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Some prayers from the Orthodox tradition

Heavenly King O heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who is in all places and dwells in all things, the Treasury of blessing and the Giver of life. Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every stain, and save, O gracious One, our souls. Amen
Trisagion Holy God, Holy Strong, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.
The Jesus Prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”
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Lenten Prayer of St Ephraim the Syrian O Lord and Master of my life, Do not give to me the spirit of laziness, faintheartedness, lust for power, and idle talk. But give to me, Your servant, the spirit of purity, humility, patience and love. O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother or sister, for blessed are You unto ages of ages. Amen.
The great Canon of St Andrew the Great (read on Wednesday before Easter) http://www.spc.rs/files/u5/2016/03/greatcanon_sts-8a99f61.pdf
Easter Canon Christ is risen from the dead! Death has destroyed death, and to those w…

A different kind of religion

Philippians 3.1-11

I went on a website which asks what, in a secular world, takes the place of religion today?

Among other things, people mentioned: political affiliation, health foods, fitness, motorbikes, gaming, music (specifically, the Beatles and One Direction!), social media. The big one was Sport.

But I guess our 'religion' can also be all those things in which we put our confidence, things such as status, success, hard work, money, our moral standing, education, fitness, family etc.

Paul, the writer of Philippians, was clearly immensely able. He had a brilliant mind, the equivalent of a top Oxbridge or Harvard graduate. And he had all the credentials that would have given him great status in the society in which he lived.

In Philippians 3, Paul speaks about some of the things in which he could have put his confidence:
He had been through the right rituals
He was of the very best family
His doctrine was utterly sound.
He was committed, zealous and he worked hard.
And he…

How do we really know God loves us?

Romans 8.28-39

There can be many reasons why we might doubt whether God loves us.
We struggle with sin. Paul speaks about that in Romans 8.1-8. How could God possibly love somebody who messes it up so often?
We suffer. Paul speaks about ‘the sufferings of this present age’ in vv18-25. How can God love us when dreadful things happen?
Our prayer life is pathetic. In vv26-27 Paul writes of how weak we are in our prayer. We don’t know how to pray or what to pray for.
And our love for God is so feeble. We may have moments when we declare our love for him, and our desire to serve him, but most of the time we live as if God does not exist.
It is in the face of this, that Paul writes these amazing verses. If Romans 8 is the Himalayas of the Bible, verses 28-39 are its Everest
And Paul declares
1.The certainty of our call He writes, ‘For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son’.
We get very uptight about the idea of predestination. For us it is part …