As I am teaching confirmation, I am always in awe of the comes from the foundation of those that walked before us. As I was looking at prayer, I was surprised once again by how much doctrine was a part of daily prayers. In many ways it followed the jewish pattern of confusing your beliefs in a way that returned faith as words were spoken.
I want to challenge you today to look at your prayers and see if you can discover who God is in your own words, or if your prayers are just a long list of suplications.
Here is one of those prayers to help you along the way:
The radiance of the Father’s splendor, the Father’s visible image, Jesus Christ our God, peerless among counselors, Prince of Peace, Father of the world to come, the model after which Adam was formed, for our sakes became like a slave: in the womb of Mary the virgin, without assistance from any man, he took flesh.…
Enable us, Lord, to reach the end of this luminous feast in peace, forsaking all idle words, acting virtuously, shunning our passions, and raising ourselves above the things of this world.
Bless your church, which you brought into being long ago and attached to yourself through your own life-giving blood. Help all orthodox pastors, heads of churches, and doctors [theologians].
Bless your servants, whose trust is all in you; bless all Christian souls, the sick, those tormented by evil spirits, and those who have asked us to pray for them.
Show yourself as merciful as you are rich in grace; save and preserve us; enable us to obtain those good things to come which will never know an end.
May we celebrate your glorious birth, and the Father who sent you to redeem us, and your Spirit, the Giver of life, now and forever, age after age. Amen.
—A Syriac Christmas liturgy
(late third or early fourth century)