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Favourite prayers


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#1 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 06:05 PM

I wonder if members would like to share favourite prayers which may or may not be well known? And perhaps share why they are favourites.

To start off, here is one of mine. It is significant because the Kazan icon of the Mother of God featured very much in my first visit to Russia to meet Lydia. The prayer is that at the end of the Akathist to the Kazan Mother of God.

Prayer before the Wonderworking Icon of Our Lady of Kazan
(kneeling [except from Pascha to Pentecost])


O All-holy Queen and Lady Theotokos; falling with faith and love before thy precious icon, we pray thee: Turn not thy face away from them that run unto thee; pray thy Son and Our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, O compassionate Mother, that He preserve us in peace and that He keep His Holy Church unmoved by disbelief, heresy or schism; for we have no other helper, no other hope save thee, O All-pure Virgin. Thou art the almighty succour and defender of Christians. Deliver all who pray unto thee with love from assaults of sin, from the attacks of evil men, from all temptations, afflictions and distress, and from sudden death; grant unto us a contrite spirit, a humble heart, pure thoughts, amendment of our sinful lives, and remission of our sins, that we may thankfully sing the praises of thy great things; and be vouchsafed the eternal kingdom. Amen.



#2 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:06 PM

I say these 4 prayers every day :

Prayer for the Acceptance of God's Will

Lord, I do not know what to ask of You. You alone know my true needs. You love me more than I know how to love. Help me to see clearly my real needs which I do not see. I open my heart to You. Visit and help me, for Your Great Mercy's sake. Examine and reveal to me my faults and sins. I put all my trust in You. I have no other desire than to fulfill Your will. Teach me how to pray. Pray in me. Amen.


Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret

Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me. Amen.

Prayer III, to the Holy Spirit

0 Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, show compassion and have mercy on me Thy sinful servant, and loose me from mine unworthiness, and forgive all wherein I have sinned against Thee today as a man, and not only as a man, but even worse than a beast, my sins voluntary and involuntary, known and unknown, whether from youth, and from evil suggestion, or whether from brazenness and despondency. If I have sworn by Thy name, or blasphemed it in my thought; or grieved anyone, or have become angry about anything; or have lied, or slept needlessly, or if a beggar hath come to me and I disdained him; or if I have grieved my brother, or have quarrelled, or have condemned anyone; or if I have been boastful, or prideful, or angry; if, as I stood at prayer, my mind hath been distracted by the wiles of this world, or by thoughts of depravity; or if I have over eaten, or have drunk excessively, or laughed frivolously; if I have thought evil, seen the beauty of an! other and been wounded thereby in my heart; if I have said improper things, or derided my brother's sin when mine own sins are countless; if I have been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I do not remember, for all of this and more than this have I done: have mercy, 0 Master my Creator, me Thy downcast and unworthy servant, and loose me, and remit, and forgive me, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, so that, lustful, sinful, and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, and hymn, and glorify Thy most honourable name, together with the Father and His Only-begotten Son, now and ever, and unto the ages.

And our Panayia :

It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever-blessed and most blameless and Mother of our God. More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

Amen.

Why do I love these prayers?

The first because it tells me that God's Will be done not mine, and it makes me realize that accepting God's will in my life is the way to peace.

The second because, saying it every morning, allows me to remember who is in charge of my life, and that no matter what the day brings, He is with me. This prayer is sort of like an energy charge............

The third I like because it allows me to "take stock" of what I have been doing all day, and it shows me where I have sinned.

I love the fourth because it is my way of honouring our Lady Theotokos and remembering that She is always with me.

This is a really nice thread, Andreas. Thank you for thinking of it.

