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

Grant us to complete this holy day


We use this phrase every day in the prayer of

thanksgiving of Agpeya the book of hours, and we

want it to be the issue of our contemplations now.

As we ask for a new gift from God, we should

realize that our whole life is a gift from God; God

granted us the gift of existence, He granted us life,

granted us mind and many other uncountable things…

The word [grant us] when we follow it and

its synonyms in the Agpeya prayers we find that

there are many things which man asks God for

as gifts.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

􀂙 For example we say in the Morning Prayer:

Grant us to please You this present day!

Imagine that every person asks God to grant him

how to please Him!

It’s a mistake always made by many people that

they present this as a promise or a vow!! They say I

promise You God that I will do so and so!! Or that I

take a vow to do so!! Whereas it is more appropriate

that a person asks God to grant him what he intends

to do saying "grant me Lord to please You…" that's a

supplication which is according to God's will and God

said "Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be

full" (Jn 16:24).

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

We ask the Lord also to grant us Purity or


It is not just an outcome of a personal effort in

our life…

That is why in the third hour prayer we ask the

Holy Spirit to: "purify us from all defilement, O Good

One, and save our souls".

We also say: "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".

It is also supplications and not vows that we


We are not taking a vow in front of the Lord that

we will live in a spiritual manner of life. We are not

taking vows to stay away from the lusts of the flesh

and not to fall in sin, we rather ask for this grace

from God.

􀂙 And so we say in the sixth hour prayer: "Rescue

our minds from thoughtlessness of the earthly deeds

and worldly lusts, to the remembrance of Your

heavenly commandments". "Grant us, O God, a

glorious time, a spotless conduct, and a peaceful life"

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

The Agpeya teaches us that all our spiritual life

we do ask for it as a gift from God.

This doesn't mean not to work hard! No, we ask

God to make His Holy Spirit work in us and at

the same time we participate by our effort with

the help of God's Spirit. And so we are in a

"Communion of the Holy Spirit". Thus, spiritual life is

a gift from God added to it our own interacting and

effort from our side…

􀂙 And in the prayer of the ninth hour we also ask for

the same gift and say: "And grant us to walk

worthy of the calling with which we were


Indeed, we must walk in a spiritual manner of life

yet we say to God: "grant us to walk" which means

giving us the will, the power and the desire for doing

the good deeds and the ability needed for

accomplishing that.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

In the ninth hour prayer we say: "abolish for us

the power of the adversary and all his evil armies",

and in the vesper prayer we say:

"Save us from the trickeries of the

adversary, and abolish all the snares which are

set against us".

We also say "Grant us, in this coming night,

peace without pain, or anxiety, or unrest, or illusion"

He whoever dreams bad or sinful dreams at night,

had he prayed before sleeping saying "Grant us, in

this coming night, peace without pain, or anxiety, or

unrest, or illusion…"?!

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

􀂙 In the twelfth hour prayer we say:

"Graciously accord, O Lord, to keep us this

night without sin…"

It is also a supplication not just promises and

vows that we take! We ask the Lord to keep us

without sin.

Many people might ask God to keep them from

temptations and from evil persons, but rarely few

people ask God to keep themselves from falling into

any sin!

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

􀂙 Concerning repentance and judgment, the

worshipper says in the midnight prayer: "Give me, O

Lord, many fountains of tears, as You gave, in

the past, the sinful woman". And says to God

about the day of judgment: "grant us in that Hour to

be without fear, anxiety or condemnation…"

To summarize: you ask God for the spiritual life

as a gift from Him, you ask Him to keep you every

day without sin, to keep you from all the trickeries of


the adversary, you ask God to purify you from all

defilement of body and spirit making His Holy Spirit

work inside you.

We proceed in our supplication saying:

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

"Grant us to complete this day…"

Which means that every day of your life is a gift,

completing this day is also a gift, so continuing your

daily life is not just an ordinary thing as the Agpeya

prayer shows you that every day which passes of your

life is a gift.

