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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Practical questions on praying to the saints

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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