Effie

#3 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:32 PM

Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me. Amen



I was going to say this one as well, but in a slight variation, and attributed as the Prayer of the Optina Elders:
"O Lord, grant that I may meet all that this coming day brings to me with spiritual tranquility. Grant that I may fully surrender myself to Thy holy will. At every hour of this day, direct and support me in all things. Whatsoever news may reach me in the course of this day, teach me to accept it witha a calm soul and the firm conviction that all is subject to Thy holy Will. Direct my thoughts and feelings in all my words and actions. In all unexpected occurrences, do not let me forget that all is sent down from Thee. Grant that I may deal straightforwardly with anyone I meet, neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone. O Lord, grant me the strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day and all the events that take place during it. Direct my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to be patient, to forgive, and to love. Amen."

I keep a copy of that one in my wallet just in case I need it during the day, and we say it in our family morning prayers.

I would also add the 2nd set of 24 prayers for the day by St. John Chrysostom:
"O Lord, accept me in repentance.
O Lord, abandon me not.
O Lord, lead me not into temptation.
O Lord, grant me good thoughts.
O Lord, grant me tears and remembrance of death and compunction.
O Lord, grant me the thought of confessing my sins.
O Lord, grant me humility, chastity and obedience.
O Lord, grant me patience, magnanimity and meekness.
O Lord, plant in me the root of all blessings, the Thy fear in my heart.
O Lord, enable me to love Thee with all my mind and soul, and in all things to do Thy will.
O Lord, protect me from certain people, and demons, and passions, and from every other unseemly thing.
O Lord, Thou knowest that Thou doest as Thou will; may Thy will be also in me, a sinner, for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen.

Subdeacon Anthony

Edited by Anthony Stokes, 22 July 2008 - 07:38 PM.
Deleted weird code that popped up


#4 Marianthy

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 03:41 AM

I love to say this prayer to Panagia. I do not have the words to express my love and gratitude to her. I have a book of homilies that I read over and over again by St. Gregory...I would read it while lying on my mother's couch when i was recovering from surgery and it would fill my heart. I am sorry this prayer is in Greek. If anyone would like to translate, please do!

' Υπεράγαθε Δέσποινα Θεοτόκε, επάκουσον της οικτράς μου δεήσεως
και μη καταισχύνης με από της προσδοκίας μου,η μετά Θεόν ελπίς πάντων
των περάτων της γης. Τον βρασμόν της σαρκός μου κατάσβεσον. Τον εν τη
ψυχή μου αγριότατον κλύδωνα κατεύνασον. Τον πικρόν θυμόν καταπράϋνον.
Τον τύφον και την αλαζονείαν της ματαίας οιήσεως εκ του νοός μου
αφάνισον. Τας νυκτερινάς φαντασίας των πονηρών πνευμάτων και τας
μεθημερινάς των ακαθάρτων εννοιών προσβολάς εκ της καρδίας μου μείωσον.
Παίδευσόν με την γλώσσαν λαλείν τα συμφέροντα. Δίδαξον τους οφθαλμούς
μου βλέπειν ορθώς της αρετής την ευθύτητα. Τους πόδας μου τρέχειν
ανυποσκελίστως ποίησον την μακαρίαν οδόν των του Θεού εντολών. Τας
χείρας μου αγιασθήναι παρασκεύασον , ίνα αξίως αίρω αυτάς προς τον
Ύψιστον. Κάθαρόν μου το στόμα, ίνα μετά παρρησίας επικαλείται Πατέρα
τον φοβερόν Θεόν και πανάγιον. Άνοιξόν μου τα ώτα, ίνα ακούω αισθητώς
και νοητώς τα υπέρ μέλι και κηρίον γλυκύτερα των αγίων Γραφών λόγια ,
και βιώ κατ ' αυτά από σου κραταιούμενος.

Δια γαρ σου , πανύμνητε και υπεράγαθε Δέσποινα, περισώζεται πάσα
βροτεία φύσις αινούσα και ευλογούσα Πατέρα, Υιόν και Άγιον Πνεύμα, την
παναγίαν Τριάδα και ομοούσιον, πάντοτε, νυν και αεί και εις τους αιώνας
των αιώνων.Aμήν. '

Edited by Marianthy, 23 July 2008 - 03:42 AM.
formatting all wrong!!


