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prayer

Just An Impatient Servant -an original poem

Dear Lord,
where’s my home
under country sky and watchful eye
of demonic evil host?
O Lord, where’s a home of my own?

My Christ,
where is my bride
unfaithful as I with greatly lusting eye
never resting at my side?
Bridegroom, where’s a bride of my own?

Our Father,
where is my son
disobedient as I, whining with “Why?”
who from Wisdom runs?
Abba Father, where’s a son of my own?

For Lord, a strong desire in my mire
gives thoughts to my heart, igniting a fire
which burns until I am tired
and thus I ask for good
which now would be for bad.

So Christ, give love from above
with the Spirit as a dove.
For though this season is tough
I might discern the good
from what may be to me for bad.

And Father, give strength that at length
myself all spent
following canon unbent
Your ordinances kept to teach me good
and wisdom to see such may be for bad.

For if I’ve no love now
I’ll have none then
when life I’ve spent unfaithful
and all statutes broken
turning all from faith and friends.

Just An Impatient Servant -an original poem

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.

The Prayer of the Arimathean – An Original Poem

THE LAMENT

I, Joseph, weep for my Lord.
The Son of David has been crucified.
The children of flesh, of their father the devil,
Not according to the promises,
Have struck the Shepherd
And all we like sheep have gone astray.
The bulls surrounded Him,
Like their fathers encamped around the prophets,
And He was poured out like water.
The One to Whom the government
Was given was wounded and bruised,
Though He opened not His mouth.

I was not afraid to approach Him
For I was not deceitful and
I paid my vows in God’s assembly,
Trusting the Lord from my heart and
Not from vain and empty lips.
Although I know the Law,
I do not know Your mysteries.
And though I teach righteousness,
I do not know what You have hidden.

You laid the foundation of the world,
And established Israel.
In the parting of the waters they were made.
You drew out Leviathan with a fishhook
And drowned Pharaoh with his army.
You placed the stars in the heavens,
And Your angels rejoiced.
You satisfied the wilderness with rain,
And, in Your power, Leviathan was given for food to beasts.
You gave the wind it’s weight
And made a way for the lightning.
The fear of You, You have said, is the beginning of wisdom
And to turn from evil is knowledge.

Israel angered You in the wilderness,
Yet You loved them
And gave them angels’ bread.
Though they provoked You,
You brought their children to the land You promised.
In faithfulness have You dealt with us,
And we repaid You with idolatry.
You gave us David, Your friend,
And You gave him an everlasting kingdom.
His son established the Temple
And, coming in fire, Your glory dwelt there.
But we would not turn away from our whoring,
Continually making sacrifice to demons
And persecuting Your prophets.
Therefore, You gave us up to the demons of the nations;
You have set Gentile rulers over us.
First Israel fell to Assyria,
Then Judah to Babylon.
Oh Lord, they have reigned over us until now.

I have searched, Oh God of Jacob.
I have searched the words of Your prophets.
I know Elijah has come and
Has baptized many in the Jordan.
I know the Christ comes after
And restores the kingdom to Israel.
I have seen Jesus, the Son of David.
I know what I have seen:
The heavens were opened
When the Son of David was immersed.
The blind man Bartimaeus can see,
The deaf man of Decapolis hear,
The leper of Galilee was cleansed,
And the dead were raised:
Jairus’ daughter and even Lazarus,
Who was three days dead.
He went up on a high place as Moses
And taught us a new Law.
He did not abolish the old one,
But fulfilled it in a word:
He loved us and taught the same.
He had compassion on many
And fed them with bread, as You did.
And so they wished for the
Death of Your Holy One;
They encircled the Righteous Man
Who they ambushed saying
“He opposes us and accuses us
Of sins against the law.
God will deliver His Son,
So let us test Him.”

But He did not revile,
Though they reviled Him.
He did not curse, but went to death.
At His cry, angels would have borne Him
And kept Him in their hands.
At His command, we would have fought,
But He rebuked His disciples for fighting
And kept them from the sword.
He was led like a lamb to slaughter
And in silence was He before His accusers.
So they beat Him
And He couldn’t be recognized;
They scourged Him.
They mocked Him, giving Him
A thorny crown and a purple garment.
But they were not yet content.
In their bloodlust they demanded Him crucified.
So the innocent Man was led away to die.

