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
King on high, mighty and awesome,
blessed Lord Jesus Christ,
for someone like me who despairs of salvation
only you can change the curse of mortality
into the blessing of life.
Only you can turn the discouragement of blame
into joyous praise,
shame into resilience,
humility into honor,
banishment into the hope of goodness,
separation into the expectation of reunion,
menacing words into compassionate comfort,
final condemnation into a second chance
Lord, have mercy on me, for I am condemned to death
on the day of my life-breath’s release,
while I implore on high with my eyes’ pitiful gaze
fixed the perils ahead on that unavoidable journey,
with danger on all sides in my terrified imagination.
And while gazing at my cell’s ceiling where I will start
my outward journey, wretched and half dead with
a twisted face, with shaking fingers, muffled sighs,
failing cries, a thin voice, my grieving soul
shaken by a panoply of
doubts, I shall lament from the bottom of
my invisible soul the sins I have committed.
You are able, compassionate God, to perform a miracle
with your everlasting might saying,
“Be healed of your soul’s torment,”1
or “May your sins be forgiven,”2
or “Go in peace. You are cleansed of sin.”3
And whatever I do not manage to say at that hour
receive from me today in your love for mankind,
O long-suffering, generous God, who gives life to all.
When I, so eloquent now with my haughty voice
and strutting stiff-necked ways,
am laid out a lifeless cadaver, dispossessed
of speech, hands bound, limbs atrophied,
lips sealed, eyes shut, as still as
a board, a half-burnt log,
inert statue, speechless image, breathless being,
pitiful spectacle, deplorable sight,
lamentable form, miserable face,
tear-causing likeness, silenced tongue,
parched grass, petal-less flower,
run-down beauty, extinguished lamp,
deserted throat, devastated heart,
muted trumpet, dry well, wilted body,
festering womb, collapsed tent, broken branch,
separated joint, chopped tree, sawed off root,
abandoned house, harvested field, uprooted plant,
alienated friend, forgotten supplies,
buried filth, cast away trash,
brushed aside clutter, contemptible skeleton,
like some useless thing trodden under foot.
I am needy of the prayers of others,
which rise to you, compassionate doer of good,
with the dew of tears amplifying
the sighs of the faith-filled pleas
of my wretched voice.
Joining in my prayer, they chant
the responsive hymn to you, whom I praise,
the sign of your cross of salvation, which I worship,
the truth of your resurrection, which I believe,4
the revelation of your glory, which I praise,5
the sternness of your judgment, which I confess,
the reprimand of your words, which I fear,6
the guiding companionship of your Holy Spirit,
which I revere,
the anointing seal of the Lord at last unction,
which I embrace,
the reigning with you, Lord Jesus,
for which I pray.7
And though it was abandoned, rejected, cast away,
broken, though it fled, flew, gave way in the tumult of life,
your hope, which is a gift from you,
perseveres as a permanent and indelible reminder.
Look with mercy upon me in my doubts and perils,
glorified Son of God, who alone are compassionate
and will pardon, heal, save, protect, renew, restore,
lift up, support,
and create me again in blissful purity.8
Yours is the power, yours is the salvation, and
yours the mercy.
Nothing is impossible for you.9
Yours is might, exaltation, dominion
and kingdom without end, true essence and selfhood,
all-encompassing absolute being,
goodness and light, glorified as Lord,
to which nothing can be added or taken away,
adored in the Holy Trinity with inexplicable mystery
and given thanks forever also in the Holy Trinity
in the same act of worship equally with the same honor,
yesterday, today and forever.10
1. Mk. 5:34.
2. Mt. 9:2, Lk. 7:48.
3. Lk. 7:50.
4. 1 Th. 4:14.
5. Tit. 2:13.
6. Mt. 7:23, 25:41.
7. 2 Tim. 2:12.
8. Ps. 51 (Arm. 50):10.
9. Lk. 1:37, Gen. 18:14.
10. Heb. 13:8.
Gregory of Narek
© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.