#5 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 06:55 AM

I was going to say this one as well, but in a slight variation, and attributed as the Prayer of the Optina Elders:
"O Lord, grant that I may meet all that this coming day brings to me with spiritual tranquility. Grant that I may fully surrender myself to Thy holy will. At every hour of this day, direct and support me in all things. Whatsoever news may reach me in the course of this day, teach me to accept it witha a calm soul and the firm conviction that all is subject to Thy holy Will. Direct my thoughts and feelings in all my words and actions. In all unexpected occurrences, do not let me forget that all is sent down from Thee. Grant that I may deal straightforwardly with anyone I meet, neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone. O Lord, grant me the strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day and all the events that take place during it. Direct my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to be patient, to forgive, and to love. Amen."

I keep a copy of that one in my wallet just in case I need it during the day, and we say it in our family morning prayers.

I would also add the 2nd set of 24 prayers for the day by St. John Chrysostom:
"O Lord, accept me in repentance.
O Lord, abandon me not.
O Lord, lead me not into temptation.
O Lord, grant me good thoughts.
O Lord, grant me tears and remembrance of death and compunction.
O Lord, grant me the thought of confessing my sins.
O Lord, grant me humility, chastity and obedience.
O Lord, grant me patience, magnanimity and meekness.
O Lord, plant in me the root of all blessings, the Thy fear in my heart.
O Lord, enable me to love Thee with all my mind and soul, and in all things to do Thy will.
O Lord, protect me from certain people, and demons, and passions, and from every other unseemly thing.
O Lord, Thou knowest that Thou doest as Thou will; may Thy will be also in me, a sinner, for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen.

Subdeacon Anthony

''

Subdeacon Anthony, I think I like your version better.

Effie

#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 08:15 AM

Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; let them that hate Him flee from before His face: as smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish; as wax melteth before the fire, so let the demons perish before the face of them that love God and sign themselves with the sign of the Cross and say in gladness: Rejoice, O most honourable and life-giving Cross of the Lord, driving away the demons by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ Who wast crucified on thee, Who descended into Hades, and trampled down the power of the devil, and granted us His honourable Cross, to repulse every foe. O most honourable and life-giving Cross of the Lord, help me, together with the holy Virgin Lady Mother of God, and with all the saints unto the ages. Amen.


This is a favourite, especially of my wife's, because of its power against assaults of evil and against any sort of threat. I've only seen it in Russian prayer books in which it appears at the end of evening prayers.

#7 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:40 AM

Andreas, this is a little off topic, but your last prayer made me think of it.

Do Russian mothers make the sign of the cross over their children to bless them and do Russians make the sign of the cross when they leave the house in the morning?

I was just wondering whether the above are done only here in Greece or whether they are universal.

Effie

#8 Deacon Jonathan

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:53 AM

Effie,

I was reading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy recently and he describes exactly that: mothers making the sign of the cross over their children, and even spouses blessing each other in a likewise manner when they meet. Of course, it's hardly an up-to-date source, so I don't know if it's still common practice!

Andreas,

The beginning of that excellent prayer sounded awfully like a Psalm in content and style, so I looked it up and found this:

"Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let those who hate Him flee from His face. As smoke vanisheth, let them vanish: as wax melteth from the face of fire, thus let the sinners perish from the face of God. And let the righteous be glad and rejoice in the sight of God: and let them be glad with joyfulness. Sing unto God, sing praises unto His name: make a way to Him who goeth up into the west. God is His name. They shall be put to confusion from the face of Him who is the Father of the orphans, and the Judge of the widows. God is in His holy place: God, who maketh men to dwell with one mind in an house, bringing forth them that are bound with might, and equally those who provoke unto anger, who dwell in the sepulchres: God, when Thou wentest forth in the sight of Thy people, in passing into the desert."

