The Holy Virgin had the gift of this hypostatic prayer for the world already in the temple because when she was in the temple praying she made two discoveries: she discovered in her deep heart her consubstantiality with the whole of human race and so she felt united with the whole world because she received the grace of God. That grace opened her eyes to see that she was a leaf of a tree which is the whole cosmos. And of course she started her prayer and intercession for the whole world already in the temple.
She had that hypostatic prayer. Because of her great humility, she received grace, that grace helped her to discover her deep heart and in the deep heart all the great things of God happen. And there she found the hypostatic prayer. While she was in the temple being taught by the priests of the temple the scripture she came across the passage in Isaiah. (I like this very much; the following comes down through oral tradition to us) which says: “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son. And his name shall be called Emmanuel. And he shall save his people from sin.” And when she saw this by some wonderful providence of God, her whole being was ignited, illumined and she started praying in utter humility: “O God of my fathers, grant me to be worthy to be the servant, the maiden of that woman who brings Emmanuel to earth.”
In the fervor and in the ardor of this prayer, [yearning] to be the servant of that woman who bring into the world Emmanuel, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Not the servant of that woman, but the very mother of Emmanuel. Rejoice Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee…”
It makes sense, because when she triumphantly sang her song to God, she said she didn’t have anything else to offer to God but her humility—her unworthiness and her humility: “So behold, the most high looked upon the humility of his servant and made great things to me, and all generations shall call me blessed.”
It makes sense because prophetically she fulfilled the law that her son was going to give later: he who humbles himself shall be exalted. She put herself on the way, the path of the Lord, he found her as a fellow traveller and he joined to her and he took abode in her and took flesh from her and became a man, because she fulfilled prophetically the law of Christ—His whole way of coming down in order to lift us all up. It is true that in his descent to the nethermost parts of the earth and then his glorious ascent up above the heavens that he led captivity captive and gave gifts to man, which Saint Paul admires in a poetical way in the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians.
So the mother of God, a true image of God, and a true Person, a true hypostasis, and she had this and she proved that with her prayer and intercession for the whole world that she had already in the temple, before even the Annunciation.
She was a true Queen. There is a psalm, which is referring to her, which we quote [in the Proskemedia] when we extract the triangle for the Mother of God: “παρέστη ἡ βασίλισσα ἐκ δεξιῶν σου ἐν ἱματισμῷ διαχρύσῳ περιβεβλημένη πεποικιλμένη.” [Note: Psalm 44:9 LXX, which is indeed the verse read at the Proskemedia. Later in Psalm 44, verse 13 reads “All the beauty of the daughter of the king is within.”] All of the beauty of the daughter of the king is within.” The beauty that God saw and was attracted to in her [was inside of her] and he inclined the heavens and came down to earth, by seeing this inner beauty of the mother of God which the prophetical and clean eye of David declared. All the beauty of the daughter of the king is within.
Fr Zacharias of Essex