Praying with Holy Icons

icon-stmHoly icons are vehicles for prayer, doors to divine things.

A good way to start is in silence. It is prayer just to look attentively at an icon and let God speak to you. Remember, when we approach an icon we are approaching God.

An icon is a real presence; the holy person depicted is truly here with you. You may want to talk to that presence; confess to that presence; venerate that presence; or take comfort in that presence.

Icons also speak to our minds, reminding us of the words of Scripture and our traditions. Consider the symbolism in the icon and think on it in your heart.

Below you will find a few prayers you might like to use with the icons.

A Song of the Incarnation

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, full of grace and truth.

A Prayer with Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

A Prayer with Michael

Pray for us, O glorious Michael, prince of the church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of his promises. Heal us of every ill and defend us in our afflictions; that devils and despair may fly from us, and the joy of heaven fill our hearts.

An Anglican Collect

Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Celtic Prayers

to Michael

Be this soul on thine arm, O Christ,
Thou king of the city of heaven.
And may the strong Michael,
high king of the angels,
Be preparing the path before
this soul, O God.
Oh! the strong Michael in peace
with thee, soul,
And preparing for thee the way to
the Kingdom of
the Son of God.

O Michael of the angels
And the righteous in heaven,
Shield thou my soul
With the shade of thy wing.;
Shield thou my soul
On earth and in heaven;
From foes upon earth,
From foes beneath earth,
From foes in concealment
Protect and encircle
My soul ’neath thy wing.
Oh my soul with the shade of thy wing!

Valiant Michael, meet thou my soul,
morn and eve, day and night.
May it be so.