Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
Christ is in our midst! He was and is and ever shall be.
Ο Χριστός έν τώ μέσω ημών. Και ήν και έστι και έσται.
A PRAYER OFFERED BY SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
O Lord, deprive me not of Thy heavenly good things, O Lord, deliver me from the eternal torments. O Lord, if I have sinned in mind or thought, in word or deed, forgive me. O Lord, deliver me from all ignorance, forgetfulness, faint-heartedness, and stony insensibility. O Lord, deliver me from every temptation. O Lord, enlighten my heart which evil desire has darkened. O Lord, as a man I have sinned, but do Thou, as the compassionate God, have mercy on me, seeing the infirmity of my soul. O Lord, send Thy grace to my help, that I may glorify Thy holy name. O Lord Jesus Christ, write me thy servant in the Book of Life, and grant me a good end. O Lord my God, even though I have done nothing good in Thy sight, yet grant me by Thy grace to make a good beginning. O Lord, sprinkle into my heart the dew of Thy grace. O Lord of heaven and earth, remember me Thy sinful servant, shameful and unclean, in Thy Kingdom. Amen.
On February 7th our Holy Orthodox Christian Church commemorates, honors and entreats the holy intercessions of the following Saints, Forefathers, Fathers, Patriarchs, Apostles, Preachers, Evangelists, Martyrs, Confessors, Ascetics, and Teachers of Our holy Orthodox Christian faith: Saint Mastridia of Jerusalem; Saint Parthenios, Bishop of Lampsakos; Saint Aprionus, Bishop of Cyprus; Saint Avgul, Bishop of Brittany; 1,003 Holy Martyrs of Nicomedia; Six Holy Martyrs of Phrygia; Saint Luke of Mt. Stirion; Saint Theopemptus and his brotherhood; Saint Peter of Monovatia, monk; St. New Martyr George of Crete.
HOLY MOTHER MASTRIDIA OF JERUSALEM: Saint Mastridia lived in the 6th century in Jerusalem as a nun. When a young man amorously pursued her, she escaped to the desert to save both of their souls. She took with her only a basket of soaked beans. During her 70 years there, neither did the beans ever diminish nor did her one garment deteriorate. She fell asleep in the Lord peacefully.
SAINT PARTHENIUS, BISHOP OF LAMPSACUS: He was the son of a deacon from the city of Melitopolis. He knew the words of the Gospel by heart from his early youth, and strove to fulfill them. Settling beside a lake, he caught fish, sold them and shared the proceeds with the poor. By God's Providence, he was chosen as bishop of Lampsacus. He cleansed the city of paganism, closed the temples dedicated to idol-worship, built many churches and strengthened the faithful. He healed all manner of sickness through prayer, and was especially powerful over spirits. At one time when he was about to drive the evil spirit out of a madman, the evil spirit begged him not to. 'I will give you another man, into whom you can enter and in whom you can dwell.' Saint Parthenius told him. 'And who is that man?' 'I am he', replied the Saint, 'come and make your abode in me'. Hearing this, the evil spirit fled as though burned by fire, crying out: 'How can I enter into the house of God?' Saint Parthenius lived long and showed in his deeds the greatness of his love for God and man. He entered into the eternal peace of Christ in the 4th century.
+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
TODAY'S SACRED SCRIPTURAL READINGS ARE THE FOLLOWING:
Holy Epistle Lesson: 2 Peter 2:9-22
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Mark 13:14-23
FOR YOUR PERSONAL REFLECTION AND CONTEMPLATION
"Show your martyr's spirit in the daily arena of your life, in your home, with your husband, with your wife. When you husband comes home tired from work, and speaks to you without being polite, don't get angry. If he swears at you, don't answer him back. Show him love, tolerance, patience. If your wife has burnt the food, don't shout at her; eat it. Put a little lemon juice on it to make it more tasty, and tell her it is fine. Let love reign in your house. When you see that your spouse has wronged you, don't start shouting about how much you are in the right. It doesn't matter whether you're in the right or not. It doesn't matter what is correct, but what the other person wants. Get out of the way. Deny yourself. Put the other person first. This is life-conquering death, this is soul saving martyrdom."-- Geronda [Elder] Aimilianos of Simonopetra
ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN PRAYER RULE
A Prayer Rule is the outline of our daily prayer routine. It is important to have a thought out rule. Casually going to your place for prayer and simply talking with God is not the best way to begin to develop your prayer life. We will find that we end up babbling in front of our God. We can take advantage of the centuries of wisdom and being by using proven prayers that will lift us up in our way of communicating with God.
A Prayer Rule should first specify the place and time of prayer. Then it should outline the sequence of your prayers and the specific prayers you will say.
