Thoughts from St. John of Kronstadt, archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church during the 19th century, canonized in the 1960’s:
“If you wish to correct the faults of anyone, do not think of trying to do so solely by your own means: you would only do harm by your own vices, for instance pride and the irritability arising from it; but cast thy burden upon the Lord, and pray with all your heart that God himself will enlighten the heart and mind of that man. If He sees that your prayer breathes love, and that it really comes from the depths of your heart, He will undoubtedly fulfill it, and you will soon see, from the change that has taken place in him for whom you prayed, that it is the work of the most high God.”
The words of Demetrios, Archbishop of America, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America:
In theological terms, theTheotokos is our Protectress since she is the Mother of God. We know in our human experience that the pleadings between a mother and son can carry great weight. The very special and unique relationship that the Virgin Mary held with Jesus as her Son, our Lord, makes her a truly powerful intercessor for our salvation. Therefore, whenever we pray to God and ask theTheotokos to intercede for our salvation, we are invoking intercessions which carry a distinctively high degree of influence.
This powerful role oftheTheotokos as a Divine Protectress is recognized historically and liturgically. In as much as Christians throughout history have sought the intercessions oftheTheotokos for spiritual salvation, they have also asked for her intercessions for physical protection itself. For example, historical accounts of entire masses of people praying for the intercessions oftheTheotokos to protect them from physical danger have been documented throughout the history of Constantinople during the numerous times overthe centuries when the city was under siege, until its eventual fall in 1453. Indeed, the role oftheTheotokos as a Protectress is connected with the liberation ofthe modern Greek state from Ottoman oppression in 1821. -from the website http://www.goarch.org/news/2007-03-14-archpastoralreflection
The prayer of a servant:
REJOICE, O Theotokos, O Virgin, for the Lord is with you. You have found favor with God and His grace is full upon you. Blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus and blessed are you among women, for you have borne the Savior of our souls. Mother Mary, we ask you to intercede for us before your Son as you did for the bride and groom at Cana. Add your prayers to ours: pray for the unity of the faith and the reconciliation of our Churches, pray for our families, pray for the salvation of us sinners, pray for each of us that we may not be brought to trial.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.