Many times we are unhappy with certain bad thoughts (attacks from the enemy) that continuously come to our minds. These very disagreeable thoughts they can practically torture us and this is why we pray to God to take them away from us. However, at this time we better also consider what our Lord said in his prayer at the garden: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” We read at the Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Gerontikon) the following story. There was someone that was really bothered by evil thoughts and with tremendous humility was saying: “By having such thoughts, there is absolutely no way that I will be saved and get to heaven.” So he went to a great elder and he asked him to pray for him, so he will not have such thoughts any more. The elder said that he was not recommending such a plan of action because he will regret it. However, the man was persistent. Finally the elder prayed to God, and the man was finally free from the evil thoughts. However, after that he felt into much larger problems being full of pride. So, he went back to the elder to ask him to pray so the previous evil thoughts will come back along with the humility that he used to have!
Evergetinos, Volume 4, Proposition 11.
Translated by Dr. Nick Stergiou