Coptic Daily Prayers pt 3


Monk-praying
This section comes straight after the Introductory Prayer (previous post), in which God is approached and thanked.  Here, we get on to some detailed requests.  Reflections below.
 

Therefore we ask, and appeal to Your goodness, O lover of mankind,
That You grant us to conclude this blessed day
And all the days of our lives
In peace and in Your fear.

All envy, all temptation, all works of Satan,
All intrigues of the wicked; rising up of enemies, seen and unseen;
Do cast away from us, and from all Your people,
And from this, Your holy place.

Grant us the endowments and benefactions, Lord, as You have promised,
To trample on serpents, scorpions, and over all the power of the Enemy.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
Through the grace, mercy, and love of all mankind
Of the only-begotten Son,
Our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

 

In praying this prayer every day, different emphases and nuances emerge and replace one another constantly.  For example, I have often directed the 'And from this, Your holy place' line to a part of me (eg. the heart, the brain) or to a particular location (not necessarily where I am).  But I'm not in that swing of things just now.

Likewise, there have been (plenty of) times when trampling on 'serpents, scorpions, and over all the power of the Enemy' has been like a wrestling match, with the words standing in stark contrast to my inability to trample on anything whatsoever, let alone demonic evil.

At present, it is the asking to reach the end of the day in peace which is standing out to me, particularly because the prayer is not that the day would be filled with peace minute-by-minute, but rather that a sense of perspective and concluding shalom would be reached, whatever is endured along the way.


Edouard-Manet-xx-Monk-in-Prayer-1865

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Coptic Daily Prayers pt 2


Christcarrier

O Lord and Master and Almighty God,
Father of our Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ

We thank You on every occasion,
And in every condition,
And for all things.
For You have protected, assisted, preserved, and accepted us;
You've had compassion upon us, supported us,
And brought us to this hour.
 

This, taken together with the previous post, is the 'introductory' section of the daily prayers.  Some thoughts:

– There is a process here, with some parts being declaratory, others said to 'us', and others to Him.

– The Copts are very careful to make it clear that we are praying to the Father, but in the name of the Trinity.  I'm not sure what the distinct significance is though.

– The prayer is corporate – 'we' not 'I' – regardless of how many are praying.

– To thank God 'on every occasion' is possibly the hardest thing in the Christian Life, not only because we usually don't feel thankful, but also because we often feel the opposite: resentful, disheartened, let down.  To pray this prayer of thankfulness (acknowledging God's practical involvement in our lives, whether or not it has been noticed) has been possibly the most forming part of this whole 6-year discipline for me, as I've been forced to seek for gratefulness regardless of the situation.

– The imminent ending – 'brought us to this hour' – has often had the effect of making me wonder, "Has everything in my whole life been orchestrated to bring me to this point, this day, this hour?  Is NOW what I have been waiting for, what I have been made for?"


Today

Coptic Daily Prayers pt 1


Coptic_last_supper
I pray set-prayers (pretty much) every day, and I'm going to break them down into bits over the next few posts, with some brief reflections.

The mode of prayer I use is from the Coptic monastic tradition (which I was introduced to by YWAM and Dr Atif in 2005).  Monks around the world pray every Psalm every day, with introductory prayers, kneeling/prostration, and space for spontaneous prayer.

And it begins like this.
.

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord bless us.
Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.
Amen.

Let us give thanks to the gracious and most merciful God,
the Father of our Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ,
for He has protected, assisted, preserved, and accepted us,
has had compassion upon us, supported us, and brought us to this hour.

Let us also ask Him, the Almighty God, to keep us in peace;
this blessed day and all the days of our lives.

.


Coptic-Icons (3)

Confessions du Jour

Transparency
In the name of honesty, and a completely un-called-for level of transparency, here are some of the things that few people know I enjoy:

Sleeping with my head under the pillow.
Weighing myself before and after using the toilet.
Writing with propellor-pencils.
Commentating aloud, whenever watching sport alone.
Wearing two pairs of socks at once.

Cleaning my ears, even though they're already clean.
Re-reading books multiple times, rather than wasting time starting new ones.

Working out the publishing date of maps by what countries were in existence.
Preaching to myself when alone.
Cleaning under my nails with the page-edge of whatever I'm reading.

Hope you found that enlightening 🙂