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. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros 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
If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek my face,and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
II Chronicles 7:14
Good morning Prayer Team!
I had an uplifting experience yesterday which I would like to share with you. I took a couple of hours to attend a movie with the women’s Bible study group at church. The movie was called “War Room.” While the acting was so-so, and the plot was fairly predictable, I highly recommend this movie. It is about the power of prayer, forgiveness and redemption. How wonderful it was to sit in a public theater, in one of the larger theaters in the complex, in a cozy padded seat, and hear people in the moving crying out for Jesus Christ in a prayerful and reverent way; sometimes with joy, sometimes with desperation. This movie has done better than expected at the box office, and because it’s been in the theaters for a few weeks already, and because it doesn’t have a big name cast, I want to encourage you to see this movie while you still can in the theaters. It is spiritually very powerful and will really make you think.
There are some very solid ideas in this movie about how to improve your prayer life. Things like writing down your prayer requests and taping them to a wall, as the main character did in the movie. She actually emptied a closet at home, called “the War Room,” where she could go and pray and read the scriptures. She would write down pieces of scripture that had great meaning to her, she would write down prayers for her husband and daughter and friends and the entire wall was covered with her prayer requests and how they were answered.
If this had been an Orthodox house, there probably would have been some icons there. Suffice it to say, this film had many “Orthodox” elements in it, including a sacred space for prayer, a prayer “rule” or special time set aside for prayer each day, and intercessory prayer-praying for others. I highly recommend this movie to you.
The scripture quote I chose for today is the final screen shot in the movie, this quote from II Chronicles. It speaks of people calling on the name of the Lord, being humble and turning from wicked ways. And that God will show favor to them. We live in a world where we are either too busy, or have been too disappointed, or we don’t understand, or haven’t learned, or the popular culture has looked down on calling out the name of the Lord. Humility and patience have been replaced with an “I want it now,” or “I’m entitled to have it my way” attitude. And as for wicked ways, well, we tend to do whatever is pleasing to us, whether God considers it wicked or not. In fact, “wicked” is moving out of our consciousness as “everything” and anything can be normalized as ok it seems. The Lord shows loyalty and favor to the ones who are faithful to Him. So, if you aren’t in the habit of praying, make some notes and write down some prayers. Write down some pieces of scripture and put them in places where you can see them. Make a special place, your own little “War Room” or icon corner, or a sanctuary of solitude, whatever you wish to call it, but spend some time in that place, arming yourself to take on the world today by putting on the armor of God.
Lord our God, thank You for the gift of this day. Give me strength today as I go to “war” with the challenges of my life. Give me spiritual armor to protect me. Help me to find joy in spending time in prayer. Help me to always see you as the general and leader of my life. Help me to be a good soldier. Amen.
Have a blessed day!
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