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


Guide our life toward your commandments


It is a supplication in the prayer of every hour

of the Agpeya prayers. It starts with "Have mercy

on us O God, and have mercy on us", where we say

"prosper our way, Guide our life toward Thy


This statement holds a kind of heart

humbleness: man admits his personal

weakness and his need of guidance in his life,

guidance towards how to follow God's




This issue is repeated many times in the psalms

prayers, where the worshipper says "Show me Your

ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths," (Ps 25:4),

"Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a

smooth path," (Ps 27:11). So he admits that he

doesn't know the way, and that he needs directing,

knowledge, and guidance.

That's why we find an important verse in the

book of Proverbs saying "Trust in the Lord with all

your heart… and he shall direct your paths. Lean

not unto your own understanding." (Pr 3:5)

Because it is more important to follow the

commandment than just knowing it.

It has been stated at the end of the Sermon on

the Mount that the person who follows the

commandment is like a wise man who built his

house upon a rock, the rain descended, and the

floods came, the winds blew, and it didn't fall (Mt

7:24, 25).

We ask God to guide our life toward his

commandments, especially when some

commandments are difficult or might seem to

be difficult…

To follow these commandments, we undoubtfully

need divine guidance, for example:

"Love your enemies, bless those who curse

you,” (Mt 5:44). We might be able to tolerate our

enemies. But to love them? This needs divine

guidance. Also the commandment of turning the

other cheek, and whoever compel us to go a mile,

we go with him twain and without murmuring (Mt


I don't want to talk theoretically, but practically

by saying: "Guide my life

Toward Thy commandments"

Another commandment like Denying

oneself (Mt 16:24) (Mk 8:34) (Lk 9:23)

Guide us O Lord towards how to deny

ourselves, there is even more difficult

commandment which says: "He who loves his life

will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world

will keep it for eternal life." (Jn 12:25). Also: "If

anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father

and mother…and his own life also, he cannot be My

disciple." (Lk 14:26).

So guide me O Lord towards resenting

myself, and towards how to deny it as well.

Also the commandment: "Therefore you shall be

perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Mt

5:48) followed by: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell

what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have

treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me." (Mt 19:21)

Who Lord might be able to become perfect, or

give all his wealth to the poor?

Guide me O Lord towards being perfect, and to do

that with no feeling of self-righteous so that Satan

would not fight me with that, and guide me towards

how to accomplish both issues at the same time.

Satan was perfect in all his ways as was written in

(Ez 28:15), but he fell! So how can I become perfect

without falling?

Lead me to follow the commandment which

says that men always ought to pray and not lose

heart (Lk 18:1) or the commandment: "pray without

ceasing" (1Th 5:17)! Indeed, who can pray without

ceasing? Guide our life Toward Thy commandments.

Many times Lord do I fall. The bible says: "For a

righteous man may fall seven times and rise again." (Pr

24:16). So lead me Lord to rise again when I fall, and

also not to fall again when we rise up.

In the ninth hour prayer we say "mortify our carnal

senses, O Christ our God, and deliver us", so how can

our carnal senses be mortified and not to be used in

evil. Who can control his senses to that mortifying


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Let us remember some phrases which were said by

St. Paul the Apostle in his epistle to the Romans, he

said: " For that which I do I allow not: for what I would,

that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do

that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is

good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that

dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my

flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with

me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but

what I hate, that I do."(Ro 7:15), difficult words.

Direct me O Lord to do the righteousness

which I want and which You also want me to do,

because many times I actually do what you don't

want me to do, and what I do not want to do as


Lead me O Lord to knowing how to strengthen

my will?

And how my will would be always attracted to

the righteousness and to You?

Lord, You give the commandment, and You also

give the power to follow it, and the way through which


this commandment is to be followed.

So guide me Lord towards how should I follow

your commandment, and towards following it in Your

way which You want.

For that reason we pray: "Create in me a clean

heart, O God".

The phrase "Create in me" means that this pure

heart is not at all present. So how then will I follow

Your commandments?

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Even when we turn to God in repentance, how

deep what is written in the Prophetic book of

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


This means direct me Lord to how can I turn to

You in repentance, and give me the power to do it.

Every person wants to turn to God in repentance,

but is every person capable of doing that?!

There emerges the same verse once more:

"Guide our life Toward Thy commandments"… the

issue of depending and leaning on God.

How many times does a person think that, by his

own efforts, intelligence and experience, he can win.

But the Wiseman says: "Trust in the Lord with all

your heart, And lean not on your own

understanding;" (Pr 3:5)

For this reason, say everyday; "Guide our life

Toward Thy commandments"

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

No doubt, this matter needs God's Grace,

and also the work of God's spirit in us.

Not only during repentance, but in the service

too. As St. Paul the Apostle says: "But by the grace of

God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was

bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored

more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the

grace of God which was with me" (1Co 15:10).

So God, I need, during following your

commandments, Your guidance towards how should I

do that, I need Your Grace to help me in this work,

Your Grace which works with me, and for me as well.

We also need that You give us wisdom to

know how to work this out.

This is what Solomon the King demanded, he told

God: "Therefore give to Your servant an

understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may

discern between good and evil" (1K 3:9).