Below is and example of a beginners prayer rule. Always consult with your spiritual father (i.e., father confessor) about your prayer rule. He will guide and help you develop one that fits your level of prayer.
OUTLINE FOR MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER
PLACE: In the icon stand in the spare bedroom
TIME: 6:30 am and 11:00 pm for 20 minutes each time
Begin by lighting a candle or vigil light, and making three prostrations and then stand quietly to collect yourself in your heart.
Prayer to God the Holy Spirit, Trisagion Prayer and Lord's Prayer
One of six Morning or Evening Psalms
Intercessions for the living and the dead
Psalm 51 and confession of your sinfulness
Doxology and the morning or evening prayer
Personal dialogue with God
Jesus Prayer- repeat with faith and conviction 100 times: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner"
Reflect quietly on the tasks of the day and prepare yourself for the difficulties you might face asking God to help you or in the evening reflect on the day and the difficulties you encountered and how you dealt with them.
Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on me and save me. Amen.
Remember to stop mid-morning, noon and mid-afternoon to say a simple prayer.
Repeat the Jesus Prayer in your mind whenever you can throughout the day.
Offer a prayer before and after each meal thanking God and asking for His blessing.
COMPLETE PRAYERS FOR SUGGESTED PRAYER RULE
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Glory to You Our God, Glory to You.
PRAYER TO GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, present in all places and filling all things, Treasury of Goodness and Giver of life: come and abide in us. Cleanse us from every stain of sin and save our souls, O Gracious Lord.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal Have mercy on us. (3 times)
Glory to the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
All Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, forgive our sins. Master, pardon our transgressions.
Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for the glory of Your Name. Kyrie eleison or Lord have mercy (3 times) Glory to the Father ,and the Son and the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name...
PSALMS (Found in the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament)
Morning Psalms: 3, 38, 63, 103, 143
Evening Psalms: 70 and 143 - alternate
In morning only: [Commemorate the Living]:
Lord have mercy on: Our bishops, nation, spiritual fathers and mothers, parents, and relatives, old and young, needy, orphans, widows, those in sickness and sorrow, those in captivity, or confinement and our enemies. Remember, strengthen, forgive, guide and comfort them and grant them speedy relief and freedom and deliverance. (Add your own names)
Commemorate the Departed:
Remember O Lord Your servants who have fallen asleep: our grandparents, parents, and family members and friends. Forgive them all their sins committed knowingly or unknowingly and grant them Your Kingdom, a portion of Your eternal blessing and the enjoyment of Your everlasting life. (Add your own names).
PSALM 50 (51)
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of
Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
(Pause and remember your sinfulness)
For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight--That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge...[complete the entire psalm]
THE CREED (SYMBOL OF FAITH) Recite in evening
I believe in One God, Father, Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible: And in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God; begotten of the Father before all ages; Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten, not created, of One Essence with the Father, through Whom all things were created: Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became Man...[complete the Creed]
Glory to God, Who has shown us the Light! Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men! We praise You! We bless You! We worship You! We glorify You and give thanks to You for Your great glory! O Lord God, Heavenly King, God the Father Almighty! O Lord, the Only-begotten son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit! O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, Who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us! You, Who take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer! You, Who sit on the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us! For You alone are Holy, and You alone are Lord. You alone, O Lord Jesus Christ, are Most High in the Glory of God the Father! Amen! I will give thanks to You every day and praise Your Name forever and ever. Lord, You have been our refuge from generation to generation! I said, "Lord, have mercy on me. Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You!" Lord, I flee to You, Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. For with You is the fountain of Life, and in Your Light shall we see light. Continue Your loving kindness to those who know You. Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. Blessed are You, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Your Name forever. Amen. Let Your mercy be upon us, O Lord, even as we have set our hope on You. Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes. Blessed are You, O Master; make me to understand Your Commandments. Blessed are You, O Holy One; enlighten me with Your precepts. Your mercy endures forever, O Lord! Do not despise the works of Your hands! To You belongs worship, to You belongs praise, to You belongs glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
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.
O Lord, God our Father, if during this day I have sinned in word, deed or thought forgive me in Your goodness and love. Grant me peaceful sleep; protect me from all evil and awake me in the morning that I may glorify You, Your Son and Your Holy Spirit now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
(Here you may add your own private prayers using your own words.)
JESUS PRAYER - repeat 100 times. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have mercy on me a sinner.
[Reflect quietly on the tasks of the day and prepare yourself for the difficulties you might face, asking God for guidance and help.]
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
Please note: This is just a suggestion and simple guide lines on how to obtain a Prayer Rule. It is up to you how much more you want to add to it as you progress in your spiritual and prayer life. My dear friends in Christ, there is much more to Our Holy Faith then to attend the Sunday Divine Liturgy.
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George