This shows how much the demons hate us.
They don't like us to pray very much.
They really, really, hated these men.
Evagrios the Solitary
One Hundred and Fifty-Three Texts
Philokalia book 1
106. We have heard that the evil one attacked a certain saint so fiercely as he prayed that, when the saint lifted up his hands, the evil one changed himself into a lion and raising his front legs fixed his claws into the saint's thighs; and he kept them there until the saint lowered his hands, which was only when he had come to the end of his usual prayers.
107. There is too the case of that great monk, John the Small. He lived the hesychastic life in a pit, and his
communion with God was not interrupted even when a demon in the form of a serpent wound itself round him,
chewed his flesh and spat it out into his face.
108. You have surely read the lives of the monks of Tabennesis. When Abba Theodore was preaching to the
brethren, two vipers crawled under his feet; but he calmly made an arch of his feet and let them stay there until
he had finished his sermon. Then he showed the vipers to the brethren and told them what had happened.
109. We read how, when another spiritual brother was praying, a viper came and wound itself round his leg. But he
did not lower his hands until he had finished all his usual prayers; and because he loved God more than himself,
he was not harmed at all.
110. Do not let your eyes be distracted during prayer, but detach yourself from concern with body and soul, and give all your attention to the intellect.
111. Another saint living the hesychastic life in the desert was attacked, as he was praying, by demons who for two
weeks tossed him like a ball in the air, catching him in his rush-mat. They were completely unsuccessful in
distracting his mind from fiery prayer.
112. When another monk was practicing inner prayer as he journeyed in the desert, two angels came and walked on either side of him. But he paid no heed to them, for he did not wish to lose what was better. He remembered the
words of the Apostle: 'Neither angels, nor principalities, nor powers . . . shall be able to separate us from the
love of Christ* (Rom. 8: 38-39).