Orthodox America

Prayer - a Sign of Love

A true friend prays to God for his friend. A true friend cares about the salvation of his friend's soul. To draw a friend back from false ways and set him on the true path - that is a precious friendship. The saints of God are a man's greatest friends.

The two young men, Barnabas and Paul, were friends and went together to Gamaliel's school. When Barnabas became a Christian, he persistently and with tears prayed to God that He would enlighten Paul's understanding and turn his heart, that he too might become a Christian. Barnabas often spoke to Paul about Christ the Lord, but Paul mocked him and thought him misguided. But the gracious Lord did not leave Barnabas's prayer unfruitful. He appeared to Paul, turned him from the false way and set him on the way of truth. The converted Paul fell at the feet of his friend and cried: "O Barnabas, teacher of the truth, now I am convinced of the truth of what you said to me about Christ!" Barnabas wept for joy and embraced his friend. The friend saved his friend's soul by his fervent prayer. If Barnabas had succeeded in making Paul Emperor of Rome, he would have done less than he in fact did by bringing him to the truth by his prayers.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ochrid