THE SPIRITUAL BOND OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH IN PRAYER

My beloved spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ God,

CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

THE SPIRITUAL BOND OF THE
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH IN PRAYER

PRAYER IS THE manifestation of the Church’s life and the spiritual bond of its members with God in the Holy Trinity, and of all with each other. It is so inseparable from faith that it may be called THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE Church or THE BREATHING OF THE Church. Prayers are the threads of the living fabric of the Church body, and they go in all directions. The bond of prayer penetrates the whole body of the Church, leading each part and helping it by nourishing, by cleansing, and by other forms of mutual help (Ephesians 4:16). IT UNITES EACH MEMBER OF THE CHURCH WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER, THE MEMBERS OF THE EARTHLY CHURCH WITH EACH OTHER, AND THE EARTHLY MEMBERS WITH THE HEAVENLY MEMBERS. It DOES NOT CEASE, but yet more increases and it exalted in the Heavenly Kingdom.

Through the whole Sacred Scripture of the New Testament there goes the commandment OF CEASELESS PRAYER: "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17); "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:18); "and He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faith" (Luke 18:1).

The perfect example OF PERSONAL PRAYER was given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He left as an example the prayer, "Our Father" —the Lord’s Prayer. Prayer is a) THE FORM OF THE CHURCH’S LIFE, b) AN INSTRUMENT OR MEANS OF ITS ACTIVITY, and c) ITS POWER OF OVERCOMING.

PRAYER is of two kinds: PUBLIC and PRIVATE. There is prayer which is of words, and in particular sung, and there is MENTAL prayer, that is, INWARD PRAYER, or THE PRAYER OF THE MIND IN THE HEART. The content of prayer is: a) PRAISE OR GLORY; b) THANKSGIVING; c) REPENTANCE; d) ENTREATY FOR THE MERCY OF GOD, for the forgiveness of sins, for the giving of good things of soul and body, both heavenly and earthly. REPENTANCE before God sometimes has the form of a conversation with one’s own soul–as, for example, often occurs in the canons.

PRAYER may be for oneself or for others. Prayer for each other expresses THE MUTUAL LOVE BETWEEN MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH. Since, according to the law of Christian love, they pray also for those who are departed (THE HEAVENLY MEMBERS); and the heavenly members likewise pray for those on earth, as well as for the repose of their brethren who are in need of the help of prayer. Finally, we ourselves appeal to those in heaven with the entreaty to pray for us and for our brethren. Upon this bond of the heavenly with the earthly is founded also the concern of the Angels over us and our prayers to them.

The power of prayer for others is constantly affirmed by the word of God. The Savior and to the Apostle Peter: "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Luke 22:32). The holy Apostle Paul often entreats Christians to pray for him: "I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you" (Philemon, v. 22). "Brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord might have free course and be glorified, even as it is with you" (II Thessalonians 3:1). Being far away, the Apostle is joined with his spiritual brethren in common prayer: "Now I beseech you, brethren for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayer to God for me" (Romans 15:30). The Apostle James instructs: "Pray one for another, that ye may be healed for the effectual fervent of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). Saint John the Theologian saw in revelation how in the heavens twenty-four elders, standing at the Throne of God, fell down before the Lamb, and everyone had harps and vials filled with incense, "WHICH ARE THE PRAYERS OF SAINTS" (Revelation 5:8); that is, they RAISED UP THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS ON EARTH TO THE HEAVENLY Throne. (Source: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Father Michael Pmazanksy)

______________________

"Glory Be To GOD
For
All Things!"

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: