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
Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Ephesians 5:18-19
Good morning Prayer Team!
Today is the fourth day of our prayer challenge, so hopefully you’ve been succeeding. Five to ten minutes to start with—if you are not used to praying, even five minutes will work—you can cover a lot of ground in five minutes. Turn off all noise, leave the phone on the other side of the room, sit in front of an image of the Lord or bring one into your mind. And make sure you spend some time in total silence, listening.
Now, open your mouth to pray. And in your prayer today, focus on giving thanks. Give thanks for as many things as you can think of. They can be specific things—i.e. thank You for my home, thank You for my marriage, thank You for my children. They can be general things—thank You for the day, for the sun, the wind, thank You for doctors and police officers, for my children’s teachers, etc. In five minutes or less, you can probably think of at least 50 things for which you are thankful.
Why do we start off with thanksgiving? Because it acknowledges that our Lord is the giver of all the good gifts for which we are thankful. Thankfulness puts us in a posture of gratitude which helps us to control our desire for greediness. Being thankful is a positive gesture. Bringing to mind MANY things for which we are thankful will only serve to help us stay more positive. Two of the sins we commit the most are gossip and coveting. Gratitude will help combat both.
Today’s challenge: As you sit in prayer for 5-10 minutes, think of as many things as you can for which you are grateful and thank God for them.
Lord, thank you for the gift of this day. Thank you for my health, my family, my spouse, my child, my job, my home, my co-workers and my friends. Help me to see at all times that these things are not mine, but blessings from You. May I honor You in all these things for which I am thankful. Thank You for my doctor, my dentist, my son’s teachers, everyone who works with me. Thank You for police officers, firefighters, people who serve in the military, the people who design and build roads and the people who build houses. Thank You for all those who have contributed to the things I enjoy in my life. Bless all of them. Amen.
Be thankful today!
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