A Prayer at Daybreak

A word:
I am amazed at the exquisite tradition of prayer that is ours in the Body of Christ. It is good to continue to be surprised by the Spirit of God. The deeper into the Holy Tradition I journey, the more I realize that I need not “have a prayer of my own” to “have a prayer that expresses the fullness of my real life.” Does that make sense to you? It means I DO have a prayer that is very much “mine” because it has been, is, and will ever more be “ours.”
 

Here is one of THOSE prayers. It is the Prayer at Daybreak by Archimandrite Sophrony.

Perhaps you will join me in knowing it to be “my” perfect prayer and “your” perfect prayer because it is “our” perfect prayer.

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A Prayer at Daybreak

O Lord Eternal and Creator of all things,
Who of Thine inscrutable goodness didst call me to this life;
Who didst bestow on me the grace of Baptism
and the Seal of the Holy Spirit;
Who hast imbued me with the desire to seek Thee,
the one true God: hear my prayer.

I have no life, no light, no joy or wisdom;
no strength except in Thee, O God.
Because of my unrighteousness I dare not raise my eyes to Thee.
But Thou didst say to Thy disciples,
‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive’
and ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do’.
Wherefore I dare to invoke Thee.
Purify me from all taint of flesh and spirit.
Teach me to pray aright.

Bless this day which Thou dost give unto me,
Thine unworthy servant. By the power of Thy blessing
enable me at all times to speak and act to Thy glory
with a pure spirit, with humility, patience, love,
gentleness, peace, courage and wisdom:
aware always of Thy presence.

Of Thine immense goodness, O Lord God, shew me the path of Thy will,
and grant me to walk in Thy sight without sin.

O Lord, unto Whom all hearts be open,
Thou knowest what things I have need of.
Thou art acquainted with my blindness and my ignorance,
Thou knowest my infirmity and my soul’s corruption;
but neither are my pain and anguish hid from Thee.

Wherefore I beseech Thee, hear my prayer
and by Thy Holy Spirit teach me the way wherein I should walk;
and when my perverted will would lead me down other paths
spare me not, O Lord, but force me back to Thee.
By the power of Thy love, grant me to hold fast to that which is good.
Preserve me from every word or deed that corrupts the soul;
from every impulse unpleasing in Thy sight
and hurtful to my brother-man.
Teach me what I should say and how I should speak.
If it be Thy will that I make no answer,
inspire me to keep silent in a spirit of peace
that causeth neither sorrow nor hurt to my fellow.
Establish me in the path of Thy commandments
and to my last breath let me not stray from the light of Thine ordinances,
that Thy commandments may become the sole law of my being,
on this earth and in all eternity.

Yea, Lord, I pray Thee, have pity on me.
Spare me in mine affliction and my misery
and hide not the way of salvation from me.

In my foolishness, O God, I plead with Thee for many and great things.
Yet am I ever mindful of my wickedness, my baseness, my vileness.
Have mercy upon me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence because of my presumption.
Do Thou rather increase in me this presumption,
and grant unto me, the worst of men,
to love Thee as Thou hast commanded,
with all my heart, and with all my soul,
and with all my mind, and with all my strength:
with my whole being.

Yea, O Lord, by Thy Holy Spirit,
teach me good judgment and knowledge.
Grant me to know Thy truth before I go down into the grave.
Maintain my life in this world until I may offer unto Thee worthy repentance.
Take me not away in the midst of my days,
nor while my mind is still blind.
When Thou shalt be pleased to bring my life to an end,
forewarn me that I may prepare my soul to come before Thee.
Be with me, O Lord, at that dread hour
and grant me the joy of salvation.
Cleanse Thou me from secret faults,
from all iniquity that is hid in me;
and give me a right answer before Thy judgment-seat.

Yea, Lord, of Thy great mercy
and immeasurable love for mankind,

Hear my prayer.

Source: His Life is Mine, pg. 52-54, by Archimandrite Sophrony, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, New York, 2001.

