Make your prayer life GREAT again this Great Lent. This week we are going to talk about one of three ways to deepen our prayer life. And now is the day to start! That’s right. It doesn’t need to be Clean Monday, Holy Thursday, or Pure Monday to start some new prayer practices. The day to build these habits is now!
Great Practice One – Involve Your Guardian Angel
For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12
This Bible verse puts life in perspective. So, no matter how angry our neighbor makes us, they are not our real enemy. We are not fighting against other people to get to God. Instead, we are fighting the demonic powers. And that brings us to the importance of our guardian angel.
Our guardian angel can really help us out. In the parable of the lost sheep (Matthew 18:10), Jesus mentions guardian angels. He says, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Let us not neglect the awesome mystery of the gift God has given us in our guardian angel!
What Do Our Angel’s Do?
First of all, our Angel accompanies us in the Divine Liturgy. And when we arrive at church, we can pray for our angel’s help to be attentive to the Liturgy. After all, praising and worshiping God is an angel’s specialty! During the Divine Liturgy we also pray for our guardian angel (for an angel from God, guardian of our souls and bodies let us pray to the Lord). That line also answers what our angel does. He guards our soul and our body.
One holy priest explained that, since angels are incorporeal, we can ask them to touch our brains. We can pray for our guardian angel to heal our memories. If we have studied, we can ask our angel to touch our brain during a test to help us remember something that we can’t quite recall by our own power. Angels can also help us suppress memories if we pray for that. This is useful because demons can also touch our memories to make us recall bad images/events and use it to tempt/torment us. We do have to pray aloud to our angel because angels cannot read our thoughts. (They can, however, read our body language really well, which is how a demon can tell if sending a tempting thought is working or not).
Guardian Angels can also teach us how to pray. Before the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, the Guardian Angel of Portugal visited Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco. He first taught them to pray this prayer: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You.” Then the same angel appeared to the children again, and taught them another prayer.
Prayer of Reparations
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
I adore You profoundly,
And I offer You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ,
Present in all the tabernacles of the world,
In reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended.
And by the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I beg the conversion of poor sinners.”
Byzantine Guardian Angel Prayers
Angel of God – Byzantine Form
O guardian angel, protector of my soul and body,
To your care I have been entrusted by Christ.
Obtain for me the forgiveness of the sins committed by me this day.
Protect me from the snares of my enemy,
That I may never more offend God by my sin.
Pray for me, your sinful and unworthy servant,
That through your help I may become worthy of the grace and mercy of the most Holy Trinity,
And of the Mother of our Lord God, Jesus Christ,
And of all the saints, Amen.
Prayer Rope Prayer
Holy Guardian, angel of God, pray for me
Send Angel to adore God at Divine Litugy
O Holy Angel at my side, go to Divine Liturgy for me,
Stand in my place, and treasure each grace,
In Church, where I wish to be.
At the Great Entrance, offer me to God
Take all that I have and all that I am,
And place it as a sacrifice
Before the Precious Lamb.
Adore for me the Great Oblation
And pray for all I hold dear,
That the blood of Christ may cleanse all hearts,
As you worship our God so near.
And as the priest consumes
Each Holy Mystery
Bring Christ’s heart to rest on mine
That I may His temple be.
Pray that this sacrifice divine
May mankind’s sins efface;
Then bring me Jesus’ blessing home,
The pledge of every grace. Amen.
Fun Fact about Guardian Angels
Did you know… in our tradition we believe a priest receives a second guardian angel at his ordination?
The Byzantine Life
Thank you for checking out this week’s article! Our ByzShop recently released a free printable of O Joyful Light which you can get here. You might also be interested in reading about prayer ropes (and other Byzantine practices). Or more about the Angels!
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