Psalm 67/68: 1-7

Edited by Jonathan Michael, 23 July 2008 - 10:00 AM.
added reply to Andreas


#9 Olga

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 11:08 AM

Do Russian mothers make the sign of the cross over their children to bless them and do Russians make the sign of the cross when they leave the house in the morning?

I was just wondering whether the above are done only here in Greece or whether they are universal.

Effie


Yes, Effie, they certainly do. And it's not just Russian mothers. I know many Russian fathers who do the same. And many a mama or babushka making prosphori, kulichi, or any baked goods, makes the sign of the cross over the ingredients, over the mixed dough in the basin, and, before closing the oven, over the unbaked dough in the tin. Many also add a little holy water as part of the water used when making prosphori.

It is also common for someone embarking on a long car journey to cross himself as he sits in the driver's seat, then make the sign of the cross over the steering wheel, before driving off.

I would be very surprised if such practices are not part of other Slavic, Romanian or other cultures associated with Orthodoxy.

"Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let those who hate Him flee from His face. As smoke vanisheth, let them vanish: as wax melteth from the face of fire, thus let the sinners perish from the face of God. And let the righteous be glad and rejoice in the sight of God: and let them be glad with joyfulness.


Very fittingly, these psalm verses are used as stikhera (canticles) between the verses of the Canon for the Resurrection.

#10 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 11:54 AM

Your question has been answered, Effie, but I would just say that Russians cross everybody and everything all the time! When we leave the house, we bow and cross ourselves before the icon corner in the hallway. Lydia crosses the front door after it's shut. When we have got into the car, we cross ourselves and I now can't drive off without saying, 'Gospodi blagoslovi'. In Moscow, Lydia's mother crosses us every time we leave the apartment and says 'spasi Gospodi' when we return. The prayer I posted starts off in Slavonic, 'Voskresne Bog' (I think!), and I hear Lydia saying it quietly to herself very often. I've picked up the habit when cooking of pouring oil into the pan of doing it in the sign of the cross.

#11 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:09 PM

Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; let them that hate Him flee from before His face: as smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish; as wax melteth before the fire, so let the demons perish before the face of them that love God and sign themselves with the sign of the Cross and say in gladness: Rejoice, O most honourable and life-giving Cross of the Lord, driving away the demons by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ Who wast crucified on thee, Who descended into Hades, and trampled down the power of the devil, and granted us His honourable Cross, to repulse every foe. O most honourable and life-giving Cross of the Lord, help me, together with the holy Virgin Lady Mother of God, and with all the saints unto the ages. Amen.

This is a favourite, especially of my wife's, because of its power against assaults of evil and against any sort of threat. I've only seen it in Russian prayer books in which it appears at the end of evening prayers.



In fact, tying in with question of crossing children, etc., this prayer is to be read while making the sign of the cross over your bed with your cross before sleep, at least in my prayer book.

My wife and I both make the sign of the cross over our daughter whenever we check on her sleeping at night.

Subdeacon Anthony

#12 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:11 PM

''

Subdeacon Anthony, I think I like your version better.

Effie



That translation comes from the "Orthodox Prayer Book" published by St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, but it is now out of print. It's at the very end of the Morning Prayers. They have been saying that it will be reissued soon, but that has been for about 2 or 3 years now.

Subdeacon Anthony

#13 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 03:24 PM

That translation comes from the "Orthodox Prayer Book" published by St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, but it is now out of print. It's at the very end of the Morning Prayers. They have been saying that it will be reissued soon, but that has been for about 2 or 3 years now.

Subdeacon Anthony


These prayers are aso written in the Old Rite prayer book from Erie, Pa but at the end of the Evening prayers.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#14 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 03:44 PM

These prayers are aso written in the Old Rite prayer book from Erie, Pa but at the end of the Evening prayers.


This is a beautiful book containing some lovely prayers which I haven't seen elsewhere.

