For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 

Romans 14:17

Good morning, Prayer Team!

For the peace from Above and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

The first petition of the Divine Liturgy calls upon us to gather to pray in peace.  The second petition brings our focus to two things—the peace from above and the salvation of our souls.  There are many kinds of peace—military peace, peace of mind, political peace—but the greatest kind of peace is the peace from God, the peace which surpasses all understanding.  (Philippians 4:7)  Before we pray for anything, we ask for the peace of God to come into us.

The second thing we pray for is the salvation of our souls.  The overall goal of life is salvation for our souls.  And in the context of community, it’s not just the salvation of MY soul we are after, but the salvation of ALL of our souls.

Years ago, when I was first ordained, I was offering petitions at an Artoklasia, the blessing of the five loaves.  There was a petition where the names of many people are commemorated.  As I offered that petition, I was recalling that after the names were offered, the priest said something.  My service book stopped with the names and had nothing afterward, so I knew that was incorrect.  It came to my mind, that after praying for the list of names, I would say “for their health, let us pray.”  I will always remember the lesson I heard there, as I was corrected rather forcefully, “What good is health without salvation?  It’s for their health and SALVATION that we are praying.”

As we begin our “prayer” of the Liturgy, the first things we pray for are the pre-requisite to prayer—peace—and the number one thing we pray for, the number one goals for our lives—salvation.  As we read in Romans, it is not the material food and drink that we seek as we move towards the Kingdom of God, but rather righteousness and peace and joy—these things are the gateway to our salvation.  “Peace,” therefore, is the gateway to our Liturgy.

Lord, help me to keep my salvation as a goal that stays in the forefront of my mind each day. Help me to take positive steps towards my salvation today.  Help me first, however, to have peace, the kind of peace that only comes from You.  Help me to be a person of peace, who brings peace to those around me.  Amen.

+Fr. Stavros


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    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


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Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis

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

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