Almost all of these display extremely zealous love and praying for others. Some of these saints persisted in their supplicatory prayers with the most extreme dedication. The main lesson to derive from these is that praying for others does work but requires extreme persistence, performed according to our spiritual level of course!
1) About St John of Kronstadt (-1909)
When Father John prayed, he tried in general to pray more for all the faithful than for himself alone, not separating himself from the believers and being in spiritual unity with them. If he saw shortcomings in a man or any passions, he always prayed secretly for him, no matter where: while serving the Liturgy, whether en route somewhere or in conversation. When driving along the street and seeing wanton people, he would at once raise up his heartfelt prayer to the Lord and cry: “O Lord, enlighten the mind and heart of this Thy servant; cleanse him from defilement!” – or with other words from the psalms more appropriate to the given person.
2) About St John of Kronstadt (-1909)
(in relation to St John’s praying for someone) Other times he would reveal great perseverance in his prayer as he himself witnessed: “Nine times I approached God with all my prayerful zeal and finally the Lord heard me, and raised the stricken.”
Daily, he analyzed the way he had spoken out the prayers he had used. As he interceded for people, he always took care to pronounce their names with felt love. This was his professionalism. Yet beyond and deeper than his professionalism, he was conscious of the great power contained in the Church’s words themselves.
3) About St Paisios of Mt Athos (-1994)
The self-abandon with which Elder Paisios served God and his fellow man, his strictness with himself, the austerity of his regime, and his sensitive nature made him increasingly prone to sickness. He bore his suffering with much grace, however, confident that, as God knows what is best for us, it could not be otherwise. He would say that God is greatly touched when someone who is in great suffering does not complain, but rather uses his energy to pray for others.
4) About St Jonah Atamansky (-1924)
He was appointed to serve in the village of Kardashovka, whose populace consisted mainly of Stundists. His labours of prayer bore fruit: two hundred of the Stundists, including their leader, were united to the Orthodox Church. When he had to leave them, after eight years’ service, they wept bitterly.
5) About St Leonty, Archimandrite of Mikhailovskoe (-1972)
These very lands – parts of Vladimir, Nizhegorod, Yaroslavl and Kostroma gubernias – formed the so-called Ivanovo Economic District of the Soviet era, in which almost all churches, cloisters and monasteries that guarded the image of Holy Russia were demolished. The nation was almost completely turned into a godless one. Russians became Soviets. In this spiritual vacuum it was very hard for the remaining faithful to live as Christians. However, God sent His people a much needed reinforcement and consolation in the likeness of a true beacon of Faith, a courageous confessor with strong power of prayer, a wonderful elder, archimandrite Leonty. Hundreds of people have been guarded, or even saved or turned to Faith by his prayers. To them his humble and luminous image was an example of a true disciple of Christ, one who was carrying the torch of Holy Love for the people of the miserable and much-suffering Russia.
6) About St Leonty, Archimandrite of Mikhailovskoe (-1972)
Concerned worshipers of the town of Furmanov wrote a letter to Archbishop Hilarion dated October 2, 1960. It said: ‘Before Fr. Leonty our town was much like that of the times of Lot, completely corrupted. And now, thanks to the elder’s holy prayers, God turned many people back to the ways of the righteous. God help him, our dear Father Leonty, as he is a true server and we won’t let him go anywhere. The entire town lives by his prayers. And if he were to be taken from us, we would be orphaned as sheep that are left without their shepherd and that therefore wander off in various directions. We ask you, our dear father, your Eminence, to not leave us orphaned; keep Fr. Leonty with us until his death.’ Another letter said ‘His 7 years of service here have been our only consolation.’ Thanks to such universal affection he wasn’t transferred at this time.
7) About St Seraphim of Vyrtsa (-1949)
During the Second World War, the remarkable Elder, imitating his heavenly Sponsor St. Seraphim of Sarov, stood on a rock for a thousand days, praying for the salvation of Russia. This prayer was indeed effective, and the compelling evidence to this fact is preserved by our contemporaries. In 1949 His Eminance Ilaja, Mitropolitan of Lebanon, came to Russia to relate the truth of how Russia was saved in the war of 1941-1945. The most Holy Theotokos herself uncovered to Vladyka the names of certain righteous through whose prayers God saved Russia. Among the first, the holy Mother named the Elder Seraphim of Vyrytsa and those pious women of prayer who were in Liturgical communication with him.
8) About St Seraphim of Sarov (-1833)
Two nuns passed on. Both had been abbesses. The Lord revealed to me that their souls were having difficulty getting through the aerial toll-houses. Three days and nights, I, a lowly sinner, prayed and begged the Mother of God for their salvation. The goodness of the Lord, through the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God, finally had mercy upon them. They passed the aerial toll-houses and received forgiveness of sins.