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Practical questions on praying to the saints

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  • phos_hilarion@hotmail.com
    I think I understand the Orthodox position of *why* you pray to/venerate the saints, but I m sure there is more I could learn about the matter from your actual
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 10, 2008
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      I think I understand the Orthodox position of *why* you pray to/venerate the saints, but I'm sure there is more I could learn about the matter from your actual practices. Understanding in theory is different from understanding in practical reality. So I have a lot of questions about the how and what of praying to the saints.

      Do you only pray to the saints under the guidance of your Father or do you freely pray to the saints un-guided?

      Do you pray only written prayers or pray from the heart or both?

      If you pray to a saint about something, do you also pray to Jesus about that same thing? Is it considered enough to appeal to the saint and then not to pray to our Lord? To whom do you pray first?

      When you pray to a saint that they may pray for you and your prayer is answered, to whom do you pray your thanks for the answered prayer?

      Are there things that are considered not proper when praying to the saints?

      What types of things to you pray to the saints about? (salvation, daily life, anything?)

      Thank you all once again for bearing with my questions.

      Love in Christ,
      phos

      _________________________________________________________________
      It�s easy to add contacts from Facebook and other social sites through Windows Live� Messenger. Learn how.
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    • BPeter Brandt-Sorheim
      All very good legitimate questions. I have added numbers to your questions for my own clarity and have added my responses within your text. I should say that
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 10, 2008
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        All very good legitimate questions. I have added numbers to your questions for my own clarity and have added my responses within your text. I should say that it seems to me that one asks the intercessions of saints because one has come to feel part of their family in Christ and feels that the Holy Spirit has joined you to their company in the Church of Christ. The saints (sancti, holy ones) have no powers of their own but only what our Saviour grants them in the Holy Spirit. Just as some of our living and venerable elders may be clarvoyant but only through the action of the Holy Spirit enabling their humanity to perceive. PETER


        phos_hilarion@... wrote:

        I think I understand the Orthodox position of *why* you pray to/venerate the saints, but I'm sure there is more I could learn about the matter from your actual practices. Understanding in theory is different from understanding in practical reality. So I have a lot of questions about the how and what of praying to the saints.

        1) Do you only pray to the saints under the guidance of your Father or do you freely pray to the saints un-guided? BOTH

        2) Do you pray only written prayers or pray from the heart or both? BOTH

        3) If you pray to a saint about something, do you also pray to Jesus about that same thing? Is it considered enough to appeal to the saint and then not to pray to our Lord? To whom do you pray first? I CERTAINLY DO. IF I ASK YOU TO PRAY FOR ME, I SHOULD AT THE SAME TIME PRAY FOR MY SELF.

        4) When you pray to a saint that they may pray for you and your prayer is answered, to whom do you pray your thanks for the answered prayer? BOTH

        5) Are there things that are considered not proper when praying to the saints?
        NO DIFFERENT FROM WHAT IT IMPROPER TO ASK OF OUR SAVIOUR.

        6) What types of things to you pray to the saints about? (salvation, daily life, anything?) ANYTHING. IF YOU WERE MY GOOD FRIEND THERE WOULD BE MANY THINGS I MIGHT SHARE WITH YOU. I FEEL EVEN MORE FREE TO SHARE MY INNER AND OUTER CONCERNS WITH MY SAVIOUR AND MY FRIENDS IN HIS KINGDOM.

        Thank you all once again for bearing with my questions.

        Love in Christ,
        phos

        _________________________________________________________________
        It’s easy to add contacts from Facebook and other social sites through Windows Live™ Messenger. Learn how.
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      • Christopher Orr
        ... Pray to whom you will. A spiritual father may suggest or advise you to pray to a particular saint for assistance, which you should then do, but heavenly
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 10, 2008
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          On 6/10/08, phos_hilarion@... <phos_hilarion@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > I think I understand the Orthodox position of *why* you pray to/venerate
          > the saints, but I'm sure there is more I could learn about the matter from
          > your actual practices. Understanding in theory is different from
          > understanding in practical reality. So I have a lot of questions about the
          > how and what of praying to the saints.
          >
          > Do you only pray to the saints under the guidance of your Father or do you
          > freely pray to the saints un-guided?


