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July 15, 2009 + On the Lord’s Prayer, From the Treatises of St. Cyprian

From Treatise IV – On The Lord’s Prayer

These things, beloved brethren, when we have learnt from the sacred reading, and have gathered in what way we ought to approach to prayer, let us know also from the Lord's teaching what we should pray. "Thus," says He, "pray ye: —

"Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And suffer us not to be led into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen."

Before all things, the Teacher of peace and the Master of unity would not have prayer to be made singly and individually, as for one who prays to pray for himself alone. For we say not "My Father, which art in heaven," nor "Give me this day my daily bread;" nor does each one ask that only his own debt should be forgiven him; nor does he request for himself alone that he may not be led into temptation, and delivered from evil. Our prayer is public and common; and when we pray, we pray not for one, but for the whole people, because we the whole people are one. The God of peace and the Teacher of concord, who taught unity, willed that one should thus pray for all, even as He Himself bore us all in one. This law of prayer the three children observed when they were shut up in the fiery furnace, speaking together in prayer, and being of one heart in the agreement of the spirit; and this the faith of the sacred Scripture assures us, and in telling us how such as these prayed, gives an example which we ought to follow in our prayers, in order that we may be such as they were: "Then these three," it says, "as if from one mouth sang an hymn, and blessed the Lord." They spoke as if from one mouth, although Christ had not yet taught them how to pray. And therefore, as they prayed, their speech was availing and effectual, because a peaceful, and sincere, and spiritual prayer deserved well of the Lord. Thus also we find that the apostles, with the disciples, prayed after the Lord's ascension: "They all," says the Scripture, "continued with one accord in prayer, with the women, and Mary who was the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren." They continued with one accord in prayer, declaring both by the urgency and by the agreement of their praying, that God, "who maketh men to dwell of one mind in a house," only admits into the divine and eternal home those among whom prayer is unanimous.

But what matters of deep moment are contained in the Lord’s prayer! How many and! How great, briefly collected in the words, but spiritually abundant in virtue! so that there is 'absolutely nothing passed over that is not comprehended in these our prayers and petitions, as in a compendium of heavenly doctrine. "After this manner," says He, "pray ye: Our Father, which art in heaven." The new man, born again and restored to his God by His grace, says "Father," in the first place because he has now begun to be a son. "He came," He says, "to His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in His name."

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St. Vladimir the Great Prince, Equal To The Apostles — July 15

Troparion of St. Vladimir, Tone 4:
Sitting on the throne of God-protected Kiev, thou wast like a merchant seeking goodly pearls, O Vladimir. Thou didst search and send to the Imperial City to know the Orthodox Faith. Thou didst find Christ the Pearl of great price, Who chose thee like Paul and enlightened thy blindness at the Font. Thy people celebrate thy repose: wherefore pray for Russia and all peoples, that the Orthodox may be granted peace and great mercy.

Kontakion of St. Vladimir, Tone 8:
Like the Apostle Paul, O Vladimir, thou didst abandon childish ways and in manhood wast royally adorned with Baptism. Now thou art joyfully standing in the presence of Christ our Savior: pray that Orthodox Hierarchs and people, and all creation, may be saved.