Also, I happened to check on Marianna yesterday in time to read that they were having a paraklesis for her yesterday evening. I read the prayers of the paraklesis to the Mother of God that evening with both this little girl and my friend in mind. Here are a couple of prayers from that service:
Holy Michael Archangel, defend us in the day of battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down to hell Satan and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
Bedridden, I lie supine with sickness now, and there is no healing for my flesh; but to thee O good one who gavest birth to God the Savior of the world and the Healer of infirmities, I pray: From corruption of illness raise me up.And:
O protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, O mediation unto the Creator unfailing: Disdain not the suppliant voices of sinners; but be thou quick, O good one, to help us who in faith cry unto thee: hasten to intercession, and speed thou to make supplication, thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.Lord have mercy! Lord have mercy! Lord have mercy!
***A note on praying to the Theotokos (Mary) and the Saints:
If you are a reader who has difficulty with these things, we see praying to Mary and the Saints simply as requesting someone who is incredibly close to God to pray for us to Him, in nearly the same way that we would ask a living person to pray for us (as I have on this blog). Some of his saints and angles have demonstrated to us already that they particularly seem to have God's ear in all or certain matters.
And as for Mary, the Mother of God, who was closer to Jesus than her? Theotokos means "one who bore God." The living God actually dwelt in her womb and she was able to "see God and live." The heavens cannot contain God, yet her womb did! She literally said "yes" to God, allowed Jesus to live within her, and then bore him to the world. She is the prototype Christian and as we are Jesus's adopted brothers and sisters, that makes Mary our adopted Mother, and who do we run to when this world hurts, but our Mother? While we may use terms like "Save us" or "Heal us" or "mediation," we do not mean these in the way that Jesus saves, heals, or mediates, but in the way that we might say our friend has saved us through his prayers.
Most Holy Theotokos, pray to God for us!