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||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

God in Your Prayers and in Your Spiritualities


Lots of people, in their spiritual life, fight on their

own, without letting God in with them to ask Him

strength and assistance, forgetting the Lord's saying:

" for without Me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5).

Those people, they don't ask God to be with them

in whatever they do. On the contrary each one of

them depends only on his own thinking or on

someone else's, not putting in mind God's work in

him or for him!! At the same time Jesus says: "Until

now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and

you will receive, that your joy may be full " (Jn


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And many people when they intend to live in

holiness or even intend to grow in the life of holiness

they take many vows and give many promises as if

they, with their own power, can actually do what they

had promised to! They don't even ask for God's help

when it comes to fulfilling those vows or promises.

With confidence and feeling of the deceitful strength

they think they can fulfill their vows.

The branch of a vine can never grow or bear fruit

unless the vine's juice passes and reaches it

otherwise it dies, as God says: "I am the vine, you

are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him,

bears much fruit" (Jn 15:5).

So, do you rely on your own self, in all the details

of your life, or do seek the Lord and depend on Him?

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If you want to live correctly, you should

continually seek God's assistance and grace in

every work you do constantly and all the time,

ask Him to grant you wisdom, strength and


This is very much clear in our ritual prayers

whether from the Agpeya, most of the Psalms or in

the Liturgy Prayer…it is beautiful that song which says

"hold my hands and lead me according to Your own

will…" Do you rely on our Lord in your daily life, is He

the One who holds your hand and take the lead? Or

do you lead yourself according to your own will?!

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Let's take an example on the life of purity

and repentance, the life of holiness:

We say to the Lord in the Divine Liturgy "Purify

our souls, our bodies, and our spirits". We also add to

it in the Fraction "our hearts, our eyes, our

understanding, our thoughts and our consciences".

We are not making promise to be pure, we are

actually asking the Lord to grant us this purity.

We pray in the Absolution of the 3rd hr Prayer

saying "send forth upon us the grace of Your Holy

Spirit, and purify us from all defilement of body and

spirit. Change us into a spiritual manner of life, that

we may walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of

the flesh"; all of these are supplications in our prayers

and not vows that we take…and at the end of the

12th Hour Prayer we say "Graciously accord, O Lord,

to keep us this night without sin…"

In Psalm 50 which we repeat it in every prayer we

say "You shall sprinkle me with Your hyssop, and I

shall be purified: You shall wash me, and I shall be

made whiter than snow", "Wash me thoroughly from

my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin"…all of that

is God's work in us, without god we cannot on our

own become pure…He is the One who washes us from

our sin, purify and cleanses us…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

So beautiful is that supplication in the Book

of Jeremiah "Restore me, and I will return" (Jr

31:18). And here God's work in our repentance is

clearly perceived.

Mar Isaac the bishop of Nineveh says "drawn

away by the Devil he who thinks that there is any

other access into repentance except by praying"…

Therefore, ask the Lord to grant you repentance

according to His true promise in the Book of Ezekiel

the Prophet who says: "Then I will sprinkle clean

water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse

you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I

will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within

you…" (Ez 36: 25-27).

Doesn't this remind us with the prayer of David

the Prophet in Psalm 50 "Create in me a clean heart,

O God; and renew a right spirit in my inward parts"…

And he also says in the big Psalm "Incline my

heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness"

So pray brethren and say "Lord make me

resent sin" "make me love you" "strengthen the

bars of my gates" "deliver me from offences"

"save me from my own sinful attributes and

from my persistent trespasses"…"conduct my

footsteps "…

Isn't that what God taught us to say in the Lord's


"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from


In your prayer, you always need to ask for


We cry out to the Lord in our prayers and say " O

God, be mindful to my help; make haste, O Lord, to

help me" (Ps 69), and we repeat this Psalm in the

prayer of the 1st hr, the 6th hr and the midnight

prayer, Monks also pray this Psalm in the prayer of

the veil.


As we seek help from God; so we tell Him "For we

have no helper in our hardships and tribulations but


You've got to fight, not only using your own will

but you should ask God for help saying with the

chanter in the Psalm "My eyes are ever toward the

Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net" (Ps


You seek help from God because the Bible tells

you: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean

not on your own understanding … Do not be wise in

your own eyes " (Pr 3:5, 7).

