What Orthodox Icons to Use for Prayer? Part I
As you know, Orthodox icons are often referred to as “windows into heaven.” This idea comes from Christology, the field of study concerned with Jesus Christ, His divine and human natures, the Resurrection, and the Incarnation. The fact is that God revealed Himself physically to humanity, which allowed us to depict Him; hence, the idea that the invisible world can become visible through holy icons. Thereby, it is believed that praying with Orthodox icons gives us an opportunity to look into the divine, thus making these beautiful pieces of religious art much more than simply a manifestation of someone’s creativity and talent. This is also the reason why holy icons are venerated and treated with respect by both Christian believers and art collectors.
However, praying with Orthodox icons is still an ancient practice that requires a complete understanding of what you are doing and why you are doing that. Moreover, since there are lots of religious icons of different types, it is important to know what icons you can use for prayer. Obviously, the first in this list are icons of Jesus Christ and the Mother of God. In particular, you can use the following:
- Christ Pantocrator (The Lord Almighty) – one of the most important Eastern Orthodox icons, which is placed at the center of the iconostasis, and also the first icon to pray with
- Made Without Hands – another important religious icon with incredibly strong energy that gives healing, helps save the soul, and shows the true path
- The Theotokos of Vladimir – the main shrine of Russia that helps make especially important decisions related to the fateful moments of life
- The Iver Mother of God – gives healing and protects against enemies, diseases, slander, and evil
- Our Lady of Kazan – blesses the marriage and helps in everyday life and work
- Panagia Pelagonitissa – one of the most favorite Marian icons in Russia that helps in childbirth
- The Mother of God “Tenderness” – gives healing and protects against diseases
- The Mother of God “Softener of Evil Hearts” – alleviates mental suffering, improves relationship, and shows the way of mercy
- The Mother of God “Seven Arrows” – protects from irreconcilable enemies and eliminates sinful thoughts
- Our Lady of the Sign – helps mothers protect their children in situations of imminent danger
- The Mother of God “Surety of Sinners” – helps those who have sinned and repented
This list is certainly not exhaustive, so stay with us to learn more about Eastern Orthodox icons and how they can be used for prayer.