Praying from the agpeya

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Small question...

in the Psalms, sometimes we pray something along the lines of "Praise the Lord! While I live, I shall praise the Lord."

now sometimes for me when i sin and pray at night and read things like this i feel like a it even good to be praying this? i hope im being clear, basically some written prayers imply that the person praying is living a life of holiness when that is not always the case...

so...?  ???


  • + Irini nem ehmot,

    That's not true at all. The psalms do not imply that the person who prays them (much less the person who wrote them) lived a pure, holy life. The psalms reflect a diverse set of emotions, feelings and spiritual states. There are psalms that show the utter despair of the writer, though in the end, they acknowledge the sovereignty of God and praise Him. Never think that the psalms are meant for those who are living a holy life. They are prayers of the heart by sinners for sinners.
  • I'm actually with sodr2 on this. Why would I ever pray "Judge me O Lord for I have walked in my innocence"?

    Strangely enough, whenever the deacons pass around the psalms during Agpeya, I always get stuck with Psalm 25.

    Can someone explain the intentions behind this psalm (what King David was thinking when he wrote it) and when we can feel these words during our spiritual lives?

    I don't ever recall wanting to tell God to judge me because I'm pure.
  • As I understand it, it is Christ who is innocent and he represents us who are in Him by Holy Baptism and Holy Communion primarily.

    It's not our innocence but His.
  • Aidan is correct. Many of the psalms are referring to Christ(prophecies), not necessarily David himself.
  • Lol and why do we pray in the psalms and sing in the Tasbeha "Seven times everyday I will praise your Holy Name" when I'm really lucky if I can do 3 agpeya prayers in one day.
  • Guys the basic church teaching is that you can take out the name of any saint, apostle, etc and put ours instead for a variety of reasons, eg reproach oneself, encourage oneself, etc. When you're praying the ajbeya it's the same story, for you get comfort even after committing the most grave of sins when you're praying through them, ie you just don't read them through and that's it. If you however feel like a hypocrite, then this is an evil one's fight, and there are several ways... stop reading that particular psalm and focus on your sins and pray... read it over and over again to earn God's grace... or do your own thing personally with God... may the Lord have mercy on us all...
  • It is david also who prays judge me according to my innocence . It was also Hezekiah who wept and said he had lived a righteous life and God gave him longer life.  \

    But David also said "Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!""Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands." Psalm 119:5,6

    Yet David said his iniquities were more than the hairs of his hair and innumerable. He also said show me my secret sins psalm 19:2

    The bible also says though man lived one day yet he would not be free from sin.

    Job 15
    If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
    how much less man, who is vile and corrupt, who drinks up evil like water!

    Is it it always good to think you are a sinner? "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he" from book of proverbs "If you have faith as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain to move"
  • servant 33 (and everyone),
    it's easier than you think to praise God 7 times a day.
    on waking, you can thank God you are alive and have a new day to serve him.
    you can then pray while eating breakfast.
    on your way to work or school or doing errands in the house, you can thank God for His goodness and pray for the people u r going to meet.
    then you can pray before having lunch.
    then u can pray on your way back home from wherever,
    then you pray before having your evening meal,
    then you can pray before sleeping.
    ok, that's 8 times, so can miss one out if yr busy!
    most people can't pray for 1 hour 7 times a day, but we can usually manage a few minutes.
    may God have mercy on us all, and pray for me too, a sinner.
  • [quote author=TITL link=topic=12334.msg145467#msg145467 date=1317478706]
    I'm actually with sodr2 on this. Why would I ever pray "Judge me O Lord for I have walked in my innocence"?

    One can perhaps think of it as the state they should be striving to attain. When one reads it, they are humbled when they remember their sins and are ashamed of their conduct. They then lean on God more, and struggle harder to bring themselves one step closer to such a state of innocence.
  • Yes, I think we should stop beating ourselves up. Just the mere fact that we even take time out to pray shows that we are striving to live a righteous life. We have to just keep trying and praising God until one day we will see the good results!
  • St Athanasius wrote that one of the reasons we pray from the psalms is that they're a school of prayer, we take from the experience of people who are more spiritually sound than us and we use their experiences in repentance and thanksgiving to grow our own.

    For example we all pray the prayers before and after communion by St John Chrysostom in the Agpeya, this prayer teaches us something special about what happens to us when we take communion.  We first pray the prayer of contrition reminding us of how the woman touched the hem of Christ's garment in hope seeking healing then we say the radically different prayer of thanksgiving then asking God to unify us with Him in all our deeds and actions.  The transference from sadness, repentance and anguish is changed to hope and confidence is centered around the communion which we share in Christ but we wouldn't know this experience unless we had someone holy who knew it well like St John Chrysostom who could put it into words for us so we could walk the journey with him.

    For example if you look at all of the psalms about repentance or crying for help they all go on a similar journey to this from sadness to solace and consolation ending with a positive affirmation of God's presence and acceptance of their request.  This is deeply educational because we can learn from these prayers how to confront grief, sadness, challenges or conversely joy, triumph and happiness and its done by standing in the shoes of those more spiritually able than us.

    Something else which is important is a lesson which I derived from one of the books by H.G. Anthony Bloom, he said that sometimes the emotions which we have don't really connect with the prayers which we're praying but we shouldn't be worried about this.  If a person comes home tired after work and their son or daughter comes to them and asks them 'do you love me?' they might not feel much in the way of emotions at that second because they're exhausted but it doesn't take away from the fact that the day which they spent at work practically shows they love their child much more than any feeling at that instant would.

    Please pray for me,

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