We have a Public prayer list, (http://docs.google.com/View?id=dzgvjb6_16f2pcdrhn ) which we use in our regular Monday Moleben, and also in special petitions in all Divine Liturgies we serve (on Sunday of course, and also each Thursday, at a minimum).
We receive requests, in our electronic age, via email, Facebook, Phone Texts, and even by the occasional personal *in person* request.
Some people we know personally, but many times we have never met them or they live far away. Many are Orthodox Christians, and these we also commemorate in the Proskimidie of the Divine Liturgy, and many are not. It does not matter: if someone asked, we pray.
This list is also used by some of our parishioners, and the pastor in daily commemorations, It is important to pray for others, because those who love will want the best for those they love, and those with faith will turn to God for all things, and therefore pray. We MUST do this if we are to overcome the selfishness that is deeply embedded within us.
Many times a person is on our prayer list for a long time and I have no idea how to contact them or find out how they are doing. Other times, I am able to “check in” and know something of how their life is turning out. This is always a great consolation – to see the object of our prayer doing well.
Here are some recent “answers” to prayer.
A man has found a job and place to live after being out of work for a long time. He thanks us for our prayers.
A person with cancer is out of the hospital after a long stay, undergoing chemo, and in good spirits.
A person with very serious cancer has had the unction service served for her, and is very sick. Treatments are being given, and there is hope that this very aggressive cancer will respond to it, but in the even that this person reposes, we are playing a small role in preparing them for a peaceful repose. It is reported that this person is facing the disease with courage and great faith.
A child with a serious medical problem has received treatment, and should be going home soon.
I suppose we all want to see some great miracle, but in waiting for this, we miss the great miracles that occur all around us. It is a great privilege to be a part of God’s economy, and care for His little ones, even as He cares for us little ones.
Priest Seraphim Holland 2011 St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas
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