THE WISDOM OF THE PRAYERS OF THE HOURS
The first wisdom is the unity of the church when praying, with one soul
The church used to pray with “one soul” lifting up one voice to God (Acts 4:24). This will not occur unless the church is praying with one prayer, or the majority are leading the prayers and all are saying Amen. With the Agpia Prayers, the entire church prays with one heart, one mind, and one soul, lifting up to God one voice.
This one prayer, that is the Agpia, helps to unite the hearts in spirituality
There will be the same style in conversing with God, and in identical emotions being presented to God. The requests we ask from Him would be the same, and the spiritual lessons we learn from the Agpia will also be the same…
The Agpia strengthens the life of fellowship in the church
We can easily imagine thousands of worshippers together In the church all saying “Have mercy upon me O God have mercy upon me” or Kir-ye ley-son. We can also imagine millions of worshippers all around the world and its continents saying the same prayers, at the same time, and with one soul as an indication of the unity of the church and the fellowship in worship that is present in it.
The memory of the birth of Christ, His salvation for humanity, and His Second Coming will every day be in the minds of those worshippers who pray the Prayers of the hours
Every believer will remember the birth of Christ in the Morning Prayer, His crucifixion and death in the Prayers of the Sixth and Ninth Hours, His Second Coming in the Midnight services and many other memories. Every believer will also remember the coming down of the Holy Spirit on the disciples at the third hour; the worshipper will then ask for the blessings and work of the Holy Spirit in her/his life. All, together, will remember the terrifying judgement day, and in fearing God will prepare Tor that day with repentance. All, together, will praise with the same praise as they bless the name of the Lord in the Trisagion.
As worshippers experience the life of fellowship when praying together, they also share the Psalms with David the prophet
They even share praises with the angels saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men” (Luke 2:14). All will share holy memories…and participate in the life of thanksgiving, and in waiting for the Lord…
We would like to say that the Agpia teaches the person to pray
It teaches the believer how to converse with God, as we will show later. It teaches the manner with which to talk with God, and offers an example of what He says and how He says it…It is in agreement with what the disciples sald to the Lord “Lord, teach us how to pray”.
The Agpia is to be taken as a way of learning, rather than a way of restriction
It teaches the worshipper God’s love, and how to desire God. It also teaches how to fear God, how to submit to Him, and how to kneel before Him. Thus, the worshipper who prays with the Agpia says: Lord, teach me Your ways, make me to understand Your ways, and guide me in an upright way…It also teaches the worshipper that God accepts sinners to Him whenever they repent, whatever or how bad her/his sin with the sinful woman who washed was. This is exactly the same case as Jesus’ feet with her tears (Luke 9).
An advantage of praying with the Agpia is that it organizes worship
Organization is very important in one’s spiritual life. The Apostle warns from any person who walks without order; and he talks a lot about things that he will organize when he comes…
By: HH Pope Shenouda III
From: Praying the Agpia – The prayers of the Hours