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
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Luke 1:46
Good morning Prayer Team!
After the Annunciation, the Virgin Mary went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who was pregnant with St. John the Baptist, who was born six months before the Nativity. Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, knew what was so special about her cousin. How did she know this, because John the Baptist, in the womb of Elizabeth, “leaped for joy” (Luke 1:44)-He recognized the presence of His Savior. Elizabeth exalts Mary and says to her:
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:42-45
Mary’s response is one of both humility and gratitude. She doesn’t complain “woe is me, woe is my lot,” nor does she gloat “look at me.” Rather she humbly replies “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
What a great mantra this could be if applied to every aspect of our lives. What if at every critical moment, before every decision, or during moments of anger and frustration, what if at all these points we prayed THIS prayer-“My soul MAGNIFIES the Lord and my spirit REJOICES in God my Savior.” Imagine if when you started a meeting, everyone around the table said this verse. If our souls truly seek to magnify the Lord at all times, and our spirits continually rejoice in God, then those critical moments will pass easier, decisions would be made better and more purposefully, and moments of anger and frustration would dramatically lessen if not disappear entirely.
Today’s prayer is simple-try saying it throughout the day today, before every decision, before every interpersonal encounter:
Lord, let my soul magnify You in everything I do today. Let My spirit rejoice in You my Savior. Amen.
Have a great day!