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”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. James 5:16
Good morning Prayer Team!
Today I am taking a deliberate pause from my writings to ask a request of you. I want you to say a prayer for someone who has been fighting a brave battle against cancer. He is a young man named Dean. Some of you on the prayer team know who he is. He has two wonderful parents and much beloved sister. His has a strong faith and a fighting spirit.
I know that where two or three are gathered in His name, there He stands in the midst of them. I know that the prayer of righteous people has great power. And I know that many people read these daily writings. The initial purpose of the prayer team was to encourage people to pray. And on most days I write on a variety of topics like the Liturgy, the Bible, prayer, Lent, Pascha, Nativity, etc. But the initial reason I began writing was to encourage people to pray.
Prayer is where we speak to God on behalf of ourselves and on behalf of others. Prayer is where we join with the angels and the saints in worship of the Lord. Prayer doesn’t necessarily change outcomes (though I believe it does many times), but prayer changes people. Imagine what strength must come from knowing that hundreds if not thousands of people are praying for you. It is very encouraging to have one person pray for me, or to receive one encouraging card, or letter or comment. To receive hundreds would be very inspiring indeed. So today’s message is dedicated to a young man named Dean who is fighting for his life, but he’s doing so under the umbrella of faith and prayer. Let us strengthen him by uniting our prayers today for HIM. Through our prayers, may it change him, but may it also change us. The greatest gift we can give someone is to lift up their name in prayer to our God. Let us give Dean this gift today! If Saint Paul tells us that we are to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ, (Galatians 6:2), then let’s help Dean bear his burden with a collective bowing of our heads in prayer for him today.
Holy Father, Physician of our souls and bodies, extend your hand from heaven and place it upon your servant Dean, who is fighting a brave fight against illness. Be with him in this time of sickness. Take away his pain and anxiety. Be with and guide the doctors and nurses that are taking care of him and help them to find the cure of that which ails him. Be with his family and strengthen them as they are supporting him. As it is Your will, restore him to health. Return him quickly to his home and the joyful pursuits of his life. We are asking this through the intercessions of the Virgin Mary, of St. Luke the blessed physician, of St. Nectarios the wonderworkers, of Sts. Cosmas and Damian the unmercenaries, of St. Paraskevi and St. Panteleimon, of Saints Constantine and Helen, patron saints of your servant Dean, and of all the saints. Amen.
Pray for Dean today!
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