BOOK OF PRAYER
Tenets of Prayer Prayer
1 Prayer 2 Prayer
3 Prayer 4 Prayer
5 Prayer 6
Prayer 7 Prayer 8 Prayer 9 Prayer 10 Prayer 11 Prayer 12 Prayer 13 Prayer 14
Prayer 15 Prayer 16 Prayer 17 Prayer 18 Prayer 19 Prayer 20 Prayer 21 Prayer 22
Prayer 23 Prayer 24 Prayer 25 Prayer 26 Prayer 27 Prayer 28 Prayer 29 Prayer 30
Prayer 31 Prayer 32 Prayer 33 Prayer 34 Prayer 35 Prayer 36 Prayer 37 Prayer 38
Prayer 39 Prayer 40 Prayer 41 Prayer 42 Prayer 43 Prayer 44 Prayer 45 Prayer 46
Prayer 47 Prayer 48 Prayer 49 Prayer 50 Prayer 51 Prayer 52 Prayer 53 Prayer 54
Prayer 55 Prayer 56 Prayer 57 Prayer 58 Prayer 59 Prayer 60 Prayer 61 Prayer 62
Prayer 63 Prayer 64 Prayer 65 Prayer 66 Prayer 67 Prayer 68 Prayer 69 Prayer 70
Prayer 71 Prayer 72 Prayer 73 Prayer 74 Prayer 75 Prayer 76 Prayer 77 Prayer 78
Prayer 79 Prayer 80 Prayer 81 Prayer 82 Prayer 83 Prayer 84 Prayer 85 Prayer 86
Prayer 87 Prayer 88 Prayer 89 Prayer 90 Prayer 91 Prayer 92 Prayer 93 Prayer 94
Prayer 95 Colophon
Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart
No matter how great the mounting debt of my sins,
the saving grace of your trials
is greater by far.
You were nailed to the cross, the instrument of death,
on your all-embracing creative hands, which
hold all souls,1
so my disobedient hand might be stilled.
Out of compassion for my wantonness,
you bound the motion of your two life-giving feet,
so they might be pawned for my miserable feet,
always racing toward brutishness.
You did not order the hands of those who beat
your head to shrivel.2
You, who could uproot the fig tree without effort.
This example gives me hope of reprieve.
You did not threaten me with the evil whipping
that was your own lot,
though you are proclaimed God.3
You who darkened the sun4
and grant rest with goodness to me a mortal.
You did not dry the evil mouth of those who cursed you,
you who tinted the image of the moon with
the color of blood,
so you might strengthen my meek tongue to praise you.
You did not rebuke the wanton insultors,
you who shook the very firmament,
so you might anoint my miserable head with
the oil of compassion.
You did not rip the jaws of the God-killer who called you a fanatic, charlatan,5
you who rent the hardness of the rocky tomb,6
so you might mercifully grant my soul,
though it is incapable of goodness,
a respite from the burden of emptiness.
You did not run the swords of the guards through
you who condemned the snake to slither on the ground,8
so you might preserve the bones of my tormented body,
to be worthy of resurrection.
You flatten and thrust into the abyss,
those who sealed the tomb upon the bearer of life,
in order that you might rest the token of your light
in the tomb of my soul.
You did not absolutely and for all generations
those who rumored your hand perished and
your body stolen like that of a mortal,
so you might permit me, insignificant as I am,
to partake of that goodness which neither perishes nor can be harmed,
together with those chosen for salvation.
You did not turn into stone, as with Moab in
days of old,9
your frenzied persecutors who twice stole silver bribes
from the offerings in your Father’s sanctuary
to betray and degrade you,10
so that you might set me upon the steadfastness
of your rock.11
Although I waver and am sold to the powers of death,
I am redeemed by your blood.
You are blessed twice over and blessed again,
praised in all things, forever and ever.
1. Job 10:8, 12:10, Wis. 3:1.
2. Mk. 11:13, 20-24.
3. Mt. 27:45.
4. Is. 14:12.
5. Mt. 26:65.
6. Mt. 27:51.
7. Mt. 26:47.
8. Gen. 3:14.
9. Gen. 19:26, 37.
10. Mt. 26:14-15, Mt. 28:12-13.
11. Mt. 7:25.
Gregory of Narek
© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.