Solomon asked for Wisdom, to know how to

manage things, and to differentiate between good

and evil.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Lots of people asked God for His guidance when

they were following His commandments, like Eliezer

of Damascus (Gn 24) when Father Abraham asked

him to go and chose a wife for Isaac his son. On his

way, he demanded God's guidance. And God has

guided him and made things easy for him.

Lots of incidences in the Holy Bible show us how

God interferes and leads the way, and shows also

how his commandments were followed. Though many

times man knows where to go through guidance and

never follows the way. So Guide our life Lord toward

Thy commandments.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Our Lord, You say-as written in the Gospel

according to St. Mark "Jesus said to him, If you

can believe, all things are possible to him who

believes." (Mk 9:23).

possible to me.

Yes indeed, all things are possible through faith

even if we cannot see it. But I want to practically see

that all things are possible to me. Give me Lord to

know how I can do all things through Christ with the

power that You give to me, "I can do all things

through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13).

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

We ask for Your Guidance through difficult and

complicated things.

But give us first that we demand your

guidance even in simple matters.

Or in the issues that seem to be simple, as when

the Disciples demanded something that was seen so

simple to lot of people, when they said to God: "Lord,

teach us to pray," (Lk 11:1).

Is there anyone who doesn't know how to pray,

even the pagan knew how to pray to his idol. But the

Disciples demanded a divine guidance so that their

prayers would be according to the Divine will.

Teach us Lord how to make the commandment a

practice in our life.

Guide us towards loving the commandment, and

then we will definitely follow it, how to resent sin, to

keep ourselves away of it. Direct us to how we could

love the righteousness, so we will then definitely do


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Lord, guide my conscious, my thoughts and speak

in my heart as well.

Guidance should not be through visions and


Because if a person thinks that God might guide

him through dreams or a vision, Satan might present

him misleading dreams and false visions.

Guidance could be through the father of

confession, and here I can say:

God, if You want to guide me through my

confession father, please guide him when he

guides me.

Lead me as well as my own Leader, as You have

said in the Old Testament: "O My people! Those who

lead you cause you to err," (Is 3:12).

Scribes and Pharisees, they were also leaders to

their people. They miss leaded them,

They were shutting up the Kingdom of Heaven

against them "for you neither go in yourselves, nor do

you allow those who are entering to go in." (Mt


Sometimes, God was guiding people through His

messengers, His Stewards on earth, as in the story of

Cornelius when God guided him through Simon Peter.

So God didn't lead him directly, but He guided him

through a leader (Ac 10).

Also Saul of Tarsus, at the beginning of his

missionary work, God leaded him to Ananias the

Damascusian to guide him towards what he was

about to do (Ac 9:1-22).

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Guide us O Lord towards how to win over

obstacles, which keep us from following the


Guide us towards winning over the bad habits

that we are stuck with it, which we find it so hard to

get rid of.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

The phrase which says "Guide us" goes for


people, servants, and organizations.

It goes also for churches. Everyone says; "Guide

our life Toward Thy commandments".

We know that churches are keen to be united, but

they demand God's guidance towards how to reach

this unity in faith and shared work.

Guide us O Lord towards how to win over heresies

that are spreading these days, and how to win over

deserting faith, guide them also those who want to

win over addiction.

Guide us Lord and guide those who are in charge

of us everywhere.

Someone might say: "Guide me Lord and also

guide my manger at work towards how to deal with

me. Guide as well my enemies to stop hurting me".

Lead me and lead all who are surrounding me in

my relation with them.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

We want You God, but how do we want You?

We like living in righteousness but how can we

do it?

That's why we say in the Agpeya Prayers:

enlighten our minds, hearts and understanding O

Master of all to understand Your life giving words.

Enlighten my mind Lord, as my mind might not

be taking the right path. talk in my heart with Your

good will, and talk in hearts of others in whatever

concerns me, pave my road in front of me as when

John the Baptizer did with You.

We pray and say "Thy will be done", show me

God Your will and how it is to be done. Acknowledge

me of what my role is when your will is being done,

what should I do, what should I do with other

people surrounding me as well and with those whom I

am in contact with.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Acknowledge and lead us towards how to

serve, and most of all how to serve the

complicated matters.

How can I serve those who love darkness more

than the light, those who were said upon them in the

days of Moses the Prophet: "disobedient and contrary

people" (Ro 10:21).

Your congregation, whom You gave us; guide us

towards how to serve them.

How to serve those whom You gave us so that no

one of them might perish. Offering service to some

people is not easy, and we cannot serve with our own

power or honesty.

As when the star guided the wise men, guide us O

Lord towards You.

We do not claim that we have knowledge, but we

carefully try to find our way.

St. Anthony said once to his disciple Josef:

blessed are you Josef for you knew the way to the

word "I don't know", how beautiful is this saying.

The human light that we have is not perfect, and

sometimes it is foggy and we can't even see, so lead

us Lord. We wish that we tell You Lord this phrase

constantly, as lots of people were lost when they

depended on themselves, their wisdom didn't help


But we desperately demand all the time "Guide

our life Toward Thy commandments."

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