          Pray to whom you will. A spiritual father may suggest or advise you to pray
          to a particular saint for assistance, which you should then do, but heavenly
          intercessors and icons tend to choose themselves for you, with a little
          trial and error.

          My spiritual father gave me the obedience to pray the supplicatory canon to
          the Theotokos once a week when I was having questions about her and her role
          in the Church. I prayed to St. Xenia for help in finding work and she
          always answers my prayers (she's a fool for christ, so she answers prayers
          in ways 'not of this world', unexpectedly); my spiritual father prays to St.
          John of Kronstadt since he, too, was a priest in an urban environment.

          I have prayed to others for their intercession at various times, too. St.
          John of San Francisco, Blessed Fr. Seraphim Rose, Blessed Mother Gavrillia,
          St. George, St. Elizabeth the New Martyr, St. Silouan the Athonite, but also
          saints of the New and Old Testaments as their stories and experiences
          related to my life: Sts. Paul, Joseph, Peter, etc.


          Do you pray only written prayers or pray from the heart or both?



          Both. Mainly an internal conversation/monologue/soliloquoy request for
          assistance, sharing of thoughts and fears, etc.


          If you pray to a saint about something, do you also pray to Jesus about that
          > same thing? Is it considered enough to appeal to the saint and then not to
          > pray to our Lord? To whom do you pray first?



          God gave me the ability to type, but I usually say "yes, I can type". God
          doesn't need either explicit or footnoted credit for everything he does -
          after all, he does everything and nothing that exists would exist without
          his original and continuing power.

          So, I have most often prayed to a saint saying, "St. _______, pray to
          God/Jesus/the Father/the Holy Trinity that...". That gets a little tired
          after awhile. The saints can only effect our lives due to the power, the
          prayer and intercession they are allowed by God; in the same way that Peter
          didn't pray that his shadow would cure people, God simply worked through his
          shadow. Union with God effects wonderous things, it isn't like a series of
          steps in a manual that they must do to have God work on we supplicants.



          When you pray to a saint that they may pray for you and your prayer is
          > answered, to whom do you pray your thanks for the answered prayer?



          God and the saint. First, "God is wonderous in His saints" and second the
          person through whom God worked. I thank the fireman and God who
          led/upheld/strengthened/blessed the fireman to save me from the flames.


          Are there things that are considered not proper when praying to the saints?



          Offer only veneration and honor (doulia, hyperdoulia), not the worship due
          to God alone (latreia). The saints are not Uncreated, for instance, the are
          not Without Beginning, they did not create the world, they were sinners that
          are now saved. God is Uncreated, Without Beginning (or end), the Creator of
          heaven and earth, and wholly sinless, etc.

          Neither God nor His saints will answer sinful prayers - selfish, mean,
          pride-filled, lustful, greedy, godless, murderous, etc.

          I find it best to ask for mercy and salvation alone. Let God and his saints
          figure out the details. I'm the one who got myself into this mess, why
          should I trust my own plans on how best to get out. Perhaps being
          unemployed and losing my house and savings is to my salvation and that of my
          wife and unborn son (e.g., Job). It is mine to work and give thanks, God's
          to bless as He will.


          What types of things to you pray to the saints about? (salvation, daily
          > life, anything?)



          Anything and everything. "Pray without ceasing".



          Thank you all once again for bearing with my questions.



          Thanks for asking them. The only dumb question is... Blessed Ascension -
          we now sit at the right hand of the Father!



          Love in Christ,
          > phos


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Rosemarie Lieffring
          Phos, Just a quick note as I am on the road. I have found great comfort in praying to the Theotokos for my family...for their salvation, their faith in
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 12, 2008
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            Phos,

            Just a quick note as I am on the road. I have found great comfort in
            praying to the Theotokos for my family...for their salvation, their faith in
            Christ, their purity, their safety. She is a mother...she knows the needs,
            joys and sorrows of motherhood. And I have most certainly experienced the
            power of her intercessions.

            I also pray to St. Andrew, the First Called, and St. Nicholas for the faith
            of our children (their namesakes). And to the Archangels Michael and
            Gabriel for the safety of our family. And to St. Philothea for the needs of
            our parish.

