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The prayers of other people bring us blessings ONLY if we live in virtue.  God said to the prophet:  "Pray not for this people, for I will not hear you.  Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, I would not receive their supplication for these men.  Even if the Patriarch Abraham supplicates for them, if you change not, God will leave and go His way that He may not receive his cry in their behalf."  

The prayers of others, specially of holy persons, have the greatest power ON CONDITION, however, there is repentance and amendment of life in us.  Moses was heard when he prayed for his brother and for 600,000 men from the wrath of God. . .yet had no power to deliver his sister.  Moses, who could plead for the Chosen People, could not plead for himself  to be allowed to enter the Promised Land even if he toiled, suffered and worked assiduously for 40 years.  Samuel could not save Saul from the wrath of God though he oftentimes saved the Israelites as a nation.  Daniel saved a huge barbarian nation but could not save the Jews, the chosen people.  

Look at the unforgiving servant.  God listened to his prayer when he owed 10,000 talents, but God would not listen to him when he owed 10 talents because he was unforgiving of others.  He who is careless shall not be able to obtain salvation -- NO, not even with the prayers of others.  If, on the other hand, we are careful, we shall be able to work out our salvation by ourselves rather than by others.  

God is more willing to give graces to us by our asking than by others asking for us.  Because we are more grateful if we receive the graces by our asking rather than others asking;  just as in the world, the money you worked for is of greater value than the money you inherited, the orange you planted is sweeter than the orange received as a gift.  Our gratitude for things received by our own efforts engenders confidence towards God and we become better men.  Look at the Canaanite woman, the harlot, the good thief, they needed no one to pray for them and all were most pleasing to Christ.  

We must ask holy people to pray for us; but let us not think we can be careless with our souls.  Better still, let us pray for ourselves.  And, best, let us agree, being one mind and one heart, with another to pray in accord.  And let us pray for the right things:  not merely for luxuries and comforts, and never ask for mercy for unrepented sins.  

But if what you ask is needed by your soul, and you contribute all your part, and you exhibit an apostolic life and you have accord and love towards thy neighbor. . ."thou shalt receive thy entreaties."  OR he who truly loves his neighbor and is a virtuous man in other respects shall be heard when he prays.  

St. John Chrysostom, "On Thes."








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