- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


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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
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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

Prayer 49

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


And now remembering the image of
your royal kingdom above,
God of light for all,
do not let iniquity rule me.
Do not let the haughty rebel steal the grace
of your breath from this creature you made.1
Do not let sin trap and rule my mortal body,
enslaving me.2
No king rules my soul except you, Christ,
who without force submits me to your easy yoke,3
who lifts away my sinful passions with your
all-powerful word,
who redeems me with your blood and nourishes me
with your body,
who sets forth and establishes the unchanging
covenant of life,
who by setting the stamp of your spirit on
me as your cohort,4
presents me to your Father as a co-heir,5
and in the name of your sacrifice and memory
of your torment,
emboldened me to pray to the same benevolent God.
Creator of all life,
you are the God of all souls6
who made this gift of grace greater than
all your other miracles.
Neither the heavens with all their raiment, nor the angels in their brilliance,
nor the earth and humanity and their wonders,
nor the expanse of the seas and all in them,
nor the abyss in its infiniteness and all in it,
exalted you as sublimely as your sympathy toward me,
when you said through the prophet, our hope
of sweet goodness,
“Who is a God like me, always pardoning sin
and canceling the debts of iniquity?” 7
Behold your words are honored with incense,
merciful God,
and your good works proclaimed,
glorified, deep mystery and worshiped,
overflowing grace.


Indeed, no one is able to convey with human speech,
even a small part of the acts of compassion which you have shown me, creator.
For the power to restore what is worn-out to
its former grandeur is greater than creating anew.
And since weakness is not yours, mighty in all things,
you who with but a word can carry out all deeds,8
arise, doer of good, and be glorified,9
and reclaim those whose salvation was beyond hope,
so that by the exercise of the covenant,
the voice of your blessed good news might be
more exalted,
and known for the grace of your forgiveness,
more for the light of your mercy dispensed,
than for the process of creation.
For in one we recognize the creator,
whereas in the other, creatorship is recalled
as well as grace.

We recognize
not only the one who fashioned us, but also the one
who atoned for our sins,
not only the one who invented us, but also the one
who did good for us,
not only the one who established us, but also the one
who took pity on us,
not only the one who formed us, but also the one
who gave us possibilities,
not only the one who authored, but also the one
who humbled himself for us,
not only the one who designed us, but also the one
who performed miracles,
not only the one who started us, but also the one
who gave us light,
not only the anointed, but also the shepherd,
not only the healer, but also the caretaker,
not only the protector, but also the physician,
not only a supporter, but also a commander,
not only a victor, but also a king,
not only a creator, but also sweetness,
not only the giver of all gifts, but also a
generous sponsor,
not only always patient, but also forgiving,
not only not angered, but also unvengeful,
not only sharing our sorrows, but also
reading our hearts,
not only providing comfort, but also refuge,
not only supremely compassionate, but also God,
not only endless goodness, but also blessed in all things.


Now, as you created me, before I existed,
and you revealed yourself as my sustenance,
and I pray that you might reinstate my soul
together with the tabernacle of my body in
the spotlessness of the clean holiness of
their former being so
that your limitless marvels
might be bestowed more amply, frequently
and increasingly
upon the ever-renewing present rather
than upon the fading shadows of ages past.
And when recounting my sins,
however much the wings of my mind can
bear to remember,
may I be justified in your name, Almighty,10
in confessing my own stains upon my soul, and
may you forgive the baseness of the many sins
I have revealed,
Almighty, seer of secrets, savior of all, so
that I might not, due to lack of good news,
slide back and long for my former ways.
Envying with the Psalmist those who have been
saved by baptism,11
and wounded in my soul by the thorns of sin,
may your hand not press on me again more heavily,12
making the burden of my transgressions greater than the sweetness of your gifts.13
Rather, free me through your blessed Holy Spirit,
I pray you, Lord of all, from the laws of sin and death.14
Spare me from falling with weakness before
reaching the dawn of your truth as written in the Scriptures.15
For wherever forgiveness reigns, sin is banished,
and wherever your living word gives encouragement, there is no despair.
And wherever your gifts abound, debts are dissolved.
And the hand of God being close by,
nothing is impossible.
Rather, everything basks in light, filled with strength
and invincible potency.
Yours is salvation, life, renewal, mercy,
and at the same time,
a sweet kingdom, incorruptible and glorified forever.

1. Gen. 2:7.
2. Rom. 6:12.
3. Mt. 11:29-30.
4. 2 Cor. 1:22, Eph. 1:13.
5. Rom. 8:17.
6. Num. 27:15-16.
7. Mic. 7:18.
8. Mt. 8:8, Heb. 4:12, Gen. 1:3.
9. Is. 33:10.
10. Acts 13:39
11. Ps. 31:1, 37:5.
12. Job 19:21.
13. Ps. 31:4, 37:5.
14. Rom. 8:2.
15. Rom. 8:3-4.



Source: St. Gregory of Narek
Provided by: Thomas J. Samuelian

© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.

See also:

Biography of Grigor Narekatsi (in Armenian)
The Christ-Child ( translated by Alice Stone Blackwell )

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