Help with prayer

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Hi all, sorry to be a bother again. I was basically wondering how we are meant to pray? When I pray I do what I guess are the basic things, like ask God to watch over everyone, keep them safe, forgive them their wrongdoings, guide them closer to him, thank him for what he's done for me, and ask him to help keep my faith strong. After this, which is around 3 or so minutes, I run out of things to say, and don't know what to say in my prayers? What do the Saints say when they pray all day? Do they just repeat their prayers? Are we meant to repeat our prayers? If we are seeking something specific from God, such as help on something of great importance [in a spiritual sense] do we repeatedly ask for it in one prayer, or do we ask once and leave it at that? I want to pray for a lot longer but I have trouble because I don't know what to say, is all I'm really saying. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks guys for bearing with him.


  • hey WMA,

    I think try praying from the agpeya.. like the thanksgiving prayer, psalm 50, etc. I find it really helps when I don't know what to say to God...I think I heard this from a sunday school servant, or abouna or someone(I have a bad memory) that the thanksgiving prayer was put so we could meditate on how the saints prayed... so that when we say this prayer, we are praying like the saints did..

    feel free to correct me.

    pray 4 me,

  • Dear WMA,

    As LauraInChrist suggested, regular practise of worship amongst the Copts includes the prescribed and organised set of prayers known as the prayers of the Agpeya, or the prayers of the Seven Canonical hours. God knows what you, as an individual, desire and need, so there is no need to repeat your personal requests over and over just to kill time. I recommend you try praying from the Agpeya and see how that goes, it directs the focus of our prayers appropriately, and at the end of the prayers of a specific canonical hour, you can always add your own little prayer.

    I will now refer you to some articles regarding the origins and spirituality of the prayers of the Agpeya, and then I will provide you with the readings of one canonical hour:


    The Agpeya:;

    Origins of the Agpeya:

    The Idealisim and Spirituality of the Agpeya:

    Prayer sof the First Hour:

    These are the prayers that are usually prayed upon waking up in the morning, so they are good prayers to start with.

    The prayers of this hour in order may be found here:

    Just follow the prayers there in the order they are presented. After the reading of the Pauline Epistle, a specific set of Psalms are prescribed for reading, but you do not have to read all of them. You may want to read just a few. I personally try to focus on one in order to memorise it, since Psalms are powerful weapons against the unseen enemies. Once I have memorised one, I usually focus on another to memorise, and if I have sufficient time, I will recite all those that I have memorised till that point in time.

    Additionally, most of the prayers in question actually have a set tune according to which they are chanted. This is certainly not compulsory, necessary or even essential practice, but some, like myself, prefer to chant the prayers if they have the time to do so. The melodies of the Church are effective in enhancing one's concentration amongst other purposes. Here are audio links to the melodic chanting of some of the prayers for the First hour:

    The Thanksgiving Prayer

    Psalm 50

    Gospel Reading of the Prime Hour

    Conclusion to the Gospel / Introduction to the following Litanies
    - This is said in Coptic, but the translation in English is provided on the site.

    The Litanies of the First Hour.

    The Trisagion.

    Hail to St Mary.

    The 41 Lord Have Mercy's (said in Coptic = Kirie Eleison)

    Holy, Holy, Holy.
  • IS it okay if you really didnt dedicate enough time to god that you just pray from the heart for a few minutes, better then nothing ? I read from the Agpeya then i repeat my personal requests but i really hate to say this but i dont enjoy praying from the agbeya , i find myself dozing off or reading aloud but not concentrating thinking of other things subconsiously until i realize it when im done praying ! Any suggewstions ?
    (sorry for kinda chaning the topic ,i didnt want to start a new thread )
  • The MAIN WAY TO PRAY is this:

    A: ADORATION: Tell God what he does and the things he did for you. (LIke you are almighty you are all forgiving and kind)

    C: Confession: Tell God all your sins ( not personal sins just say forgive me for my sins)

    T: Thanksgiving: THank God for everything he has done.

    S: Supplication: ASk GOd to help the pooor the homeless and people like that.
  • I got that from my Sunday school teacher.
  • answer your question..God isn't going to judge you of whether you read the whole agpeya or not everyday. The main goal in your life is to grow more toward Christ and what better way to do that except through praying and talking to your heavenly Father. Of course everyone have their own personal prayer which can last whatever time you want it to last, but agpeya wouldn't hurt you. There was once a story about someone who reads the Bible and couldn't understand it...but I think it goes along with reading the agpeya as well..
    There was once a monk who went to his spiritual father and told him that everytime he is reading the bible he doesn't understand much of he was like why should I bother reading it if I don't understand. His spiritual father told him to bring a basket and fill it with he did as his father told him..and the basket of course wouldn't hold the water in because it's a basket which is filled with holes. So the monk came back to his father and he told him go and do that again and he kept on telling him to go back and fill it again. When he returned for the last time, his spiritual father told him well you couldn't get it filled but look at how clean it is now from all the water that you washed it with. The lesson here is that you are not required to understand or enjoy what you are reading or praying out of...the point is that it cleans you and cleans your soul and the more time you spend with Christ...the more happy you will be the more "clean" you will be.
  • Thank u sooooooooo much are u sure its okay if u dont understand it or enjoy it ? Sound kinda fishy cuz how can u get close to christ without knowing what u r saying to him or enjoying it?

  • [quote author=WMA link=board=1;threadid=3716;start=0#msg53044 date=1145807589]
    Hi all, sorry to be a bother again. I was basically wondering how we are meant to pray?

    How one prays depends a lot on when one prays and for what reason.

    If you are talking about daily prayers at fixed times per day, then use the Agpeya. You should consult your spiritual father as to how many of the hours you should pray. They are also quite long, and so he might suggest that you do not pray each hour in its entirety.

    Another way of praying is the use of the Jesus Prayer (not sure how common this is in the Coptic tradition). This is the prayer "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner". It is repeated slowly, with your mind focusing only on the meaning of the words - all other thoughts and images should be pushed away.
    A comboschini (prayer rope) is usually used to help you count the number of times you say the prayer.
    Again, you should consult your priest as to how many times to repeat the prayer and when he thinks its beneficial for you to pray in this way.
  • [quote author=copticcross3 link=board=1;threadid=3716;start=0#msg53697 date=1146437672]
    Thank u sooooooooo much are u sure its okay if u dont understand it or enjoy it ? Sound kinda fishy cuz how can u get close to christ without knowing what u r saying to him or enjoying it?


    You should ask an abouna about that...but I know it's no harm for you if you keep on doing it (reading from the agpeya) until you find a way to understand and enjoy it.
Sign In or Register to comment.