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
Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.
Go-To Verses of the Bible
Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Proverbs 30:5
Good morning Prayer Team!
Today we begin a new unit, a unit on “go-to” verses in the Bible. What is a go-to verse? A verse that you go to for comfort at certain times in your life. A go-to verse captures your emotions in certain circumstances. For instance, you can have a go-to verse when you feel sad, one when you feel unsure, one when you feel joyful, and one when you need some direction.
Go-to verses are short and easy to remember. There are very few people who can memorize entire Biblical passages word for word. But we can all memorize a Bible verse. Go-to verses are powerful. Take today’s verse from Proverbs. Stand up and say it out loud. It’s powerful. Not every verse in the Bible is powerful. Some verses are narrative, or provide build up or explanation for the very powerful ones. But the Bible is filled with powerful statements about God, about faith, about trust, about truth.
Go-to verses are relevant. We each have emotions, lots of them. Some are good emotions, like joy and gratitude. And some are difficult emotions, like doubt, loneliness and anger. One of the best things about the Bible is that it speaks to everyone in every circumstance. Whether you are flying high or sunk down low, there is a passage of the Bible that can speak to you at any moment, in any circumstance.
Regardless of how many go-to verses you have in your mind, you should still go to the Bible on a daily basis to absorb scriptural knowledge. Go-to verses don’t take the place of actual study of the Bible. In fact, the more you study the Bible, the more go-to verses you will find. The go-to verses are for the times of the day when you can’t sit and study the Bible—these are the verses you “pull out” before a meeting or before a difficult conversation, before making a decision, or in a moment of crisis. These are the verses that you can “go-to” on a moment’s notice, any time, in any place, in any circumstance.
Tomorrow we will explore the “how” in finding and using go-to verses and then beginning Monday, I’ll give you some of my go-to verses. The goal of this unit is for you to come up with a set of go-to verses for yourself, so that in any and all circumstances of life, you can carry God’s powerful words of Scripture with you, as a comfort and as a guide.
Prayer Before Reading Scripture
Shine in my heart, loving Master, the pure light of Your divine knowledge, and open the eyes of my mind to understand Your Gospel teaching. Instill in me also Your holy commandments, so that having conquered sinful desire, I may pursue a more spiritual life, thinking and doing only those things that are well pleasing to You. For You are the Light of my soul and body and to You I give glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. (Adapted from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Trans. by Holy Cross Seminary Press)
Take a few minutes and read Scripture today!
With Roger Hunt providing today’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.
These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Photo Credit: Chuck Lawless
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