Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


18 Entries

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Lord Jesus Christ our God, O God of every merciful kindness and compassion, Whose mercy is without measure, and Whose love for mankind is an unfathomable deep: Falling down before Thy greatness, with fear and trembling as unworthy servants, and now humbly rendering thanksgiving unto Thy loving-kindness for Thy benefits bestowed upon us, we glorify, praise, hymn and magnify Thee as Lord, Master, and Benefactor; and falling down again we offer thanks. We implore Thy boundless and ineffable merciful kindness, humbly praying, in that Thou hast now graciously vouchsafed to accept and to fulfill the supplications of Thy servants, so also grant that henceforth we might increase in true love of Thee, and of our neighbors, and in all of the virtues. And enable us to always thank and praise Thee, together with Thine unoriginate Father and Thy most holy and good and consubstantial Spirit. Amen. Unknown source

All prayers assume the great poverty and misery of our fallen nature; they also assume that the Lord is the ever flowing source of every perfection, every blessing; that He is our inexhaustible treasury. Truly, we must have poverty of spirit during prayer and at all times. "Blessed are the poor in spirit" (Matt. 5:3). St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

Almighty God, Lord, whose name is great, who give us entrance to the Holy of Holies through the coming of your only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we entreat and implore your goodness. Since we are full of fear and trembling as we are about to stand before your holy altar, send forth your good grace upon us, sanctify our souls, bodies and spirits and change our thoughts to true devotion, so that, with a pure conscience, we may offer you gifts, presents, fruits, for the removal of our sins, for the forgiveness of all your people, by the grace and love for humankind of your only-begotten Son, with whom you are blessed, together with your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. A prayer in the Liturgy of St James, ''

Defiled as I am by many sins, do not utterly reject me, Master, Lord, our God. For see, I draw near to this divine and heavenly mystery, not as though I were worthy, but, looking to Thy goodness, I raise my voice to Thee, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner. For I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and I am not worthy to lift up my eyes to this Thy sacred and spiritual Table, on which Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is mystically set forth as a sacrifice by me, a sinner stained by every defilement.

Therefore I bring Thee this supplication, that Thy Spirit, the Advocate, may be sent down to me, strengthening and preparing me for this ministry. And grant that without condemnation the word that has been declared by Thee may be proclaimed by me to the people in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy all-holy, good, life-giving and consubstantial Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. A prayer in the Liturgy of St James, ''

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, the triple and single light of the one Godhead, that exists singly in Trinity and is divided without division. For the one God is Trinity, whose glory the heavens declare, while earth proclaims his dominion, the sea his might and every physical and immaterial creature his greatness. For to him belongs all glory, honour, might, greatness and magnificence, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. A prayer in the Liturgy of St James, ''

Grant us Thy patience, Lord,
in these our woeful days,
The mob's wrath to endure,
The torturer's ire;
Thy unction to forgive
Our neighbors' persecution
And mild, like Thee, to bear
A bloodstained Cross.
And when the mob prevails,
And foes come to despoil us,
To suffer humbly shame,
O Saviour aid us!
And when the hour comes
To pass the last dread gate,
Breathe strength in us to pray,
Father forgive them! Tsarevna Martyr Olga Nikolaevna, 1918

I know Thee, Savior, as Deliverer, changing the decision about all my ills. Erase my sins, underwrite my remission from sin, bring me amnesty; Engrave my decree, and free me. Thou hast become, O Lord, my King and my God, Thou who dost will that all men be saved. A Prayer, The Kontakia of Romanos, Vol. II

I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant. For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything, speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . . St. Ephrem the Syrian

Jesus Christ, radiant center of glory, image of our God, the invisible Father, revealer of His eternal designs, prince of peace; Father of the world to come. For our sake he took the likeness of a slave, becoming flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, for our sake, wrapped in swaddling bands and laid in a manger adored by the shepherds and hymned by the angelic powers, who sang: Glory to God in the heavens and on earth peace and good to men. Make us worthy, Lord, to celebrate and to conclude in peace the feast which magnifies the rising of Thy light, by avoiding empty words, working with justice, fleeing from the passions, and raising up the spirit above earthly goods. Bless Thy Church, formed long ago to be united with Thou through Thy life-giving blood. Come to the aid of Thy faithful shepherds, of the priests and the teachers of the Gospel. Bless Thy faithful whose only hope is in Thy mercy; Christian souls, the sick, those who are tormented in spirit, and those who have asked us to pray for them. Have pity, in Thy infinite clemency, and preserve us in fitness to receive the future, endless, good things. We celebrate Thy glorious Nativity with the Father who sent thee for our redemption, with the life-giving Spirit, now and for ever and through all ages. Amen an ancient Syriac liturgy

