BOOK OF PRAYER
Tenets of Prayer Prayer
1 Prayer 2 Prayer
3 Prayer 4 Prayer 5
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 have begun
these conversations with you
who holds in your hand
the life breath of my sinful soul,
I am shaken, and rightly so,
trembling in constant fear, remembering,
with unbearable terror that defies words,
O creator of heaven and earth,
your inescapable tribunal,
which justly judges me a sinner.
And what is more, there exists no remedy
for the multitude of incurable, mortal wounds
and the stinging bites inflicted by the deadly fangs
of him who pursues my soul’s destruction.
Especially since according to the Prophet,
there is no putting off the day of confrontation: 1
Not by words of justification,
not by a cloak of protection,
not by a mask of obfuscation,
not by speeches of propitiation,
not by appearances of deception,
not by compositions of prevarication,
not by swift feet of evasion,
not by aversion,
not by the ashen dust of abnegation,
not by fixing one’s mouth to the earth,
not by self-burial in the depths of the earth,
for even the covered and the invisible are
readily seen by you.
My virtue is dissipated and depleted,
my sins laid open and ever worsening,
my wrongs permanent and I am lost as
the weight of the right is ever decreasing
and the weight of wrong is increasing,
the harvest of goodness washes away
and the errors of my ways harden to stone.
The bail is lost even as the sentence is sealed.
Death’s mortgage is signed,
while the covenant of good news is voided.
The doer of good is despondent,
while the doer of evil is jubilant.
The host of angels grieve,
while Satan’s horde dances in glee.
The army on high is orphaned,
while the army below is elated.
The murderer’s bounty grows,
while the protector’s treasure is plundered.
The third parties’ rights are upheld,
and the true heir’s legacy is betrayed.
The creator’s gift is forgotten,
while the destroyer’s ambush is remembered.
The Savior’s grace is mocked,
while the tricks of Satan are celebrated.
The fountain of life runs dry,
while the tyrant’s rust continues to corrode my soul.
And now, would it not be better.
as the prophecies foretold,2
never to have been conceived,
never to have taken shape,
never to have been born,
never to have seen the light of life,
never to have been counted among mortals,
never to have struggled toward the state of immortality,
never to have been dressed in the image of beauty,
never to have been armed with words,
than to be seized by such horrible sins,
too great for a hard rock to bear
let alone the frail body?
And now, compassionate God,
I pray for your mercy,
as you instructed in your own words,
“Make offerings in the name of God’s salvation
and you shall be made holy,
for I want contrition not sacrifice.”3
Be exalted anew in remembrance of this offering in
for everything is in you, and everything is from you.
To you glory from all.
1. Ec. 8:8.
2. Job ch. 3 passim; Jer. 20:14.
3. Hos. 6:6, Mt. 9;13, 12:7, Ps. 51:16-17.
Gregory of Narek
© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.