Oh Lord, my God, prove me to be wrong.
Let my understanding be of no account.
For I buried my King,
My Lord in whom I trusted.
I was a secret disciple,
But at His death was bold.
I spoke out in the council.
In the Sanhedrin I made my displeasure known.
So I was not afraid to ask for His body,
And in my tomb I laid Him.
I became like His father
Who saw Him in a cave at His birth;
Like the carpenter, a cave I gave Him to rest in.
So they arrested me for my kindness,
They have repaid evil for good
And heaped wrath upon themselves.
The soul of Your Righteous One
Is in Your hands, my God.
Let us receive Him again like Isaac.
Let Him be like Joseph who was thought dead,
And restore Him to us like Tobias
With Your angel, oh God.
I have hoped in You, my Refuge,
Let me not be put to shame.

THE PRAISE

A wonder! A mystery revealed to the sons of men and the hosts of heaven!
The Son of God is not kept in a tomb.
He who is borne upon the Powers and Thrones
Who sits enthroned between the Cherubim
And dwells in darkness
Has made known to us the mystery of Godliness:
The Word of God, who laid the foundations of the world
By Whom the heavens were made,
Even He was made flesh
And has been vindicated by the Spirit
In the power of the Resurrection!
Therefore let us lay aside all earthly cares,
Setting our minds above,
For our Christ has endured the grave,
Though it could not endure Him.
And He has conquered death by His own death.

For in my chains He appeared to me.
In my despair He answered me.
I was rewarded for my faithfulness by Him;
I received the knowledge of His raising from Him.
“Arise oh God” I prayed,
And He did come forth.
“Judge the earth” I said,
And He has come.
He has come to judge the nations
And put the wicked Powers to shame.
He has canceled our debt
And the elementary spirits he has put to scorn.
Therefore all power is His
And He shall sit upon the throne of the Father.
He shall reign until His enemies have been crushed.
His kingdom will have no end,
And his holy ones,
Whose names are written in His book,
Will reign and shine like stars with Him.
He has become the first fruits of the dead,
And in all things He is first.

Rejoice, Israel!
Be glad, all you nations!
For the King of Glory has risen!
In Him shall all be blessed;
He has inherited the gates of His enemies,
And Japeth shall dwell in His tents!
Blessed forever is the kingdom
Of the Father, Son, and Spirit!

“Blessed are the Clean of Heart” – An Original Poem

I have crossed myself with the staff
Of the Seed of Jacob, my Lord and my God,
And I have been baptized in the Jordan with my Christ.
Oh God, deal well with me, Your servant,
Though I am not worthy of the least
Of all Your mercies or of Your Truth.

Deliver me, oh Lord, from the hand of my enemies
And from them who encircle me, Oh my supreme Joy,
Teaching me to keep my treasure on earth for moths and rust.
But You, oh God, deliver me and purify my heart,
For You said, “I will surely treat you well
And make you as the angels in the resurrection.”

Enable me, oh Lord, to wrestle until daybreak
That I might be filled because I hunger,
That I might receive Your blessing,
That I may see Your Face.

A Word from St. Kosmas Aitolos

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Even if we perform upon thousands of good works, my brethren: fasts, prayers, almsgiving; even if we shed our blood for our Christ and we don’t have these two loves [love of God and love of brethren], but on the contrary have hatred and malice toward our brethren, all the good we have done is of the devil and we go to hell. But, you say, we go to hell despite all the good we do because of that little hatred?

Yes, my brethren, because that hatred is the devil’s poison, and just as when we put a little yeast in a hundred pounds of flour it has such power that it causes all the dough to rise, so it is with hatred. It transforms all the good we have done into the devil’s poison.

+St. Kosmas Aitolos, The Life of St. Kosmas Aitolos Together with an English Translation of His Teaching and Letters, Translated by Nomikos Michael Vaporis