healed of an illness that has befallen us, or ask for financial help, we should first ask God for strength and patience to endure whatever He allows to come our way.

The Lord knows what we need, and if we do not receive that which we’ve asked for, we should cease to ask. It is more important that we gain peace of heart, and spiritual strength. The more we learn patience and trust, the more we will have gained in the long run. Rather than persist in hounding God for what we think we need, we should seek first the Kingdom of God.

The best prayer of all is simply to say, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner”, knowing that union with Him is the ultimate goal. Having good health, money, things, or even earthly happiness, must not be the focus of our prayer life.

It is far more beneficial in the long run if we seek inner peace first, and learn to trust God for the rest. He loves us and desires that we come to the knowledge of the Truth and inherit His Kingdom. When we’ve acquired a peaceful and contrite heart, we will seek to keep God’s commandments, and love Him with all our heart. Then we will have a relationship with Him that is based on love rather than infantile bargaining, which can be a form of blackmail.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photos: We welcomed these visitors to the monastery this week.

Friday August 13, 2021 / July 31, 2021
8th Week after Pentecost. Tone six.
Fast. Food with Oil
Forefeast of the Procession of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of the Lord.
Righteous Eudocimus of Cappadocia (9th c.).
New Martyrs Benjamin, metropolitan of Petrograd, and those with him: Archimandrite Sergius and George and John of Petrograd (1922).
Martyr Maximus (1928).
New New Hieromartyr Vladimir priest (1937).
New Hieromartyr John priest, Martyr Constantine priest, Virgin-martyr Anna, and St. Elizabeth (after 1937).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1941).
New Hieromartyr Basil, bishop of Kineshma (1945)
Martyr Julitta at Caesarea (304).
St. Germanus, bishop of Auxerre (448) (Celtic & British).
Martyr Dionysius of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos (1822).
Righteous Joseph of Arimathea (1st c.).
Venerable Neot, hermit in Cornwall (877) (Celtic & British).
Twelve Martyrs of Rome (Greek).
Translation of the relics of Apostle Philip to Cyprus. (Greek).
Consecration of the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos of Blachernae (Greek).
St. John the Exarch of Bulgaria (900).
St. Arsenius the Bishop of Ninotsminda (1082) (Georgia).

The Scripture Readings

Matthew 10:16-22

Persecutions Are Coming

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

1 Corinthians 11:8-22

8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given [a]to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

Conduct at the Lord’s Supper

17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be [b]recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame [c]those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

Matthew 17:10-18

10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. 12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.

A Boy Is Healed

14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon is Igumen of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

3 comments:

  1. Matthew 3:2 comes to mind: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. I used to look at that forensically. As in I should repent because rhe Kingdom requires it: God damns sinners.

    In light of the Jesus Prayer, I am beginning to look at that verse as a promise of freedom, peace and joy no matter the circumstance.
    Not there yet, but the hope is there.

  2. Dear Father,
    Can you please comment on how making a “ vow” or promise in prayer if the prayer is answered (something happens or someone healed) ties in with seeking God’s Kingdom?
    This matter has confused me for years!

  3. What about the parables Jesus told encouraging us to be insistent in our prayers towards God? The parable of the unjust judge and the one where the neighbor comes in the middle of the night asking for food?

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