O Holy Spirit, All-powerful God; Gracious Comforter and Almighty Defender; Giver of Wisdom, and Light of Revelation; Who by Thy descent didst bring the uttermost parts of the world to the only true knowledge of God: Do Thou come down even upon us, who grieve Thee always, to enlighten and sanctify us, to heal and comfort us with Thine abiding comfort.
A Prayer for the New Year and Every Day
By Elder Sophrony of Essex
O Lord Eternal and Creator of all things, Who of Thine inscrutable goodness didst call me to this life; Who didst bestow on me the grace of Baptism and the Seal of the Holy Spirit; Who hast imbued me with the desire to seek Thee, the one true God: hear my prayer.
I have no life, no light, no joy or wisdom; no strength except in Thee, O God. Because of my unrighteousness I dare not raise my eyes to Thee. But Thou didst say to Thy disciples, ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive’ and ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do’. Wherefore I dare to invoke Thee. Purify me from all taint of flesh and spirit. Teach me to pray aright.
Bless this day which Thou dost give unto me, Thine unworthy servant. By the power of Thy blessing enable me at all times to speak and act to Thy glory with a pure spirit, with humility, patience, love, gentleness, peace, courage and wisdom: aware always of Thy presence.
Of Thine immense goodness, O Lord God, shew me the path of Thy will, and grant me to walk in Thy sight without sin.
O Lord, unto Whom all hearts be open, Thou knowest what things I have need of. Thou art acquainted with my blindness and my ignorance, Thou knowest my infirmity and my soul’s corruption; but neither are my pain and anguish hid from Thee. Wherefore I beseech Thee, hear my prayer and by Thy Holy Spirit teach me the way wherein I should walk; and when my perverted will would lead me down other paths spare me not, O Lord, but force me back to Thee. By the power of Thy love, grant me to hold fast to that which is good. Preserve me from every word or deed that corrupts the soul; from every impulse unpleasing in Thy sight and hurtful to my brother. Teach me what I should say and how I should speak. If it be Thy will that I make no answer, inspire me to keep silent in a spirit of peace that causeth neither sorrow nor hurt to my fellow.
Establish me in the path of Thy commandments and to my last breath let me not stray from the light of Thine ordinances, that Thy commandments may become the sole law of my being on this earth and in all eternity.
Yea, Lord, I pray Thee, have pity on me. Spare me in mine affliction and my misery and hide not the way of salvation from me.
In my foolishness, O God, I plead with Thee for many and great things. Yet am I ever mindful of my wickedness, my baseness, my vileness. Have mercy upon me. Cast me not away from Thy presence because of my presumption. Do Thou rather increase in me this presumption, and grant unto me, the worst of men, to love Thee as Thou hast commanded, with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind, and with all my strength: with my whole being.
Yea, O Lord, by thy Holy Spirit, teach me good judgment and knowledge. Grant me to know Thy truth before I go down into the grave. Maintain my life in this world until I may offer unto Thee worthy repentance. Take me not away in the midst of my days, nor while my mind is still blind. When Thou shalt be pleased to bring my life to an end, forewarn me that I may prepare my soul to come before Thee. Be with me, O Lord, at that dread hour and grant me the joy of salvation. Cleanse Thou me from secret faults, from all iniquity that is hid in me; and give me a right answer before Thy judgment-seat.
Yea, Lord, of Thy great mercy and immeasurable love for mankind, Hear my prayer. Amen.
Prayer at Daybreak
By Elder Sophrony of Essex
Eternal King without beginning, Thou who art before all ages, my Maker, Who hast summoned all things from non-being into this life: bless this day that Thou, in Thine incomprehensible goodness, hast given me. By the power of Thy blessing enable me at all times in this coming day to speak and act for Thee, to Thy glory, in Thy fear, according to Thy will, with a pure spirit, with humility, patience, love, gentleness, peace, courage, wisdom and prayer, aware everywhere of Thy presence.
Yea, Lord, in Thine immense mercy, lead me by Thine All-Holy Spirit into every good work and word, and grant me to walk all my life long in Thy sight without stumbling, according to Thy righteousness that Thou hast revealed to us, that I may not add to my transgressions.
O Lord, great in mercy, spare me who am perishing in wickedness; do not hide Thy face from me. And when my perverted will would lead me down other paths, do not forsake me, my Savior, but force me back to Thy holy path.