#15 Michael Y.

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 03:54 PM

This is one of my favorite prayers:

At all times and in every hour, you are worshiped and glorified in heaven and on earth, Christ our God. Long in patience, great in mercy and compassion, you love the righteous and show mercy to sinners. You call all to salvation through the prom­ise of good things to come. Lord, receive our prayers at the present time. Direct our lives according to your commandments. Sanctify our souls. Purify our bodies. Set our minds aright. Cleanse our thoughts and deliver us from all sorrow, evil, and distress. Surround us with your holy an­gels that, guarded and guided by their host, we may arrive at the unity of the faith and the understanding of your ineffable glory. For you are blessed unto the ages of ages. Amen.

#16 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 04:30 PM

When baking bread or phosphoro we also make the sign of the cross. My father in law, before cutting into a new loaf of bread would always make the sign of the cross with his knife. My husband's stepmother made the most delicious large round bread....mmm, I can still taste it.

I also make the sign of the cross when starting on a journey, and my husband crosses himself each time he passes a church, as do most people here.

After reading the above messages, I thought of the old posts concerning Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, American Orthodox etc. This matter of the sign of the cross is just one more example of how we are all just Orthodox without national differences.

Effie

#17 Nina

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 04:48 AM

In fact, tying in with question of crossing children, etc., this prayer is to be read while making the sign of the cross over your bed with your cross before sleep, at least in my prayer book.

Subdeacon Anthony


Yes, in my tradition it is the same. We cross our bed and also our pillow (since the head lies there and dreams and fantasies of the night may be cause for temptation) and also we say this part:

"Let God arise and all His enemies be scattered, and those who hate His Holy Name may flee from His Face."

- three times when in the midst of great temptation, or facing a great spiritual challenge.

Andreas, as Effie already said, thank you for starting this thread.

I can't decide which prayer is my favorite but I can mention several: those to the Holy Trinity, Christ, Panagia and Saints, most of the Psalms. And of course the 'Jesus Prayer' and 'Our Father'.

'Kirie ekekraksa', 'Soson Kirie ton Laon Sou' 'Theotoke Parthene' 'Fotizou, fotizou o Nea Jerusalim' (I have read that this was also one of the favority hymns of St. Seraphim of Sarov) 'Agni Parthene' 'Exomologisthe to Kirio' 'Aineite ton Kirion' 'Ton Patera Proskinizomen' and many more.

#18 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 07:19 AM

This is another prayer that I like :

"Prayer for Strength in Weakness

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings,
You have power over life and death.
You know what is secret and hidden,
and neither our thoughts nor our
feelings are concealed from You.
Cure me of duplicity; I have done
evil before You. Now my life declines
from day to day and my sins increase.
O Lord, God of souls and bodies,
You know the extreme frailty of
my soul and my flesh.
Grant me strength in my weakness,
O Lord, and sustain me in my misery.
Give me a grateful soul that
I may never cease to recall Your benefits,
O Lord most bountiful. Be not mindful of my many sins,
but forgive me all my misdeeds.
O Lord, disdain not my prayer -
the prayer of a wretched sinner;
sustain me with Your grace until the end,
that it may protect me as in the past.
It is Your grace which has taught me wisdom;
blessed are they who follow her ways,
for they shall receive the crown of glory.
In spite of my unworthiness,
I praise You and I glorify You, O Lord,
for Your mercy to me is without limit.
You have been my help and my protection.
May the name of Your majesty be praised forever.
To you, our God, be glory.

Amen.

St. Ephrem of Syria"

#19 Nina

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:31 AM

Dearest Effie,

Thank you so much for this prayer. Love it! And it came in a very good moment.

#20 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 02:12 PM

Once when I fell badly, Fr Zacharias gave me a prayer to say. He said sometimes we need short, sharp 'arrows':

O Lord, I stumbled for I am blind. Give me strength to continue my life in peace. Lord, make up for what I cannot do myself






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