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
I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minster to me.
Good morning, Prayer Team!
For this parish and city, for every city and country and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
People often complain that the Divine Liturgy is the same each time it is celebrated. That is true to some extent, though hymns and scripture readings change at each service. But what the Divine Liturgy is, among other things, is very complete. We cover so many areas of life in the Liturgy, and in this petition, we focus directly on the community in which we live and our parish community. As we pray this petition, you should bring to mind some aspect or aspects of your life in your community. Things to bring to mind as this petition is being offered might be your job and your co-workers, your school and your classmates, your kid’s baseball team, the teller at the bank, the clerk at the store or any number of other things.
Not only do we bring to mind our city, but every city and country in the world. And we pray especially for the faithful people who dwell everywhere on earth. We pray that the faith is spread everywhere on earth. We pray that it takes root and is established on a solid foundation wherever it is planted. This is also a good time to bring to mind those who live in areas where Christians are persecuted, for their safety and for the protection of churches and communities in places of Christian oppression.
Can you see how this ONE petition brings so many possibilities when it comes to prayer? If you prayed for one of these things at each liturgy, then this petition would be thought of in at least ten different ways at ten liturgies. Truly a far cry from “the same and the same.” And a testament to how a few precious words can bring so much to our minds, our hearts and our prayers.
Thank You Lord for the city in which I live, and for the church community to which I belong. Protect and bless all those who are part of my church community. Protect and bless those who are part of the city in which I live. Remember my neighbors, my co-workers and my friends, those who work in the businesses which I patronize, those who travel on the streets I drive on, those who live in the houses on my street, for those who visit my town and those who make this place their home. And remember those who live in all the cities and towns of our world, keep them safe, safeguard our faith, protect those who call themselves Christians and allow our beautiful faith to be spread safely and firmly to every corner of the earth. Amen.
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