Holy hour

Almost every Christian family needs spiritual rebirth which is not possible without family prayer. It is time when we can learn in practice to give our life problems to God. For the beginning, it is enough if at least two members of the family begin to pray together every evening, best from 8 to 9 p.m. – this is the so-called holy hour. At this hour, all members of the family turn off the TV, computer, the internet, and pray to God together. The beginnings are the hardest. However, if you overcome the obstacles and develop this holy habit, it will become the source of blessing and strengthen your relationship both to God and to your family. The family will begin to function properly like a healthy organism. It will be formed by the Word of God, by the wisdom of God rather than by the programme of the world which implants lies and amorality in people.

The Orthodox believers in Russia used to have a prayer corner in their houses with an icon of the Mother of God with Christ Child in her arms. This was the place where the family prayed together every evening.

At the end of the holy hour at 9 p.m., the orthodox Catholic bishops and priests give a blessing to all who prayed during that hour.

How to pray?

Jesus said: “Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray.” (Mt 26:40-41) The essence of prayer is to realize the presence of God – that Jesus sees you, hears you and loves you. First bring your sins to the light of God and call on the name of Jesus (Aramaic Yehoshua) with faith. You can repeat: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, have mercy on me!” (Yehoshua, khuonayny) Then it is true about you: “The blood of Christ cleanses you from all sin.” (1Jn 1:7) This is perfect contrition. You will need it at the moment of your physical death, and this is what eternal life in glory with God depends on. If you refuse to repent, you will be eternally condemned! (cf. Lk 13:3)

One of the forms:

You can divide the holy hour into three parts:

a) Thanksgiving – you can take turns in giving thanks to God aloud for all the good things He gave you during the day or in the past. You can give thanks for your health, protection, solution to a problem… Every time you mention something, you can say: “Thank You, Lord!” And all the others repeat: “Thank You, Lord!”

b) Confession of sins – ask God’s forgiveness especially for sins against brotherly love, manifestations of selfishness, lack of sensitivity, rude words, laziness in relation to God, laziness in prayer, various forms of self-will, neglect of duties when you preferred pleasure and amusement and then you were nervous because you failed to fulfil your duties in study, work… After all of you have confessed their sins, you can lift up your hands, look at the five wounds of Christ and repeat 5 times: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”

c) Intercession – everyone can say a petition and all respond: Amen, or Hear us, O Lord.

Another form:

Short confession of sins followed by a song expressing contrition, e.g. “Only by grace can we enter…” Then you can pray a decade of the Rosary for a particular intention and sing a song again. You can alternate it in this way.

Prophetic prayer:

During the holy hour you can pray the so-called prophetic prayer acc. Ezek 37. It is a little more difficult form of prayer – you can pray for the spiritual resurrection of your village, town or nation. It is focused on the name of God – Jesus (Hebrew Yehoshua) and on the faith in God’s almighty power (see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=9812).

You can also pray two or three words from the cross. During the Easter period, from Easter to Pentecost, you can reflect on the truths concerning the Resurrection of Christ.

 

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Word of Life

“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”

Rom 6:6 (23/9/2018 – 7/10/2018)