The Missing Prayer (Pt 3)
By: George Iskander
+ Spiritual sacrifice (Sacrificial worship)
– Hebrews 13:15 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise…”
– In the liturgy we sing a response, “Through the pleadings…the gift of peace, the sacrifice of praise.”
This is a very interesting concept; praise is considered to be a sacrifice that we offer to our Maker.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem says,
Take courage, toil and strive zealously, for nothing will be lost. Every prayer you make, every Psalm you sing, is recorded; every alm, every fast is recorded
+ Keeps us PURE!
Imagine you are home alone, bored and lustful temptation enters your heart. One of the most powerful ways to obliterate the temptation, if running away isn’t an option, is to kneel and praise the Lord.
St. John Saba said:
The passion of adultery is extinguished by the songs of the Psalms, and the beauty of the tunes. By the pouring of the heart before God…
+ Official introduction to serve the Church sacraments
– Prepare us
– Cleanse us
– Educate us
Helps us to raise our minds out of the plaguing thoughts of the world and redirects it to God and Heaven
It also actually teaches us about theology, God’s attributes.
+ Fellowship between the believers (corporate prayer)
With prayer it is very important to have the private secret prayer in your room with the door closed, but it is equally as important to have communal prayer which establishes fellowship between your brothers and sisters in Christ. Praise, such as the Holy Psalmody achieves this.
+ Take the Psalms as our example
David the Psalmist was big on praise, his psalms are all coloured by singing God praises.
O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! Ps 8:1
Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. Ps 147:1
How can we include praise in our prayers?
A few types of praise:
– Praise of God centred wholly upon God and His eternal characteristics.
For example: His majesty, glory, power, beauty, lavish love, mercy, grace…
– This is open to your own personal contemplation
- Psalms Those who neglect the prayers of the Psalms with mediation, lose the chance of prayer according to God’s will Father Bishoy Kamel.
– David’s Praise to God (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)
– Exodus Ch 15 – Israelites praise God for dividing the red sea and giving them freedom from the Egyptians
Prostrations before the lord, C.S Lewis comments in his book: The Screwtape Letters, that “Whatever their bodies do affects their souls” speaking about how if we kneel before the Lord with outstretched arms then our soul will be in the ideal state for prayer.
The Holy Psalmody & Hymns.
The month of Kiahk, in our Church this month is a very powerful month of revival of our spirits as we raise our hearts in beautiful, selfless praise before our Lord. Weekly Tasbeha is offered at church.
Singing psalms is a medicine for healing the soul (St. Athanasius)
May God teach us to unlock the secret of praise in our prayer life and reap the rewards as it transforms us and gives us a taste of the joy of heaven.
Glory be to God forever, Amen.