A Prayer Rule for Those Struggling with Despondency or Despair Suggested by Saint Seraphim of Sarov

 

A Prayer Rule for Those Struggling with Despondency or Despair Suggested by Saint Seraphim of Sarov

Do not listen to where your thoughts send you, but pray like this:

Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for the shall be filled.
Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heave.
Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Both Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Remember me, O Master, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.
Remember me, O Holy One, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.

O all-hymned Mother who didst bear the Word, holiest of all the saints, accept now our offering, and deliver us from all misfortune, and rescue from the torment to come those that cry to thee: ‘Alleluia” (3x)

Remember, Lord, our father St Seraphim; and remember me, (your own name,) O Lord.

In this way the Lord will forgive my sins and yours as well. And so we shall be saved!

Additional Prayers When Attacked by Despair

The Prayer of St. Antioch

Trusting, O Lord, in the abyss of Thy loving-kindness, I offer Thee this prayer from my foul mouth and my unclean lips. Remember me, for Thy holy name was invoked over me and Thou hast redeemed me with the price of Thy blood, for Thou hast sealed me with the betrothal of Thy Holy Spirit and Thou has raised me from the depth of my transgressions, that I should not be seized by the enemy.
O Jesus Christ, defend me and be my strong helper in my struggle, for I am a slave of lust and I am assailed by it. But Thou, O Lord, leave me not cast to the earth and condemned by my deeds. Free me, O Lord, from the evil slavery of the prince of this world and make me Thine own in Thy commandments. Thy Person is the way of my life, O my Christ, and the light of my eyes. O God, Master and Lord, give me not roving eyes, and dispel from me evil lust. Defend me with Thy holy arm. Let not longings and lusts overwhelm me, and give me not up to a shameless soul.
May the light of Thy presence shine in me, O Lord, lest darkness overwhelm me, and I be snatched by those who walk in the night. Do not surrender to invisible beasts, O Lord, a soul which confesses to Thee. Do not allow Thy servant, O Lord, to be wounded by alien dogs.
Grant me to be a receptacle of Thy Spirit, and make me a house of Thy Christ, Holy Father. O Guide of the lost, guide me lest I stray to the left. I long to see Thy face, O Lord. O God, guide me by the light of Thy countenance.
Grant me, Thy servant, a fountain of tears, and give Thy creature the dew of Thy Holy Spirit, lest I wither like the fig tree which Thou didst curse; and let tears be my drink, and prayer my food.
Turn, O Lord, my weeping into joy and receive me into Thine eternal tabernacles. Let Thy mercy overtake me, O Lord, and Thy bounty encompass me, and pardon all my sins, for Thou art the true God Who pardonest transgressions. And do not allow, O Lord, the work of Thy hands to be put to shame on account of the multitude of my transgressions, but call me, O Lord, through Thine only-begotten Son, our Savior.
And raise me who lie prostrate like Levi the publican, and quicken me who am slain by my sins, like the son of the widow.
For Thou alone art the Resurrection of the dead, and to Thee is due the glory forever. Amen.

And another prayer St Seraphim advised people to say in moments of despondency and as an antidote to despair:

Master and Lord of Heaven and earth and King of the ages! Deign to open the door of repentance to me, for in anguish I pray to Thee, our true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. Look upon me in Thy great loving-kindness and accept my prayer. Incline Thine ear to my prayer and forgive me all the evil that I have done by the abuse of my free will. Behold, I seek rest, yet I do not find it, for I have not received forgiveness from my conscience. I thirst for peace, but there is no peace in me from the dark abyss of my transgressions. Hear, O Lord, a heart which cries to Thee. Regard not my evil deeds, but consider the agony of my soul and make haste to heal me who am badly wounded. By the grace of Thy love for men give me time for repentance and deliver me from my shameful deeds. Reward me not according to Thy justice and requite me not according to my deeds, lest I finally perish.
Hear me, O Lord, in my despair. Behold, I am bereft of my will and of every thought of amendment. Therefore, I have recourse to Thy compassion. Have mercy on me, cast down and condemned on account of my sins. O Lord, rescue me who am enslaved and held by my evil deeds, as if I were shackled with chains. Thou Alone knowest how to set prisoners free; and as Thou Alone knowest secret things, Thou headset wounds which are known to no one, but seen by Thee.
Therefore, being tortured in every way by cruel pains, I cry only to Thee, the Physician of all who are afflicted, the Door of those who know without, the Way of the lost, the Light of those in darkness, the Redeemer of those in bonds, who ever restrainest Thy right-hand and witholdest Thine anger prepared for sinners, but who givest time for repentance through Thy great love for me.
O Thou Who art quick to show mercy and slow to punish, shine the light of Thy countenance upon me, who have fallen badly, O Lord. And in Thy loving-kindness stretch out Thy hand to me and raise me from the depth of my transgressions.
For Thou Alone art our God, Who dost not rejoice at the destruction of sinners, and Who dost not turn away Thy face from those who cry to Thee with tears.
Hear, O Lord, the voice of Thy servant who cries to Thee, and manifest Thy light to me who am deprived of light. And give me Thy grace, for I have no hope whatever, that I may always trust in Thy help and power. Turn my weeping into joy, rend my rage and gird me with gladness.
And grant that I may rest from my dark deeds and enjoy the morning calm with Thy chosen, O Lord, whence all pain, sorrow, and sighing have fled away. And may the door of Thy Kingdom be opened to me, that I may enter with those who rejoice in the light of Thy countenance, O Lord, and that even I may receive eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

 

A prayer rule for those struggling with despondency or despair suggested by St Seraphim of Sarov found in the book An Extraordinary Peace, pages 337-340.


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