O Thou Who art good, to Whom all hearts are open, Thou knowest my poverty and my foolishness, my blindness and my uselessness, but the sufferings of my soul are also before Thee. Wherefore I beseech Thee: hear me in mine affliction and fill me with Thy strength from above. Raise me up who am paralyzed with sin, and deliver me who am enslaved to the passions. Heal me from every hidden wound. Purify me from all taint of flesh and spirit. Preserve me from every inward and outward impulse that is unpleasing in Thy sight and hurtful to my brother.
I beseech Thee: establish me in the path of Thy commandments and to my last breath do not let me stray from the light of Thine ordinances, so that Thy commandments may become the sole law of my being in this life and in all eternity.
O God, my God, I plead with Thee for many and great things: do not disregard me. Do not cast me away from Thy presence because of my presumption and boldness, but by the power of Thy love lead me in the path of Thy will. Grant me to love Thee as Thou hast commanded, with all my heart, soul, reason, and with all my strength: with my whole being.
For Thou alone art the holy protection and all-powerful defender of my life, and to Thee I ascribe glory and offer my prayer.
Grant me to know Thy truth before I depart this life. Maintain my life in this world until I may offer Thee true repentance. Do not take me away in the midst of my days, and when Thou art pleased to bring my life to an end, forewarn me of my death, so that I may prepare my soul to come before Thee.
Be with me then, O Lord, on my great and sacred day, and grant me the joy of Thy salvation. Cleanse me from manifest and secret sins, from all iniquity hidden in me; and give me a right answer before Thy dread judgment-seat. Amen.
A PRAYER IN TIME OF TROUBLE
O God, our help and assistance, Who art just and merciful, and Who heareth the supplications of Thy people; look down upon me, a miserable sinner, have mercy upon me, and deliver me from this trouble that besets me, for which, I know, I am deservedly suffering. I acknowledge and believe, O Lord, that all trials of this life are given for our chastisement, when we drift away from Thee, and disobey Thy commandments; deal not with me after my sins, but according to Thy bountiful mercies, for I am the work of Thy hands, and thou knowest my weakness. Grant me, I beseech Thee, Thy divine helping grace, and endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to Thy Will. Thou knowest my misery and suffering and to Thee, my only hope and refuge, I flee for relief and comfort; trusting to Thine infinite love and compassion, that in due time, when thou knowest best, thou wilt deliver me from this trouble, and turn my distress into comfort, when I shall rejoice in Thy mercy, and exalt and praise Thy Holy Name, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
In quest of a spiritual healer
“O Lord, who desirest not the death of a sinner but that he should turn and live, Thou who didst come down to earth in order to restore life to those lying dead through sin and in order to make them worthy of seeing Thee the true light as far as that is possible to man, send me a man who knows Thee, so that in serving him and subjecting myself to him with all my strength, as to Thee, and in doing Thy will in his, I may please Thee the only true God, and so that even I, a sinner, may be worthy of Thy Kingdom”.
—St. Symeon the New Theologian
For knowledge of God and love for Him
“Make me worthy, O Lord, to know and love Thee, not with knowledge from the exercise of a scattered nous; but make me worthy of that knowledge whereby, beholding Thee, the nous glorifies Thy nature, in divine vision which robs the mind of awareness of the world. Account me worthy to be lifted above my will’s wandering eye which begets imaginings, and to behold Thee in the constraint of the Cross’s bond, in the second part of the crucifixion of the nous, which willingly ceases from its conceptual imagings to abide in Thy continuous vision that surpasses nature. Implant in my heart an increase of Thy love, that it may be drawn back from this world by fervent love for Thee. Awake in me understanding of Thy humility, wherewith Thou didst sojourn in the world in the covering of flesh which Thou didst bear from our members by the mediation of the Holy Virgin, that with this continual and unfailing recollection I may accept the humility of my nature with delight.
