Shaped by a life of service to Christ’s Church, Fr. Christopher has dedicated himself to using all the tools God has placed at his disposal to spread the light of Orthodoxy across America. As Founding Father and host of the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) and the “Come Receive The Light” national Orthodox Christian radio program, he shepherds a dynamic and rapidly expanding ministry bringing joy, hope, and salvation in Jesus Christ to millions of listeners on Internet and land-based radio around the world in more than 130 countries. Fr. Christopher is the former President of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and Parish Priest of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
O Lord God of my salvation, I cry day and night before You; Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my supplication, O Lord. Psalm 88:1-3.
I cannot tell you how many times I have read this Psalm! For more than 35 years, I have been attending services where this psalm is read, and I have always felt its power and presence in my life. As a human being, I have thirsted to be in God’s presence from the time I was six years old. It was a presence I felt as a strengthening and calming force in my life. My prayers have always brought me peace, knowing that we are all in His Hands and that no matter what happens in life, everything will be alright. This is really a calming sensation that is difficult for me to put into words.
This month, the entire staff of OCN will be putting its collective faith and effort into offering you special programs on communicating with God through prayer. You will hear radio programs and podcasts. Our bloggers will also be weighing in and welcome your comments.
I am sure at some time in your life, you have prayed to God. This could have been out of need or desire for something, but I wonder how many of us have actually paused during the day, or for some during a lifetime, to thank God for blessings both seen and unseen that have been bestowed upon us. Let’s face it: we need God. And He is ready to commune with us if we make the move to do so.
There is a story about a park ranger at Yellowstone National Park who was leading a group of hikers to a fire lookout. The ranger was so intent on telling the hikers about the flowers and animals that he considered the messages on his two- way radio distracting, so he switched it off. Nearing the tower, the ranger was met by a nearly breathless lookout, who asked why he hadn’t responded to the messages on his radio. A grizzly bear had been seen stalking the group, and the authorities were trying to warn them of the danger.
Any time we tune out the messages God has sent us, we put at peril not only ourselves, but also those around us. How important it is that we never turn off God’s saving communication! Our Lord is there for us and waiting for us to speak to Him. Now is the time, my dear friends, to do so. Open your heart and your mind and bare yourself before Christ. It is something we cannot do with anyone else on this blessed earth.
St. Basil the Great writes, “What then is more blessed than to imitate on earth the chorus of the angels; to hasten to prayer at the very break of day, and to worship our Creator with hymns and songs; then, when the sun shines brightly and we turn to our tasks, prayer attending us wherever we go, to season our labors with sacred song as food with salt? For that state of the soul in which there is joy and no sorrow is a blessing bestowed by the consolation of hymns.”
May our Lord bless and keep you,