Word Magazine March 1967 Page 24
JESUS TEACHES US TO PRAY
By Adma Shakhashiri
Commission on THE WORD Department of Religious Education
When Jesus Christ and His disciples were together in the Holy Land, Jesus would leave them sometimes for a short while and go to a quiet place to pray. His disciples wanted very much to learn from Him. They wished to pray just as He did. One day one of them asked Him saying, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Jesus, the Great Master and Teacher, was pleased by this request. He told them that they should pray to God, the Father in Heaven and praise Him. They should also ask God for their needs, and they could be sure that the Father would answer their prayers with what was best for them. Jesus then taught His disciples what is known as The Lord’s Prayer. It is the most beautiful and perfect prayer to use when we all pray together:
Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallowed by 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. AMEN.
In our prayers we talk to God, the Heavenly Father, in the same manner that we talk to our parents. We know of His great love for us. We lift up our minds and hearts to Him in order to praise and worship Him. When we pray, we must give thanks unto the Lord for His love and His many blessings. We ask Him to forgive use for our mistakes, as we also forgive, those who have wronged us or who have not been kind and loving to us.
Prayer is very important to all Orthodox Christians — children, adults, and clergy. It is needed not only by Christians, but by people of other religions as well. Among Orthodox Christians prayer is the food for the heart and soul. Just as all of us, young and old, rich and poor, need food to live and grow, so we need prayer to live and grow with God. We are all God’s children, and He knows what we need. God hears us only when we pray from our hearts and minds, and not when we pray only from our lips. One should pray not only with words but with the whole mind and heart. Prayer gives us strength and courage. As Orthodox Christians we say prayers when we first get up from bed, before we go to sleep, before and after meals, and before and after confession. Special prayers are said daily to seek help from our Guardian Angels and Patron Saints. In our prayers we remember our parents, friends, and priests, whether living or departed.
We pray together at home and in church. The church is the house of worship where the priest leads us in prayer. As we enter the church, we cross ourselves and say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Then we may add another prayer such as this one, “O Lord, I will enter into Thy House, and in fear and love I will worship Thee in Thy Holy Temple.” We also light a candle to show our love and respect for God. Lighting candles reminds us that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. The lighted candles make the church seem warm and friendly as we pray and worship.
God make my life a little light
Within the world to glow;
A little flame that burneth bright,
Wherever I may go.
Father, lead me day by day,
Ever in Thine own sweet way,
Teach me to be pure and true,
Show me what I ought to do.
THE DARK CANDLE
A man had a little daughter-—an only and much-beloved child. He lived for her; she was his life. So when she became ill and could not be cured by the best physicians, he became like a man possessed to move heaven and earth to bring about her return to health.
His frantic efforts proved unavailing and the child died. The father could not be reconciled to this event. He became a bitter recluse, shutting himself away from his many friends, and refusing to join in any activity that might have restored his peace of mind and normal interest in life.
One night he had a dream. He was in Heaven, and was watching a grand pageant in which all the little child angels were taking part. They were marching in continuous procession past the Great White Throne. Every white-robed angelic tot carried a candle. He noticed that one child’s candle was not lighted. Then he saw that the child with the dark candle was his own little girl. Rushing to her and interrupting the pageant, he seized her in his anns, caressed her tenderly, and asked:
“How it is, darling, that your candle alone is unlighted?”
“Father, they often light it, but your tears always put it out.”
Just then he awoke from his dream. The lesson was crystal clear, and he acted upon it immediately. From that hour he was not a recluse any longer, but mingled freely and cheerfully with his former friends and associates. No longer would his little darling’s candle he extinguished by his useless tears.
* * .x.
NEW YORK- Probably the (‘arliesl. association of any size or
fleilce organized to distribute Bibles was the Canstein Bible Institute, formed in Germany ahout 1 710. ‘Fbi’ Institute printed Luther’s Bible and by 1722 also issued Scriptures iii Bohemian anti Polish. The British antI Foreign Bible Society, tltt’ “mother” of the American. Bible Society, was organized in London in 1804, and the ABS was formed 1 2 years later.
Page24 The Word