—St. Isaac the Syrian
A PRAYER OF MARRIED PERSONS
O merciful God, we bessech thee ever to remind us that the married state is holy, and that we must keep it so; grant us thy grace, that we may continue in love and faithfulness; increase in us the spirit of mutual understanding and trust, that no quarrel or strife may come between us; grant us thy blessings, that we may stand before our fellows and in thy sight as an ideal family; and finally, by thy mercy, account us worthy of everlasting life: for thou art our sanctification, and to thee we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
A PRAYER OF REPENTANCE
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended Thee, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray Thee, O Lord: of thy mercy forgive me all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian to the Most Holy Spirit
O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, have compassion and mercy on Thy sinful servant and pardon my unworthiness, and forgive me all the sins that I humanly committed today, and not only humanly but even worse than a beast – my voluntary sins, known and unknown, from my youth and from evil suggestions, and from my brazenness, and from boredom. If I have sworn by Thy Name or blasphemed it in thought, blamed or reproached anyone, or in my anger have detracted or slandered anyone, or grieved anyone, or if I have got angry about anything, or have told a lie, if I have slept unnecessarily, or if a beggar has come to me and I despised or neglected him, or if I have troubled my brother or quarrelled with him, or if I have condemned anyone, or have boasted, or have been proud, or lost my temper with anyone, or if when standing in prayer my mind has been distracted by the glamour of this world, or if I have had depraved thoughts or have overeaten, or have drunk excessively, or have laughed frivolously, or have thought evil, or have seen the attraction of someone and been wounded by it in my heart, or said indecent things, or made fun of my brother’s sin when my own faults are countless, or been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I cannot remember — for I have done all this and much more — have mercy, my Lord and Creator, on me Thy wretched and unworthy servant, and absolve and forgive and deliver me in Thy goodness and love for men, so that, lustful, sinful and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, praise and glorify Thy most honourable Name, with the Father and His only-begotten Son, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Reading from the Book of Leviticus (26:3-12, 14-17, 19-24)
THE Lord spake to the sons of Israel, saying: If ye will walk in My ordinances, and keep My commandments, and do them, then will I give you the rain in its season, and the land shall produce its fruits, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit; and your threshing time shall reach unto the vintage, and your vintage shall reach unto your seed-time; and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and ye shall dwell safely upon your land, and none shall make you afraid; and I will destroy the beasts out of your land, and war shall not go through your land; and your enemies shall fall before you; and five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase tens of thousands; and I will look upon you, and bless you, and increase you, and multiply you, and establish My covenant with you; and ye shall eat that which is old, and very old, and shall bring forth the old to make way for the new; and My soul shall not abhor you; and I will walk among you, and be your God, and ye shall be My people. But if ye will not hearken to Me, nor do these Mine ordinances, but disobey them, and your soul shall loathe My judgments, so that ye should not keep all My commands, then will I do thus to you: I will bring upon you perplexity, and ye shall sow your seeds in vain, and your enemies shall eat your labours; and I will set My face against you, and ye shall fall before your enemies, and they shall pursue you; and ye shall flee, no one pursuing you; and I will crush the haughtiness of your pride; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass; and your strength shall be in vain, and your land shall not yield its seed, and the trees of the field shall not yield their fruit; and I will send upon you the wild beasts of the land, and they shall consume your cattle; and the sword coming upon you shall make you few in number; and your land shall be desolate; and your habitations shall be desolate, for ye have walked perversely towards Me, and I will walk towards you with a perverse anger. Thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel.
+ LORD HAVE MERCY ! LORD HAVE MERCY ! LORD HAVE MERCY ! +
St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco —
NOTHING IS FEARFUL TO HIM WHO RELIES ON GOD (link)
PSALM 90 (LXX)
He that dwelleth in the help of the Most High shall abide in the shelter of the God of heaven.
He shall say unto the Lord: Thou art my helper and my refuge. He is my God, and I will hope in Him.
For He shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunters and from every troubling word.
With His shoulders will He overshadow thee, and under His wings shalt thou have hope.
With a shield will His truth encompass thee; thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day,
Nor for the thing that walketh in darkness, nor for the mishap and demon of noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but unto thee shall it not come nigh.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and thou shalt see the reward of sinners.
For Thou, O Lord, art my hope. Thou madest the Most High thy refuge;
No evils shall come nigh thee, and no scourge shall draw nigh unto thy dwelling.
For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
On their hands shall they bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Upon the asp and basilisk shalt thou tread, and thou shalt trample upon the lion and dragon.
For he hath set his hope on Me, and I will deliver him; I will shelter him because he hath known My Name.
He shall cry unto Me, and I will hearken unto him. I am with him in affliction, and I will rescue him and glorify him.
With length of days will I satisfy him, and I will show him My salvation.
THE SIX PSALMS
from ORTHROS (Matins)
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will towards men. (3x)
O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise. (3x)
A PSALM OF DAVID. WHEN HE FLED FROM THE FACE OF ABESSALOM HIS SON, IN THE WILDERNESS.
