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
Pray then like this: Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever and ever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13
Good morning Prayer Team!
The Lord’s Prayer concludes with several important words.
Kingdom– The Kingdom which we hope to enter at the end of our lives is God’s Kingdom, not our Kingdom. We enter His Kingdom by His grace and mercies, not through our own sense of entitlement. The Kingdom points one final time to the final destination.
Power- We fancy ourselves as powerful people. People are always looking to acquire more power and wealth. We want more powerful cars and more powerful machines. We try to harness the power of wind to create energy, and the power of the mind to solve problems. But the greatest power in the world is the power of God. Look at the greatest things we have in the world, our natural resources-the sun, clouds, wind, rain, moon, stars, water and everything else that forms the bases of our lives, including life itself, all of these come from God. So the greatest power at work in the world is the power of God. Even the power of the mind is a gift from God.
Glory– We use this word in reference to fame and accomplishment. But fame and accomplishment stop when a person dies, so glory is fleeting. No question a person can be remembered after they die, but you can only share in glory when you are present. The permanent glory is the glory of God, and for us to share in God’s glory is the greatest thing a human being can do.
Forever-Nothing in life is forever. Human suffering ends after death. Human joy, riches and power also end with death. The only thing that continues after death is our soul, which was given to us at conception, and which in death goes back to God for judgment. And at the judgment, God will assign each foul to either a place of repose, peace and refreshment; or will assign the soul to a place of pain and suffering. This judgment will be permanent.
God has no beginning and no ending. His Kingdom, power and glory are without beginning and without end. So, for those who are assigned to paradise, they will share in God’s glory forever. And this is the greatest gift we can receive in our lives, is to share in the glory of God, in His heavenly kingdom forever, for once one has gone to heaven, he can never leave the glory of God.
Amen– Amen is the ending word of every prayer, which simply means “May it be so”, may this prayer be granted.
In the Lord’s Prayer, we have spanned eternity. From “Our Father” who created the world, to forever, this prayer covers it all. From the focus on our daily bread, to glory, forever and ever, this is why the Lord’s Prayer is the consummate prayer. It contains everything! This prayer should be offered every day, at multiple intervals throughout the day, as we seek guidance and clarity for the day, and for the various challenges we will face each day. You can pray the Lord’s Prayer thinking both about your needs and the needs of others, after all, the first phrase of the Prayer, “Our Father,” reminds us that we are all in this struggle together, looking to God as the “Father” of all people.
Lord, thank You for giving us the Lord’s Prayer as a gift, to teach us how we are to pray. Thank You for giving us words to offer back to You in prayer that span our needs on a daily basis. Continue to grace us by hearing our prayers, and inspiring us to continue to pray to You. Give us our daily bread from now until the end of this life. And allow us to inherit Your heavenly Kingdom for eternal life. Amen.
Tomorrow, November 13, will begin a series of reflections on Advent which will run through January 8. The Liturgy topics that I write about on Saturdays and Sundays will resume on Saturday, January 9. Every day from November 13-January 8 will be focused on our journey to the Nativity through Epiphany.
Have a blessed day!
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The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life. The Prayer Team is a daily devotion written by Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis, the parish priest at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, Florida. Devotions include a verse from scripture, a commentary from Fr. Stavros, and a short prayer that he writes to match the topic.
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