St. John of Kronstadt on Prayer

St. John of Kronstadt 1829-1908

Prayer is proof of the existence of my reasoning personality, of my God-image; it is the pledge of my future divinity and beatitude. I was created out of nothing; I am nothing before God, having nothing of my own. But I, by His grace, am a personality, possess intelligence, a heart and a free will, and in my intelligence and freedom I am able to by approaching Him in my heart to gradually increase His eternal kingdomwithin me; to, gradually, still further increase His gifts within me; to draw from Him — as out of an everflowing and inexhaustible Source — every spiritual and material good, especially the spiritual. Prayer suggests to me that I am the image of God; that through humble and grateful disposition of my soul before God, with my free will, I, by infinitely multiplying God’s spiritual gifts, am thus able to infinitely perfect myself and to enhance my God-image, my heavenly beatitude — for which I have been predetermined — to infinity. Oh, prayer is the sign of my great dignity, with which my Creator has honored me. At one and the same time, however, prayer reminds me of my own nonentity (I came from nothing and have nothing of my own, for which reason I beseech God for everything), as well as of my greatest dignity (I am God’s image; I am divine; I may be called God’s friend, just as was Abraham, the father of believers — if only I would but believe unquestionably in the existence of my God, in His goodness and almighty power; and become assimilated to Him in this life through deeds of love and mercy).