God Doesn’t Give Me What I Ask Him For. Should I Continue Praying?
Question: Father Andrey, your blessing. Can it be that a person asks God for something but never gets it? How can she reconcile with it and accept it? I’ve been asking God for a family, a husband and children, for the last fifteen years but I have got nothing so far, although I’m forty-one now.
Answer: I can tell you that there is a sister in our Sisterhood who turned forty-two. She wanted to get married, so the Lord has sent her a husband and she’s expecting a baby. She spent many years praying, and we prayed with her.
Hope dies last. Whenever you pray, you should add, “Thy will be done.” Sometimes people keep praying for things that are not beneficial or useful for their salvation. Such prayers go unanswered. It may seem that God ignores you when in fact He doesn’t grant you something that isn’t good or useful for you.
Of course, it is vital for us to turn to God with our requests and trust him and know that He hears us.
May an Orthodox Christian Work as a Stylist?
Question: Hello Father Andrey, I have a question. May an Orthodox Christian work as a stylist, that is, help girls to find clothes that suit them best? I worked as a stylist prior to becoming a Christian and now I’m in doubt. Should I pay less attention to mundane things like that? For me, it is a way of applying my creativity and an opportunity to help women to look pretty and chaste without wasting money on beauty products they don’t need.
Answer: I don’t think that your profession is bad or sinful in any way. The way we dress and our taste is shaped by our personality.
More often than not, when a person turns to God, his concept of beauty changes radically. He starts paying more attention to inner beauty so of course his clothes are more modest. Why is everything so colourful and flamboyant outside of the Church: all those painted lips, fingernails, or brows? They’re meant to attract others’ attention. It says: I’m pretty, look at me. A spiritual person looks at the inner beauty instead.
Praise the Lord that you can advise and consult people properly. It’s a good thing. It isn’t a purpose in itself but I think your clients will feel more comfortable and relaxed when they find their style with your help.
Whenever you advise people on what clothes they should wear, mention their inner self, too. That’s when you will accomplish all things at once. You will direct your clients to the Lord’s church. You will explain to them the concept of dual beauty: that is, the external and the internal beauty.
In general, all people are beautiful.
Why Is It Important to Wear a Cross?
Question: Father Andrey, your blessing. Is it really very important to wear a cross at all times? I always wear it but I am not quite sure that I understand why it is so crucial. Please help me to figure it out!
Answer: If one doesn’t wear a cross, then that person is not churched.
We have a centuries-long tradition of wearing a cross. We may not be able to understand it fully because we are forgetful and not invested in spiritual matters. In fact, the cross is a weapon, it’s our shield. Before you buy a cross in a church shop, it is consecrated with a prayer. If you really want to figure it out, read a prayer for consecration of a cross in the Book of Needs, and you’ll see why we wear crosses and why we have them consecrated.
It is not for no reason that non-believers wear amulets that supposedly protect them. People need protection and help. The Cross is our help. The Cross is the glory of Angels and the wounding of demons; the Cross is the guardian of the whole world. That’s why we shouldn’t ponder on that too much in search of hidden meanings; we simply have to believe. There is a blessing for us to wear a cross, so we must obey it.
We don’t understand a lot yet. There are lots of concepts that are hard for us to wrap our heads around. However, there is the life of the Church, which we become part of. We often do things because they are blessed by the Church but then, at a certain stage of our lives, we begin to understand and rethink them, and they acquire deeper and all-encompassing meaning, and the depth of spiritual life is revealed to us. Glory be to the Lord that we’ve come to the Church, which has her rules, regulations, and laws. We’ve got to accept and observe them.