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
Since I abandoned my former composure,
led by the destroyer and
totally wasted by my own laziness,
now I address my former self,
recounting with heavy heart and pitiful sobs
the scandal of my ways
before the congregation of the multitude of nations.
I am a living book,
written like the scroll in the vision of Ezekiel,
inside and out,1
listing lamentations, moaning and woe.
I am a city without walls or towers,2
a house empty without doors for protection,3
salt in looks but lacking taste,4
sea water unfit to quench the thirst,
land, useless for cultivation,
field, barren and covered with briars.
My personal acres, cared for by God,
but already sown with the devices of the Slanderer,
an olive tree that is wood without fruit,
a barren orchard to be cut down,5
a hopeless, twice dead, talking plant,
a burned out candle that cannot be lit.
Now again, in the same vein, I repeat
similar pathetic images
that await me, miserable soul, as bitter punishment for my shame.
Gnashing of teeth and endless wailing, for the eyes of
my wretched self,
paternal anger that cannot be deflected by filial regret,
unmendable corruption for my sinful body,
new reprimands for me, an inventor of evil for
my diseased soul,
the anxiety of doubt for my escape as a captive,
waiting to be visited by the heavenly host.
Testifying I am a miserable, wounded soul,
who deserves to be burned in the bundles of weeds,6
with a stern voice pronouncing me, incorrigible refuse.
Truly, these are but the charming melodies of a harlot,
with her harp, strolling about and beating her breast,7
brazenly wailing, miserably and scornfully,
as the prophet Isaiah wrote in his admonition to Tyre.
If she could because of a minor misfortune (the loss of
protest with all manner of fake moaning and groaning,
then in what kind of desperate voice should I cry out?
I who wait the coming of the Lord,
and yet have been caught unprepared and naked.
Now, if I recount again the fearsome judgment,
my repentance should be multiplied.
And if I present my tribulations realistically
terror should seize me.
And if I describe this vision in detail
my tribulations increase.
For having recognized all this in advance and
not repented, even in retrospect, I am grateful that
you spared me, merciful lover of mankind,
mighty doer of good,
All-giving Christ, King, blessed forever.
1. Ezek. 2:9-10.
2. Jer. 50:15.
3. Jer. 51:30.
4. Mk. 9:49.
5. Lk. 13:10.
6. Mt. 13:30.
7. Is. 23:15-16.
Gregory of Narek
© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.