Lord God, we can hope for others nothing better than the happiness we desire for ourselves. Therefore I pray Thee, do not separate me after death from those I tenderly loved on earth. Grant that where I am, they may be with me, and that I may enjoy their presence in heaven, after being so often deprived of it on earth. Lord God, I ask Thee to receive Thy beloved children immediately into Thy life-giving heart. After this brief life on earth, give them eternal happiness. St. Ambrose of Milan 4th century

O Leaven of life, Who wast sent to us by the Most High, Knead Thyself into me that I may acquire the taste of Thy sweetness. O Son of God, Who, being mingled with us, becamest one of us, May I become one with Thee, that my mouth may speak of Thee. O Great One, Who didst descend unto the last extreme of littleness, May Thy word wax great in me, who am made little by mine iniquities. Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh in The True Vine, Fall 1989

O Lord, my God, defend me Like the pupil of the eye; Be Thou my protector, and under Thy wings I shall be shielded from temptations.

Be a guard to mine eye, That it look not stealthily; Be a guard to the ear, That it hear not wickedly.

Be a guard to the mouth, And watch also the lips' That my heart incline not to vile sayings, Nor perform unrighteous deeds. St. Ephraim the Syrian. From A Prayer to the Trinity

Out of the night my spirit waketh at dawn unto Thee, O God, for Thy commandments are a light upon the earth. Learn righteousness, ye that dwell upon the earth. O Lord our God, bestow Thy peace upon us; for Thou hast given all things unto us. O Lord our God, take us for Thy possession. O Lord, besides Thee we know none other; we call upon Thy name. Selections from The Fifth Ode: A Prayer of Esaias the Prophet

Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins. St. Paisius Velichkovsky

The Prayer of Offering of St James

Master and Lord, who visits us in mercy and compassion and have granted us, humble sinners and Thy unworthy servants the grace to stand at Thy holy Altar and to offer to Thee this dread sacrifice without shedding of blood for our own sins and those committed in ignorance by the people, look on me, Thy unprofitable servant and wipe away my transgressions through Thy compassion and purify my lips and my heart from every defilement of flesh and spirit, and banish from me every base and unseemly thought, and enable me for this ministry by the power of Thy all-holy Spirit, and accept me through Thy goodness as I approach Thy holy altar, and be well pleased, Lord, for these gifts to be acceptable that are offered through our hands, being gracious to my weaknesses, and do not cast me away from Thy presence. Do not despise my unworthiness, but have mercy on me, O God, in accordance with Thy great mercy and according to the abundance of Thy compassion disregard my offences, so that, coming into the presence of Thy glory with condemnation, I may be found worthy of the protection of Thy only-begotten Son and the illumination of Thy all-holy Spirit, but as Thy servant may I find grace, mercy and forgiveness of sins both in this present age and in the age to come. Yes, Master almighty and all-powerful, listen to my supplication and grant me reprieve from my evil deeds, for it is Thou who workest all in all, and in all things we seek from Thee Thy help and assistance and that of Thy only-begotten Son and Thy good, life-giving and consubstantial Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. A prayer in the Liturgy of St James, ''

The demons are sleepless and immaterial, death is at hand, and I am weak. Lord, help me; do not let Thy creature perish, for Thou carest for me in my misery. St. Peter of Damascus

The wicked one, on the watch, carried me off as booty as I lazily slept. He led my mind into error; he plundered my spirit and snatched away The wealth of Thy grace, this arch robber. So raise me up, as I am fallen, and summon me, Saviour, Thou who dost will that all men be saved. St Romanos the Melodist - A Prayer

Thou, O Lord, hast freed us from the fear of death. Thou hast made the end of this life the beginning to us of true life. Thou for a season restest our bodies in sleep and awakest them again at the last trump. Thou givest our earth, which Thou hast fashioned with Thy hands, to the earth to keep in safety. One day Thou wilt take again what Thou hast given, transfiguring with immortality and grace our mortal and unsightly remains... Prayer of St. Macrina

Redeeming the Time

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