            I do this without personal instructions from my priest. Apart from one
            Greek saint...St. Phanourios....who is prayed to when things are lost, my
            priest has never suggested specific saints for me although he noted the
            appropriateness of Sts Andrew and Nicholas in my icon corner. I use both
            written and personal prayers.

            It didn't come naturally for me at first although prayers to the Theotokos
            came easier initially than the others.

            If I ask you to pray for me about something...I would thank you for answered
            prayers...so it is no different for a Saint, right?

            Good questions! -----R


            On 6/10/08, phos_hilarion@... <phos_hilarion@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > I think I understand the Orthodox position of *why* you pray to/venerate
            > the saints, but I'm sure there is more I could learn about the matter from
            > your actual practices. Understanding in theory is different from
            > understanding in practical reality. So I have a lot of questions about the
            > how and what of praying to the saints.
            >
            > Do you only pray to the saints under the guidance of your Father or do you
            > freely pray to the saints un-guided?
            >
            > Do you pray only written prayers or pray from the heart or both?
            >
            > If you pray to a saint about something, do you also pray to Jesus about
            > that same thing? Is it considered enough to appeal to the saint and then not
            > to pray to our Lord? To whom do you pray first?
            >
            > When you pray to a saint that they may pray for you and your prayer is
            > answered, to whom do you pray your thanks for the answered prayer?
            >
            > Are there things that are considered not proper when praying to the saints?
            >
            > What types of things to you pray to the saints about? (salvation, daily
            > life, anything?)
            >
            > Thank you all once again for bearing with my questions.
            >
            > Love in Christ,
            > phos
            >
            > _________________________________________________________________
            > It's easy to add contacts from Facebook and other social sites through
            > Windows Live� Messenger. Learn how.
            > https://www.invite2messenger.net/im/?source=TXT_EML_WLH_LearnHow
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Dave @¿@¬
            Howdy! Since I am VERY new to Orthodoxy it will probably take me a while to dig myself out of my entrenched Lutheran Mindset ... It s getting easier as time
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 18, 2008
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              Howdy!

              Since I am VERY new to Orthodoxy it will probably take
              me a while to dig myself out of my entrenched "Lutheran
              Mindset"...

              It's getting easier as time goes by, but how long has
              it taken for you "old timers" to get REALLY COMFORTABLE
              with it?

              Dave


              --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Rosemarie Lieffring"
              <rose.lieffring@...> wrote:
              >
              > Phos,
              >
              > Just a quick note as I am on the road. I have found great comfort
              in
              > praying to the Theotokos for my family...for their salvation,
              their faith in
              > Christ, their purity, their safety. She is a mother...she knows
              the needs,
              > joys and sorrows of motherhood. And I have most certainly
              experienced the
              > power of her intercessions.
              >
              > I also pray to St. Andrew, the First Called, and St. Nicholas for
              the faith
              > of our children (their namesakes). And to the Archangels Michael
              and
              > Gabriel for the safety of our family. And to St. Philothea for
              the needs of
              > our parish.
              >
              > I do this without personal instructions from my priest. Apart
              from one
              > Greek saint...St. Phanourios....who is prayed to when things are
              lost, my
              > priest has never suggested specific saints for me although he
              noted the
              > appropriateness of Sts Andrew and Nicholas in my icon corner. I
              use both
              > written and personal prayers.
              >
              > It didn't come naturally for me at first although prayers to the
              Theotokos
              > came easier initially than the others.
              >
              > If I ask you to pray for me about something...I would thank you
              for answered
              > prayers...so it is no different for a Saint, right?
              >
              > Good questions! -----R
              >
              >
              > On 6/10/08, phos_hilarion@... <phos_hilarion@...> wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > I think I understand the Orthodox position of *why* you pray
              to/venerate
              > > the saints, but I'm sure there is more I could learn about the
              matter from
              > > your actual practices. Understanding in theory is different from
              > > understanding in practical reality. So I have a lot of questions
              about the
              > > how and what of praying to the saints.
              > >
              > > Do you only pray to the saints under the guidance of your Father
              or do you
              > > freely pray to the saints un-guided?
              > >
              > > Do you pray only written prayers or pray from the heart or both?
              > >
              > > If you pray to a saint about something, do you also pray to
              Jesus about
              > > that same thing? Is it considered enough to appeal to the saint
              and then not
              > > to pray to our Lord? To whom do you pray first?
              > >
              > > When you pray to a saint that they may pray for you and your
              prayer is
              > > answered, to whom do you pray your thanks for the answered
              prayer?
              > >
              > > Are there things that are considered not proper when praying to
              the saints?
              > >
              > > What types of things to you pray to the saints about?
              (salvation, daily
              > > life, anything?)
              > >
              > > Thank you all once again for bearing with my questions.
              > >
              > > Love in Christ,
              > > phos
              > >
              > > _________________________________________________________________
              > > It's easy to add contacts from Facebook and other social sites
              through
              > > Windows Live™ Messenger. Learn how.
              > > https://www.invite2messenger.net/im/?source=TXT_EML_WLH_LearnHow
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > >
              > > ------------------------------------
              > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • James Royal Prickett, Ph.D.
              Even after nearly six years, every once in awhile something will give me pause. Thankfully, those blips have been short-lived, and most of the time I don t
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 22, 2008
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                Even after nearly six years, every once in awhile something will give
                me pause. Thankfully, those blips have been short-lived, and most of
                the time I don't even think twice anymore.