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Morning Consecration

We share with the Lord Jesus in a sacramental paradigm of reality. Time, space, and things matter.  The doing of things with a particular intentionality or attitude of heart is crucial. There is a dynamic movement, an interrelatedness of all things, inherent in the God’s creation and the order of the universe: “Spirit matters and matter spirits.” As Christians, we are sensitive and responsive to the Logos of reality. All things are coming from God, all things manifest the glory of God – find their meaning in God, and all things are moving (tending) toward God (Isaiah 55.6-11)

This is the underlying presupposition – given – of the Scriptures. It is taken for granted even though it is actually articulated on a number of occasions in Scripture. (See the account of Jesus sharing the Passover meal with His apostles and St. Paul’s take on that event in his epistles.)

It is the Holy Tradition.

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35 And in the morning, a great while before day, he [Jesus] rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1.35 – RSV)

3 O Lord, in the morning thou dost hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch. (Psalm 5.3 – RSV)

7 My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!

8  Awake, my soul!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn! (Psalm 57.7-8 – RSV)

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to thy name, O Most High;
2 to declare thy steadfast love in the morning,
and thy faithfulness by night,
3 to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
4 For thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by thy work;
at the works of thy hands I sing for joy. (Psalm 92.1-4 – RSV)

16 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my strength, I will sing praises to You;
For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me    lovingkindness (Psalm 59.16-17 – RSV)

Martin Luther says in the Small Catechism:

“In the morning, when you rise, you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. “

This exhortation by the initiator of the Protestant Reformation is consistent with the practice of morning consecration in the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox expressions of the faith.

In short, it is universally incumbent upon the disciple who desires to live a Scriptural – traditional life – to engage in such the practice of “intentional consecration” at the beginning of the day. While there are a variety of ways of doing this, the intention of the discipline remains the same. It is our way of saying “yes” to the realization: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Martin Luther says in the Small Catechism:

“In the morning, when you rise, you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. “

This exhortation by the initiator of the Protestant Reformation is consistent with the practice of morning consecration in the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox expressions of the faith.

In short, it is universally incumbent upon the disciple to engage in such the practice of “intentional consecration” at the beginning of the day. While there are a variety of ways of doing this, the intention of the discipline remains the same. It is our way of saying “yes” to the realization: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Here is a consecration from the Protestant expression of the faith:


Take My Life, and Let It Be

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Frances Ridley Havergal, 1874

Here is another from the non-Protestant expression:

Act of Consecration

God of my heart, my whole desire is in loving you. I give myself to you without reserve.

I consecrate to you my heart. Receive it as an offering of love and unite it to your heart. I desire to dwell with you all my days.

I consecrate to you my will. May it be joined to yours in all things. May my deepest desire be to do what is pleasing to you. May your Spirit guide me in the way of obedience and may selfish desires not find a home in me.

I consecrate to you my understanding. May I see with your eyes and choose what is life-giving. May I forego all that is false and passing that I may embrace what is true and enduring. Let me desire the good and all that brings the good to birth. May your grace bring my desire to realization.

I consecrate to you my memory. Let me always remember your goodness and beauty. I shall take delight in remembering your favors – the love and mercy you have shown to me. May my heart be forever grateful.

I consecrate to you my body. Make me a worthy dwelling for your Spirit, Jesus. I give you all that I am and I accept whatever limitations, sickness, sorrows and death will be mine. Let me desire what you desire. No matter how painful the cross that is mine to carry, I receive it with confidence in your strength and grace. May I accept it with lively gratitude and carry it with joy and constancy. May the words of St. Paul strengthen me; “With Christ I am nailed to the cross.”