O Lord, why are they multiplied that afflict me? Many rise up against me. Many say unto my soul: There is no salvation for him in his God. But Thou, O Lord, art my helper, my glory, and the lifter up of my head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy mountain. I laid me down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord will help me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord, save me, O my God, for Thou hast smitten all who without cause are mine enemies; the teeth of sinners hast Thou broken. Salvation is of the Lord, and Thy blessing is upon Thy people.
I laid me down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord will help me.
A PSALM OF DAVID. IN REMEMBRANCE. CONCERNING THE SABBATH.
O Lord, rebuke me not in Thine anger, nor chasten me in Thy wrath. For Thine arrows are fastened in me, and Thou hast laid Thy hand heavily upon me. There is no healing in my flesh in the face of Thy wrath; and there is no peace in my bones in the face of my sins. For mine iniquities are risen higher than my head; as a heavy burden have they pressed heavily upon me. My bruises are become noisome and corrupt in the face of my folly. I have been wretched and utterly bowed down until the end; all the day long I went with downcast face. For my loins are filled with mockings, and there is no healing in my flesh. I am afflicted and humbled exceedingly, I have roared from the groaning of my heart. O Lord, before Thee is all my desire, and my groaning is not hid from Thee. My heart is troubled, my strength hath failed me; and the light of mine eyes, even this is not with me. My friends and my neighbours drew nigh over against me and stood, and my nearest of kin stood afar off. And they that sought after my soul used violence; and they that sought evils for me spake vain things, and craftiness all the day long did they meditate. But as for me, like a deaf man I heard them not, and was as a speechless man that openeth not his mouth. And I became as a man that heareth not, and that hath in his mouth no reproofs. For in Thee have I hoped, O Lord; Thou wilt hearken unto me, O Lord my God. For I said: Let never mine enemies rejoice over me; yea, when my feet were shaken, those men spake boastful words against me. For I am ready for scourges, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity, and I will take heed concerning my sin. But mine enemies live and are made stronger than I, and they that hated me unjustly are multiplied. They that render me evil for good slandered me, because I pursued goodness. Forsake me not, O Lord my God, depart not from me. Be attentive unto my help, O Lord of my salvation.
Forsake me not, O Lord my God, depart not from me. Be attentive unto my help, O Lord of my salvation.
A PSALM OF DAVID. WHEN HE WAS IN THE WILDERNESS OF JUDEA.
O God, my God, unto Thee I rise early at dawn. My soul hath thirsted for Thee; how often hath my flesh longed after Thee in a land barren and untrodden and unwatered. So in the sanctuary have I appeared before Thee to see Thy power and Thy glory, For Thy mercy is better than lives; my lips shall praise Thee. So shall I bless Thee in my life, and in Thy name will I lift up my hands. As with marrow and fatness let my soul be filled, and with lips rejoicing shall my mouth praise Thee. If I remembered Thee on my bed, at the dawn I meditated on Thee. For Thou art become my helper; in the shelter of Thy wings will I rejoice. My soul hath cleaved after Thee, Thy right hand hath been quick to help me. But as for these, in vain have they sought after my soul; they shall go into the nethermost parts of the earth, they shall be surrendered unto the edge of the sword; portions for foxes shall they be. But the king shall be glad in God, everyone shall be praised that sweareth by Him; for the mouth of them is stopped that speak unjust things.
At the dawn I meditated on Thee. For Thou art become my helper; in the shelter of Thy wings will I rejoice. My soul hath cleaved after Thee, Thy right hand hath been quick to help me.
The following prayers are said without bows or the sign of the Cross:
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia: Glory to Thee, O God. (3x)
Lord, have mercy. (3x)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
A PSALMIC ODE FOR THE SONS OF KORE. FOR THE END: CONCERNING THE RESPONSE OF MAELETH. CONCERNING THE GIVING OF A WISE INSTRUCTION TO AEMON THE ISRAELITE.