Besides, don't depend only on your spiritual

desires. Those desires are never fulfilled without

God's assistance...for as long as you have spiritual

desires, Satan also will still have the desire to

obstruct your path if it were not for God's help which

keeps him off…

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How deep and beautiful is what we say in the

Absolution of the 1st hour Prayer:

"Grant us to please You this present day"…

Here, we are not promising God or taking any

vows to do what pleases Him; rather we are asking

Him to grant us the help that we need to be able to

please Him…its only a grace granted to us from His


We also say to the Lord "Guard us from every bad

thing, from every sin, and from every adversative

power", that guarding or protection is one of the

means by which God offers us His help through His

strength which help saving us. We also say in the

Psalm "My strength and my praise is the Lord, and He

has become unto me a salvation" (Ps 117). And in

seeking help we pray: "give me strength to do the

good" "make my way straight before You" "ease our

paths" "save me from my enemies".

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

In seeking help, we also ask God to surround

us with His angels and protect us.

In the absolution of 12th hr prayer we say: "send

us an angel of peace to protect us from every evil,

and every affliction, and every temptation of the


Lots of people ask for the angel of peace to be

with them in their travels, so who asks as well that

the angel of peace might also guard him from every

evil and from and every temptation of the enemy?!

We also seek the angels' protection and ask for it,

at the conclusion of every hr in the Agpeya we pray

"Surround us by Your holy angels, that, by their

camp, we may be guarded and guided, and attain the

unity of faith, and the knowledge of Your

imperceptible and infinite glory…"

How nice it is that we can have relation with the

angels in our prayers…

In our prayer too, the Church teaches us to

ask God for knowledge and guidance.

We don't claim that we know everything, we ask

God to give us that knowledge in everything…His

disciples said to Him "teach us to pray" (Lk 11:1).

Who at that time didn't know how to pray?! It is a

lesson in seeking knowledge in everything even in

praying…and so, the result was that God taught them

the Lord's Prayer.

In our prayers we say "Your Spirit is good. Lead

me in the land of uprightness" and we say "guide us

to fulfill Your commandments" "enlighten our minds,

our hearts and our understandings, O Master of

all"…"Give me understanding, that I may learn Your


We ask the Lord to teach us to pray, to give us

the word which we say in the service, as the chanter

says in the psalm "O Lord, You shall open my lips;

and my mouth shall declare Your praise". Paul the

Apostle says "praying for me, that utterance may be

given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to

make known the mystery of the gospel" (Eph 6:19).

The chanter also prays in the psalm that God may

grant him understanding to His commandments

saying in the big psalm "Open my eyes, that I may

see wondrous things from Your law"…

And so, no one should say "I know. I understand.

I studied …" Everyone should ask God for knowledge,

for guidance of the Holy Spirit to all the truth. Even if

we do know the good, we should still ask God to

guide us in the way of truth, to give us the correct

vision of the spiritual understanding and in the

spiritual path.

The chanter says in the psalm: "Teach me Your

statutes, your commandments, your judgments…

teach me O Lord to do Your will…

Don't you sometimes stand at crossroads and

become confused in acknowledging God's will in your

life or in a certain situation. So ask Him then to unveil

this for you.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Another thing you should ask for, that God

might hear your prayer, accepts and answers it.

As the chanter says in the psalm "Give ear, O

Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my

supplications" "Incline Your ear to me, and hear my


He also says "Let my prayer be set before You as

incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening


Not every prayer is acceptable in front of the

Lord. Lets pray then that God might accept our

prayers, and that our prayers are according to His

own will and that He might answer them…

We say in the psalm "Consider and hear me, O

Lord my God".

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||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

||    Prayer of the First Hour    ||    Third Hour    ||    Sixth Hour    ||    Ninth Hour    ||    Vespers (Eleventh Hour)    ||    Compline (Twelfth Hour)    ||    The First Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Second Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Third Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Prayer of the Veil    ||    Various Prayers from the Agbia    ||    Synaxarium