What else will help me along the way in the life of prayer?
Fasting and abstinence from satisfying sensual pleasure..along with almsgiving…. How can God, intangible Spirit, be touched by hands by any other way than by good works?”
from St. Augustine Answers 101 Questions on Prayer by Fr. Ermatinger.
As has been discussed (Question 2), the work of prayer is the gradual letting go of the goods that one personally prefers and instead desiring to receive those things which God deems good, according to His pleasure. Fasting and abstinence help one for in those activities one sets aside those truly good things of this life in order to more fully focus on obtaining the things of God. Almsgiving is a work of charity, the life of God; the giving of the fruits of one’s labors to another that they too might have a share in those fruits, whether they be material or spiritual. These are means of purifying oneself from disordered attachments to the created things of this world. If prayer is the labor by which are given the good things of God by His loving hand, then it is evident that we can only touch that Divine hand by the desire (Question 3) to do so propelling us forward to the good works that help us in the life of prayer (Question 4). — PPP
Grace by Enstrom