O Lord God of my salvation, by day have I cried and by night before Thee. Let my prayer come before Thee, bow down Thine ear unto my supplication, For filled with evils is my soul, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh. I am counted with them that go down into the pit; I am become as a man without help, free among the dead, Like the bodies of the slain that sleep in the grave, whom Thou rememberest no more, and they are cut off from Thy hand. They laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness and in the shadow of death. Against me is Thine anger made strong, and all Thy billows hast Thou brought upon me. Thou hast removed my friends afar from me; they have made me an abomination unto themselves. I have been delivered up, and have not come forth; mine eyes are grown weak from poverty. I have cried unto Thee, O Lord, the whole day long; I have stretched out my hands unto Thee. Nay, for the dead wilt Thou work wonders? Or shall physicians raise them up that they may give thanks unto Thee? Nay, shall any in the grave tell of Thy mercy, and of Thy truth in that destruction? Nay, shall Thy wonders be known in that darkness, and Thy righteousness in that land that is forgotten? But as for me, unto Thee, O Lord, have I cried; and in the morning shall my prayer come before Thee. Wherefore, O Lord, dost Thou cast off my soul and turnest Thy face away from me? A poor man am I, and in troubles from my youth; yea, having been exalted, I was humbled and brought to distress. Thy furies have passed upon me, and Thy terrors have sorely troubled me. They came round about me like water, all the day long they compassed me about together. Thou hast removed afar from me friend and neighbour, and mine acquaintances because of my misery.
O Lord God of my salvation, by day have I cried and by night before Thee. Let my prayer come before Thee, bow down Thine ear unto my supplication.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all that He hath done for thee, Who is gracious unto all thine iniquities, Who healeth all thine infirmities, Who redeemeth thy life from corruption, Who crowneth thee with mercy and compassion, Who fulfilleth thy desire with good things; thy youth shall be renewed as the eagle’s. The Lord performeth deeds of mercy, and executeth judgement for all them that are wronged. He hath made His ways known unto Moses, unto the sons of Israel the things that He hath willed. Compassionate and merciful is the Lord, long-suffering and plenteous in mercy; not unto the end will He be angered, neither unto eternity will He be wroth. Not according to our iniquities hath He dealt with us, neither according to our sins hath He rewarded us. For according to the height of heaven from the earth, the Lord hath made His mercy to prevail over them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our iniquities from us. Like as a father hath compassion upon his sons, so hath the Lord had compassion upon them that fear Him; for He knoweth whereof we are made, He hath remembered that we are dust. As for man, his days are as the grass; as a flower of the field, so shall he blossom forth. For when the wind is passed over it, then it shall be gone, and no longer will it know the place thereof. But the mercy of the Lord is from eternity, even unto eternity, upon them that fear Him. And His righteousness is upon sons of sons, upon them that keep His testament and remember His commandments to do them. The Lord in heaven hath prepared His throne, and His kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the Lord, all ye His angels, mighty in strength, that perform His word, to hear the voice of His words. Bless the Lord, all ye His hosts, His ministers that do His will. Bless the Lord, all ye His works, in every place of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
In every place of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
DAVID’S. WHEN HIS SON ABESSALOM PURSUED HIM.
O Lord, hear my prayer, give ear unto my supplication in Thy truth; hearken unto me in Thy righteousness. And enter not into judgement with Thy servant, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath humbled my life down to the earth. He hath sat me in darkness as those that have been long dead, and my spirit within me is become despondent; within me my heart is troubled. I remembered days of old, I meditated on all Thy works, I pondered on the creations of Thy hands. I stretched forth my hands unto Thee; my soul thirsteth after Thee like a waterless land. Quickly hear me, O Lord; my spirit hath fainted away. Turn not Thy face away from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Thy mercy in the morning; for in Thee have I put my hope. Cause me to know, O Lord, the way wherein I should walk; for unto Thee have I lifted up my soul. Rescue me from mine enemies, O Lord; unto Thee have I fled for refuge. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. Thy good Spirit shall lead me in the land of uprightness; for Thy name’s sake, O Lord, shalt Thou quicken me. In Thy righteousness shalt Thou bring my soul out of affliction, and in Thy mercy shalt Thou utterly destroy mine enemies. And Thou shalt cut off all them that afflict my soul, for I am Thy servant.
Hearken unto me in Thy righteousness. And enter not into judgement with Thy servant. (2x)
Thy good Spirit shall lead me in the land of uprightness.
GLORY TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, BOTH NOW AND EVER AND UNTO AGES OF AGES. AMEN. ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA: GLORY TO THEE, O GOD. (2x). ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA: GLORY TO THEE, O GOD OUR HOPE, O LORD, GLORY BE TO THEE.