John Chrysostom on Prayer (Part 1)

This week, my campus pastor spoke about prayer, and I decided it would be beneficial to offer some thoughts from the Church Fathers on prayer throughout the week. Most likely, they will come from John Chrysostom, since I’m reading one of his homilies at the moment. It’s titled, quite appropriately, “On Prayer” (Περι Προσευχης). The Greek text can be found in the Patrologia Graeca 50.775. I found it online here.

Here’s an excerpt from the first homily (my own translation, corrections are welcome).

“For just as the sun is light to the body, so prayer is light to the soul. If then it is a great loss for a blind person to not see the sun, how much worse is it for a Christian to not pray always, and through praying to lead the light of Christ into their soul? Indeed, who wouldn’t marvel in amazement at the loving mercy of God that has been shown to us, that such a great honor has been given to us, that we are considered worthy of prayer, and of communion with God himself! For in the time of prayer, we truly do speak with God, and through this prayer we are joined with the angels.”
~John Chrysostom. De Precatione. Homily 1.

4 thoughts on “John Chrysostom on Prayer (Part 1)

  1. I appreciate the sentiments Chrysostom expresses here. We moderns could learn a lot from him and others of the church fathers about prayer and faith and other spiritual disciplines. He is definitely on my to-read list (at some point after I read the Apostolic Fathers in Greek).

    Thanks for sharing this. Am looking forward to the next one.

    P.S. One small apparent error: according to Migne’s text, the Greek title is Περι προσευχης, not Περι της ευχης.

  2. Thanks for the comment, I’ll correct the title (I should’ve checked!). The Fathers do indeed have a lot to teach! I’ve loved reading Chrysostom. I enjoyed reading the apostolic fathers also. I never finished, but I did read through much of Ignatius of Antioch.

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