The Feast of the Beads
It is the custom at St. Simeon Skete to anoint our prayer ropes (beads) with sweet smelling oil on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels because our prayers are likened as the sweet smelling incense that the angels offer to the throne of God.
The angels are waiting for us to pray. Picture in your mind, angels leaning over from heaven catching our prayers that rise as incense and quickly offering them at the throne of God. I can see them holding their golden bowls peering down at us, whispering "more prayers, more prayers."
Relative to the Bowl:
- If we don't pray, we are like an overturned bowl, nothing can enter (Isa 28:12; Mk. 8:18).
- If we don't put our prayers into practice, we are like a bowl with a hole in it - everything leaks out (James 1:22; 4:17).
- If we are double-minded in our prayer, this is similar to using an unclean bowl, contaminating what it receives (James 1: 8; Mt. 23:25).
- If we don't pray the bowl becomes full of ourselves - like the "inn" where there was no room for Him (Lk. 2:7; Rev. 3:20).
- If we don't pray, we become untrusting so that whatever is placed in the bowl will never be enough (Lk. 2:25-32; Mt. 6:33).