Thank you, our compassionate Lord, For you granted us to pass this day in peace, brought us thankfully to the night, and made us worthy of seeing your light until sunset. Accept our glorification we now offer you, and save us from the temptations of the enemy and defeat all his traps set against us. In this coming night, give us peace without pain, anxiety, fatigue, or illusion, so that we may pass through the night in peace and chastity, and awake to praise you and pray to you. At all times, and everywhere, we glorify and praise your name in everything with the incomprehensible and eternal Father and the Holy Spirit the life-giving and equal to you now and forever and ever. Amen.
It is good to start our Prayers with thanks giving, and end our day the same, for it is not proper to focus only on requests.
+Actually, there are many things in our lives we should thank God for.+
God”s benevolence and benefits are innumerable. We ought to remember all His work for us all the day long and thank Him for everything in detail. We ought to thank Him not only for what He does for us, but also for what He does for our friends, for all the church members, and for the country as a whole. Let us remember the words: No gift is without increase except that which we give no thanks for.
+We thank you, our compassionate Lord:+
He is our, for He created us, redeemed us, and bought us with His precious Blood (1Cor 6:20). We should therefore make Him rule over our hearts, our thoughts, our senses, and all that we have. Since He is our Lord, we ought to be ashamed of rebelling against Him, because He is a compassionate Lord. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor punish us according to our iniquities (Ps103:10) . With His deep compassion He deals kindly with us as if we were little children, for He knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust (Ps103:14).
Kindness is the most tender element of love that characterizes the great heart, and mothers are known for it. Whoever does not find kindness with parents, relatives, or friends, can find it with God, for He is the source of all kindness. His kindness is the deepest and truest. It is distinguished and spiritual kindness.
+When we remember His compassion and kindness in our Prayers, we learn a lesson in dealing with others.+
We learn how to show kindness, love, and compassion to others, rather than authority due to ago or position. We learn how to be kind to those who wrong us, because we are made in the image of this compassionate Lord.
+Is it not strange that you praise God”s compassion while you have no compassion?!+
Thank Him that He does not deal with us according to His absolute justice, otherwise He would punish us for every action, for every thought, and for every intention we would them perish.
+Thank you, for you granted us to pass this day in peace and brought us thankfully to the night.+
Whenever you look to the sky and see the sunsetting, thank Him for the day passed in peace. It is a gift from God that we are kept alive and safe. From any danger and any harm that could have happened throughout the day.
+God has kept us safe, but have we kept His commandments?+
If we have not kept His commandments, or made others not safe, we should be ashamed in our prayer. But if the day has not passed in peace, it is because of your sins. Remember that it could have been worse but for God. He wanted only to give you a lesson. Peace is always a gift from God which we should thank Him for.
+Let us not complain or grumble if something displeasing happens.+
Many would even utter improper words in such cases instead of saying with Job, “Shall we indeed accept good from God , and shall we not accept adversity?” “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 2:10”1:21) Remember the beautiful words of the Scripture, “giving thanks always for all things..” (Eph5:20).
+You made us worthy of seeing your light until sunset.+
+Accept our glorification we now offer you.+
These words would make us feel that our life is not a right we possess, but a gift given us by His compassion we should glorify Him for. Glorification is very important in our prayers. We often start with the words ” Zoxa Patri Ke Eiw Ke Agio Pnevmati” i.e. Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In the Midnight Prayer we also say: Glory to you, O lover of mankind. We conclude our prayers with: Glory and power to you, now and forever also the song of Passion Week says: Yours is the power, the glory, the blessing, and the might forever, Amen. It is also the song of the twenty four elders (priests) and the four living creatures in the Revelation: You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power,”(Rev 4: 11,9) It is our duty then to glorify God always for all His attributes. We sing doxologies to the saints in the church, how much rather to God!
+ We ask God to accept our glorification and our prayers.+
It is a good prayer that we request Him to accept our prayers, for some prayers are unacceptable. Some prayers do not rise high, being from unclean hearts. Therefore the Scripture says, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.” (Prov 15:8). And God said to the sinful Jesus, “When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.” (Isa1:15) That is why David the Prophet said in his prayers, “Let my cry come before you, O Lord.” (Ps119:169).