We also say:

"Grant us to complete this holy day". So what

is the meaning of 'holy'?

There are holy days which no one argues in its

holiness, as the feasts and the days of fasting which are

all holy days, the day of the Lord is also a holy day, the

day of partaking from the Holy Communion is a holy

day as well…is holiness restricted to only such


No, the day in which you pray is a holy day

and so should all the days of your life be as holy.

That is because these days are in God's possession

as it was said that He made us "holy people to Himself"

(Dt 28:9). It is a holy life in baptism and holy chrism, in

the Holy Communion; we abide in him and him in us

(Jn 6:56), as the branch abides in the vine (Jn 15:4),

and the vine's juice passes through granting it life…

In the old days, the believers were called

saints. As Saint Paul the apostle says "Greet every

saint in Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:21). And as St. Paul said in

honoring true widows that: "if she has lodged

strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet" (1 Ti

5:10). But now the word (saint) is said about those who

have elevated level of spiritual live…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

And as we continue the prayer saying "Grant us to

complete this holy day…"

Is your manner of life in this day entails that it

is a (holy day)?

Ask yourself: what does a holy day look like? When

we were young youths, they used to give us a spiritual

practice for a (holy day) and it was un-doubtfully a holy


We say in our prayer: this holy day, and all the

days of our life…

So are all the days of your life holy? And how much

days are not?

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

We say "In all peace with your fear".

It’s peace with God, with people and peace

inside the soul.

􀂙 Peace with God because the sin causes us to lose

this peace as sin is not only disobeying God but also

being apart from Him, the sin was called sometimes in

the bible "Enmity with God" (Jas 4:4). So we should

always be in reconciliation with God so that we would

be in peace with Him, and no reconciliation is attained

except through repentance. And the apostle says "Be

reconciled to God (2 Co 5:20)".

So, reconciling with God is crucial because sin

makes God angry with you, God's anger and His

condemnation are mostly serious and the bible says

about His judgment "It is a fearful thing to fall into

the hands of the living God" (He 10:31).

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

As for peace with other people, the apostle says

about it:

"If it is possible, as much as depends on

you, live peaceably with all men" (Ro 12:18).

Peace from our side and also peace towards

how other people treat us, which means feeling no

harm and not getting outworn regarding how they

treat us. As for both ways we ask God not to help

us not to lose our peace.

We ask God also to give us internal peace:

So that we won't be disturbed, worried or

annoyed but instead to have internal tranquility,

calmness and peace. This needs first that we would

be in good terms wit God as "There is no peace,

says the Lord, for the wicked" (Is 48:22).

That is why we say in our prayers "In all peace

with your fear".

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Truly, the fear of God guards us from every


If man has his heart with God he can never fall

into sin as he is always aware that God is there

witnessing, listening and judging, and so this man

says with Josef the righteous: "How then can I do

this great wickedness, and sin against God" (Gn

39), and also says with Elijah the prophet: "As the

Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand" (1 K


The man whom his heart is with God fears also

that sin might separate him from God and hence

the spirit of the Lord might depart from him and

also the angels would leave him, he also fears God's

condemnation and the fearful day of judgment

during which books will be revealed and deeds will

be exposed, thoughts and intensions as well will be

announced. How shameful will that day be that

people will be amazed!!

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

That is why the bible says "The fear of the

Lord is the beginning of wisdom".

And it was said about the unjust judge "who did

not fear God nor regard man" (Lk 18:2). Because

he who doesn't fear God can always treat anyone

badly and he whoever is fearless can do whatever

he likes.

In the prayer of absolution the priest says about

the person who is confessing: "Absolute him bless

him, fill him with your fear and guide him according

to Your holy will".

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

At this point some might object this issue of

'fear' remembering the saying of the bible:

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love

casts out fear" (1 Jn 4:18).

And at this point you also ask: and who of us

has reached this degree of perfect love?! By which

he "abides in God, and God in him" (1 Jn 4:16).

Let's begin with fear; and if we carry it out and

complete it we will then reach love.

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