                JiMi

                --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Dave @¿@¬ <dnaess@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Howdy!
                >
                > Since I am VERY new to Orthodoxy it will probably take
                > me a while to dig myself out of my entrenched "Lutheran
                > Mindset"...
                >
                > It's getting easier as time goes by, but how long has
                > it taken for you "old timers" to get REALLY COMFORTABLE
                > with it?
                >
                > Dave
                >
                >
                > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Rosemarie Lieffring"
                > <rose.lieffring@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Phos,
                > >
                > > Just a quick note as I am on the road. I have found great
                comfort
                > in
                > > praying to the Theotokos for my family...for their salvation,
                > their faith in
                > > Christ, their purity, their safety. She is a mother...she knows
                > the needs,
                > > joys and sorrows of motherhood. And I have most certainly
                > experienced the
                > > power of her intercessions.
                > >
                > > I also pray to St. Andrew, the First Called, and St. Nicholas for
                > the faith
                > > of our children (their namesakes). And to the Archangels Michael
                > and
                > > Gabriel for the safety of our family. And to St. Philothea for
                > the needs of
                > > our parish.
                > >
                > > I do this without personal instructions from my priest. Apart
                > from one
                > > Greek saint...St. Phanourios....who is prayed to when things are
                > lost, my
                > > priest has never suggested specific saints for me although he
                > noted the
                > > appropriateness of Sts Andrew and Nicholas in my icon corner. I
                > use both
                > > written and personal prayers.
                > >
                > > It didn't come naturally for me at first although prayers to the
                > Theotokos
                > > came easier initially than the others.
                > >
                > > If I ask you to pray for me about something...I would thank you
                > for answered
                > > prayers...so it is no different for a Saint, right?
                > >
                > > Good questions! -----R
                > >
                > >
                > > On 6/10/08, phos_hilarion@ <phos_hilarion@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > I think I understand the Orthodox position of *why* you pray
                > to/venerate
                > > > the saints, but I'm sure there is more I could learn about the
                > matter from
                > > > your actual practices. Understanding in theory is different from
                > > > understanding in practical reality. So I have a lot of
                questions
                > about the
                > > > how and what of praying to the saints.
                > > >
                > > > Do you only pray to the saints under the guidance of your
                Father
                > or do you
                > > > freely pray to the saints un-guided?
                > > >
                > > > Do you pray only written prayers or pray from the heart or both?
                > > >
                > > > If you pray to a saint about something, do you also pray to
                > Jesus about
                > > > that same thing? Is it considered enough to appeal to the saint
                > and then not
                > > > to pray to our Lord? To whom do you pray first?
                > > >
                > > > When you pray to a saint that they may pray for you and your
                > prayer is
                > > > answered, to whom do you pray your thanks for the answered
                > prayer?
                > > >
                > > > Are there things that are considered not proper when praying to
                > the saints?
                > > >
                > > > What types of things to you pray to the saints about?
                > (salvation, daily
                > > > life, anything?)
                > > >
                > > > Thank you all once again for bearing with my questions.
                > > >
                > > > Love in Christ,
                > > > phos
                > >
                >
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