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Author Topic: Trinitarian Prayers  (Read 756 times) Average Rating: 0
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GregoryLA
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« on: June 26, 2010, 01:10:45 AM »

For a bit of background, I come from a Protestant background in which it was quite common to pray to the Father and end it in "in Jesus' name we pray." 

I remember as a kid praying directly to Jesus, and of course there were people around me who did that, but at some point I began to pray almost exclusively to the Father.  I think it had the weird effect of lessening the divinity of Christ in my mind.  When I was at a Baptist college the first two years of university, I had a professor say that it's "probably" more proper to pray only to the Father but "in Jesus' name" and I had another friend say the same several years later.  All that gives me the feeling that this may be some trend in Protestantism.

It's also cause me to feel some what puzzled by Orthodox prayers.  I pray my prayers as they're written but I don't fully understand why we sometimes pray to the Father alone, sometimes to the Son and sometimes to the Holy Spirit.  Then at other times we pray to the entire Godhead in the singular.  What is the significance of this?

I also wonder about the historical side of it.  I've heard or read from several sources that early Christians prayed "to the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit."  I think this is even echoed on the orthodoxwiki page on prayer. 

Quote
Orthodoxy teaches that Jesus, in praying to his Father, prayed for his people, and he is the only competent intercessor for mankind before God. In his resurrected glory, he prays eternally to his Father on behalf of all. In and through Christ, Orthodox Christians become competent to intercede before God. In the name of Jesus, Christians are authorized to pray for each other and for all creation. All prayer is to God the Father, through his Son, in his Holy Spirit, even if not mentioned in the words of the prayer.

In the above quote, what need does the resurrected Christ have to pray to His Father?  Don't they already completely know each other?  Aren't their wills and essenses the same?

What is the earliest evidence of prayer to Christ and/or the Holy Spirit?

Sorry for all the questions.  I'm interested in the theological and historical background to this.  It's something that has been in the back of my mind for some time now.  Thanks!
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GregoryLA
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 03:11:03 AM »

No takers, eh?
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Salpy
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Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 03:44:31 AM »

I can't answer all your questions, but I can link to a set of prayers said to the Holy Trinity in the Armenian tradition:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.msg183101.html#msg183101

The music they are sung to is linked here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9840.msg286160.html#msg286160
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Theophilos78
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2010, 03:56:50 AM »

Stephen prayed directly to Christ just before his death:

They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” (Acts 7:59)

Polycarp said the following prayer at the time of his martyrdom:

O Lord God Almighty, the Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of You, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before you, I give You thanks that You have counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Your martyrs, in the cup  of your Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before You as a fat  and acceptable sacrifice, according as You, the ever-truthful  God, have foreordained, have revealed beforehand to me, and now have fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise You for all things, I bless  You, I glorify You, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, with whom, to You, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0102.htm

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Longing for Heavenly Jerusalem
GregoryLA
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2010, 09:48:57 AM »

I can't answer all your questions, but I can link to a set of prayers said to the Holy Trinity in the Armenian tradition:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.msg183101.html#msg183101

The music they are sung to is linked here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9840.msg286160.html#msg286160

Thanks, Salpy!

Do you guys have the prayer "O Heavenly King..."?
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Salpy
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Toumarches
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Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2010, 11:04:15 AM »

I''m not sure.  Can you link to the whole prayer?
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Cephas
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γνῶθισε αυτόν


« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2010, 11:25:56 AM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

If you're referring to this prayer:

'O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who is present in all places and fills all, the treasury of good things and the Life-Giver, graciously come, and dwell in us and purify us from all defilement, O Good One, and save our souls.'

it can be found in the third hour litanies of the Coptic agpeya (prayer book of the hours).
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Cephas 

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed."
-- Isaiah 53:5

"He who knows himself knows God"
-- Pi Nishti Abba Antony
Salpy
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Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2010, 12:09:11 PM »

I'm not sure if we have that one.  It doesn't seem familiar to me.  If both the Copts and EO's have it, though, it must be ancient.
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