I have written before against what I refer to as “spontaneous” prayer. This is the prayer which we offer without preparation or without thought. Whatever comes to our mind, we offer it to God. These prayers ‘tend’ toward selfishness. It isn’t about of malice, but because our fallen human nature. This is why I always recommend we pray from an Orthodox Prayer Book.
In a prayer book published by the Church, or a publisher endorsed by the Church, we can feel safe knowing the prayers have been reviewed and tested by the Church. Like the old toothpaste commercials which boasted ‘approved by 9 out of 10 dentists’, a prayer book endorsed by the Church has been tested by holy men and women. Some of the prayers date back centuries to the Saints of the early Church.
Today the Church commemorates Saint Ioannikos the Great. He lived more than a thousand years ago. After leaving his prestigious position in the imperial military, he lived as an ascetic into his 90’s. You will recognize a prayer he wrote.
This prayer is part of our normal evening prayers if we are praying from an Orthodox Prayer Book. It is concise. It is true. It is holy. Today we should thank Saint Ioannikos for giving us such a profound prayer. Through the intercession of Saint Ioannikos, God save us!
Love this prayer and use it many times daily at various hours of the day.