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
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?
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?!
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
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
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
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…
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
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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