Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015, has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany” and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.”
Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.
Rise up, come to our help! Deliver us for the sake of Thy steadfast love! Psalm 44:26
Good morning Prayer Team!
Many prayer team members, including me, live within the “cone of uncertainty” for Hurricane Irma. Unfortunately, many of us live right in its path. As of Thursday afternoon, as I write this message, no one knows whether the hurricane will come to the Tampa Bay area where I live, with full force, with milder winds. Will we be flooded in a few days or will we just get our typical summer thunderstorms? Will my house or office have a roof on it? Have I served my last Liturgy in our church, because it is about to be destroyed? Do I pack up and leave and hope I have enough gas to get to a place that is safe and has a hotel room? Or do I hunker down and risk that nothing will happen to my house while I am in it?
No one knows the answer to any of these questions. Though everyone in Florida has these questions. There is one thing I know for certain. My answer and our collective definitive answer is for us to pray. We may leave or we may not. Our house might be destroyed or unscathed. But one thing that won’t change is my faith in God. All of our stuff is just that, stuff. One day (hopefully a long time from now), when I die, I won’t take any of my “stuff” with me, only my faith.
To those on the prayer team who live in Florida or the Carolinas or Georgia or anywhere else this storm is going to go, to those who live in Houston who know what a catastrophic storm is like, all I can offer is to keep praying, don’t lose faith and keep focusing on what really matters, your salvation.
I ask everyone to pray today for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the victims of Hurricane Irma, as well as those whose homes and lives lie in her path. We will not be celebrating the Divine Liturgy in my church in Tampa this Sunday, the day that the storm is supposed to hit. But I pray that we will again gather to celebrate the Liturgy in a church that has withstood the storm, and most importantly, with a faith that can withstand any of life’s storms.
Lord our God, we pray to You to bring healing and recovery to those whose lives have already been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Be with those who live in the path of Hurricane Irma and keep them safe from harm. Be with those who are evacuating and give them safe passage and safe shelter, returning them safely home when this is over. For those who are living in areas that will be affected by this storm, relieve their anxiety and comfort them. Help us, save us, have mercy on us and protect us, O God, by Your grace. Amen.
Please pray today! Stay safe!
With Roger Hunt providing today’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.
These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
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