Hippolytus Prayer Instructions
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Pray Upon Rising 139

Polycarp and Prayer

HippolytusHippolytus prayer instructions (see picture of his statue at right) advised people living an home to pray upon rising, then at the third, sixth, and ninth hours, before going to bed, and even at midnight. On days when there is no common meeting for religious instruction, the faithful are to read a "holy book" at home. With the rise of Christian art, new domestic forms arose for expressing faith in the form of amulets, religious symbols, and clothing with illustrated Gospel stories on them. Carolyn Osiek and David L. Balch add in "Families in the New Testament World - Households and House Churches" "They appear like painted walls. In doing this they consider themselves to be religious and to be wearing clothes that are agreeable to God."

Irenaeus Lasting Impression

PolycarpIrenaeus adds some words on the same theme. He was Bishop of Lyons in Gaul (now France) from A.D.177 to 200, and wrote about the preaching of the aged bishop, Polycarp, (see likeness of Polycarp at left) in the house church at Smyrna. Irenaeus in his boyhood had heard Polycarp preach, and this preaching made a lasting impression upon him. "Lessons received as a boy, make an impression which becomes part of the mind, and the impression remains, growing as the mind grows. So I can tell the very place where the blessed Polycarp, sitting down, used to preach, his comings out and goings in, his bodily appearance and the talks which he used to make for the congregation." John Foster in "The First Advance - Church History 1: AD 29-500" adds, "He used to talk of his going about with John, and with the others who had seen the Lord, about their sayings, this and that which he had heard from them about the Lord, about his mighty acts and his teaching. And because Polycarp had received it from eyewitnesses of the Word of life, Polycarp used to tell everything just as it is in the Scriptures. Even then, the mercy of God was upon me, and I used to listen eagerly, noting these things, not on paper, but in my heart."

"Hippolytus Prayer Instructions"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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