+We ought to make our prayers acceptable.+
Our prayers ought to be according to God”s will, not in hypocrisy or pretense making them long, or using vain repetitions as the heathen do, or prayers from the mouth and lips while the heart is for from God (Lk20:47 ; Mt15:8; Isa 29:13). If we want our prayers to be acceptable, let them be from the depth of our hearts, in faith, with zeal and contrition, and with understanding and concentration.
+Some prayers rise unto heaven like fiery darts.+
They are like incense, no sooner do they rise than the twenty four priests receive them in their golden censers and offer them before God”s throne. Whenever a person utters such prayers, he feels God”s response, as David used to do (PS3:6) They are fervent and effective.
+Acceptable prayers come from an acceptable life and an acceptable relationship with God.+
An example of rejected prayers is that of Cain (Gen4). Another example is that of king Saul who was all over rejected, not only his prayers. For the Lord said to Samuel prophet, “How long will you mown for Saul, seeing I have rejected him..?” (1Sam 16:1) What fearful words are these! Therefore , in the Midnight prayer, the priest asks God to accept the prayers of His servants and their fasting , vows, tithes , firstling, and offerings.
+You ought them before giving tithes and vows to ask yourself whether God accepts them or not.+
The early church used to reject the offerings of the sinners according to the words of the Scripture, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.” Now the father priests asks the Lord in the Oblations Prayer that He may receive them upon His holy rational, and heavenly alter, for a savor of incense before His greatness in the heavens.
+Save us from the temptation of enemy, and defeat all his traps set against us.+
Though the day has passed in peace, we are not sure about the temptations of the enemy the rest of the day. (refer to my book on “Diabolic wars for more details) Let us then add to the daily Lord”s prayer “deliver us from the evil one, the words “defeat all his traps…” We know that Satan never leave man to rest, for he does not stop going to and fro on the earth (Job 1:7;2:2).
Our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Pet 5:8). We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual hosts of wickedness (Eph6:12).
+The devil uses different ways of deceit.+
He used same ways against our first parents Adam and Eve, and deceived them. He continued using his temptations against the saints along many generations. So David and his companions prayed God to turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness (2Sam15:31), and we, in this prayer, ask God to defeat all the devil”s traps against us. But though the traps are numerous, God delivers us from them as David says, “Our Saul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snore is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Ps123:7,8).
+Everybody should have a spiritual guide experienced in the temptations of the devil and the ways escape.+
St. Paul, for instance, said we are not ignorant of his (the devil”s) devices (2Cor2:11) . St. Evagrius wrote a book on the war of thoughts and ways of resisting them by verses of the Bible . John Cassian also wrote about the eight thoughts fighting the soul. I myself spoke in my book “Diabolic wars” about 25 traps of the devil, and about the way of escape from each of them. Everyone may also have his experience of past wars, and can ask God to save him of such wars.
+The devils traps are set even against saints.+
St. Anthony, seeing the traps set, cried out to God: who can escape them? And a voice came to him : the humble can. Be humble then, and seek God”s help, and avoid sin with all your strength. Struggle even unto blood against sin (Heb12:4).
+In this coming night, give us peace without pain, anxiety, fatigue , or illusions, so that we may pass the night in peace and chastity, and awake to praise you and pray…+
We pray God to keep us by night, for night is often a space for fun and filthiness. That is why night clubs have a bad fame. There is a need for God”s help, and the heart needs to be ready for God”s action. As some fathers say: Night is made for prayers. And David sang the same (Ps 133…)
We pray God to save us from pain, anxiety, fatigue, and illusion; for some may not be able to sleep because of illness or fatigue or pressing thoughts. We pray Him also to save us from sinful dreams that may be in the subconscious and come out in the form of dreams. So we ask God to wipe away any thoughts in the mind and heart. If we say that we are not responsible for dreams, this is not an excuse for dreams come from a past desire that settled in the subconscious. It is therefore good to pray for the chastity of the night as well as of the day. Then we can easily rise for praise and prayers. So, the church puts the Psalmody praise often the Midnight Prayer and before the Matins Prayer, so that the whole day may be holy.
Let us glorify God at all times and everywhere; let us give glory to the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit now and forever and ever. Amen