Exhortations from the Pre-Nicene Christian writer Cyprian, Ante-Nicene Fathers , Vol. 5, Epistle 7, Sections 5 and 6, p. 286-287.
For the Apostles also ceased not to pray day and night; and the LORD also Himself+, the Teacher+ of our discipline, and the Way+ of our example, frequently and watchfully prayed, as we read in the Gospel:
And assuredly what HE+ prayed for, HE+ prayed for on our behalf, since HE+ was not a sinner, but bore the sins of others.
But HE+ so prayed for us, that in another place we read, “And the LORD said to Peter,
Persecution of that kind is an examination and searching out of the heart.
GOD wills us to be sifted and proved, as HE has always proved His people; and yet in His trials help has never at any time been wanting to believers.
6. Finally, to the very least of His servants although placed among very many sins, and unworthy of His condescension, yet HE has condescended of His goodness towards us to command: “Tell him,” said HE, “to be safe, because peace is coming; but that, in the meantime, there is a little delay, that some who still remain may be proved.”
But we are admonished by these divine condescensions both concerning a spare diet and a temperate use of drink;
to wit, lest worldly enticement should enervate the breast now elevated with celestial vigor, or lest the mind, weighed down by too abundant feasting, should be less watchful unto prayers and supplication.