An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Most breeds of protestants do not like our "canned" prayers; indeed the term offers their contempt wholesale and infers a sort of cheapness or fakeness to the pre-written prayer...somewhat like THIS. Of course we would prefer to see things differently in that the pre-written prayer is a recipe for which we take responsibility, making it genuine or authentic or organically certified with our dedication to being watchful. This of course doesn't even begin to speak to the inherent beauty, wisdom, and tried/true qualities of the prayer!) Besides, I've had plenty of extemporaneous prayers babble away into meaninglessness...so I'm not sure what inherent worth they have - especially originating with me who does little to inspire change or insight.
In your private Orthodox prayers and in Parish services, you may (should) notice something missing...it's actually been gone since Pascha, but until recently was replaced by "Christ is Risen!" Of course I am talking about the well known prayer "O Heavenly King." Right now, as if to emphasize its being missing, we are in the void of neither having it sung nor having anything replace it. I don't know about you, but it's absence (or replacement thereof) is particularly striking to me this year and I'm looking forward to its return with Pentecost.
It's a powerful prayer and has been on my mind much as I've been listening the Fr. Stephen Freeman's podcasts about the "One Story Universe", especially this rather paradoxical notion of calling upon the Holy Spirit to come and abide in us while having only just noted a second before that He is everywhere present and fillest all things. The first perhaps representing our need and the other our lack of healed perception?
I used to be a pentecostal...even though I never really got terribly proficient at "tongue speaking" and now I feel like I'm learning to really see the third person of the Holy Trinity as a real person and not just a force to be wielded by baptized in fire Jedi Knights.
God is with us. If you pay attention you will see this constantly being hammered into us via the services and prayers and practices of our Tradition: from greeting one another with "Christ is in our Midst" to that great invocation of the Holy Spirit we are reminded that we are not going to manifest God's Kingdom, we just need to have our eyes opened and our hearts changed to see that it is already here.