Pride after Praying - a Sign of Help from the Demons

Saints Barsanuphius and John. "Guidance Toward Spiritual Life: Answers to the Questions of Disciples".

Letter 421.

Question: "When I am afflicted in regard to something and am praying, if the ineffable goodness of God assists me, my thought is elated as having been heard. So what should I do?"

Response. When you have been praying and feel that your prayer has been heard, if indeed you are elated, it is clear that yon have neither prayed according to God nor have you received the help of God, but rather the feeling that worked in you was from the demons so that your heart might be elated. For whenever assistance comes from God, the soul is never elated; instead, it is always humbled.

The soul will be amazed at how the great mercy of God condescends to show mercy on sinners, who are unworthy and who always irritate him. And that soul offers exceeding thanks to his glorious and ineffable goodness; for he has not handed us what accords with our sins, but rather, in his great forbearance, he shows long-suffering and mercy. And so the soul is no longer elated, but [only trembles] and gives glory.

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