I consecrate to you all that I may ever possess in goods, influence or status. All is yours. Do with me what you will. I consecrate to you all that I can – joys, sorrows, life and death – to offer you my love and to witness to others the joy of loving you. May I serve you with devotion, relying on the help of your grace. May I be yours without reserve until the last moment of my life. Amen.
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

We not only “awaken” or “greet” the dawn. We consecrate ourselves at that time and place call “the dawn.” But, we do more. We not only “offer our selves our souls and bodies as a living sacrifice;” we also join God in the concertation of the day itself. We consecrate the dawn. We make the sign of the cross over ourselves AND it. Thus, by grace, we take our place as humans and share in His work.

Whether you are Protestant or not, morning consecration of ourselves and of the day itself is essential.

Prayer

As my prayer became more attentive and inward
I had less and less to say.
I finally became completely silent,
and started to listen
which is even further removed from speaking.
I first thought that praying entailed speaking.
I then learnt that praying is hearing,
not merely being silent.
This is how it is.
To pray does not mean to listen to oneself speaking.
Prayer involves becoming silent,
and being silent,
and waiting until God is heard.
–Soren Kierkegaard

Prayer

Oh I am glad, I am glad. And here’s a thing worth recording. Of course I have been praying for you daily, as always, but latterly have found myself doing so with much more concern and especially about 2 nights ago, with such a strong feeling how very nice it would be, if God willed, to get a letter from you with good news. And then, as if by magic (indeed it is the whitest magic in the world) the letter comes to-day. Not (lest I should indulge in folly) that your relief had not in fact occurred before my prayer, but as if, in tenderness for my puny faith, God moved me to pray with especial earnestness just before He was going to give me the thing. How true that our prayers are really His prayers: He speaks to Himself through us.

I am also most moved at hearing how you were supported through the period of anxiety. For one is sometimes tempted to think that if He wanted us to be as unanxious as the lilies of the field He really might have given us a constitution more like theirs! But then when the need comes He carries out in us His otherwise impossible instructions. In fact He always has to do all the things—all the prayers, all the virtues. No new doctrine, but newly come home to me.
–C.S Lewis, To Mary Willis Shelburne, 6 November 1953.

Concerning Things Which Befall Christians At Prayer

I am indebted to Mark Armitage at Enlarging the Heart, for reminding me to revisit one of my favorites, St. Macarius the Great (295-392 A.D). Here is a magnificent meditation by the saint on how God governs our “experience of prayer” for our salvation’s sake. It touches my all too active tendency to measure my progress in prayer. What we experience, while it is a journey of maturation/perfection, is not ours to graph.
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1. A man goes in to bend the knee, and his heart is filled with the divine influence, and his soul rejoices with the Lord, like bride with bridegroom, according to that word of the prophet Esaias which says, As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall the Lord rejoice over thee (Isa. Ixii. 5); and it comes to pass that being all day engaged he gives himself to prayer for an hour, and the inward man is rapt in prayer into the unfathomable deep of that other world in great sweetness, so that his whole mind is up aloft, rapt away thither, and estranged from things below. For the time being forgetfulness comes into him with regard to the interests of the earthly mind, because his thoughts are filled and taken captive to divine and heavenly things, to things infinite and past comprehension, to wonderful things which no human lips can express, so that for that hour he prays and says, “Would God that my soul might pass along with my prayer!”

2. Question. Can any one enter into these things at all times?

Answer. Grace is constantly present, and is rooted in us, and worked into us like leaven, from our earliest years, until the thing thus present becomes fixed in a man like a natural endowment, as if it were one substance with him. But, for the man’s own good, it manages him in many different ways, after its own pleasure. Sometimes the fire flames out and kindles more vehemently; at other times more gently and mildly. The light that it gives kindles up at times and shines with unusual brightness; at others it abates and burns low. The lamp is always burning and shining, but when it is specially trimmed, it kindles up with intoxication of the love of God; and then again by God’s dispensation it gives in, and though the light is .always there, it is comparatively dull.

3. To some, however, the sign of the cross has appeared in light and fastened itself upon the inward man. At another time a man at his prayers has fallen into a kind of trance, and found himself standing in the altar-space in church, and three loaves were offered to such an one, leavened with oil, and the more he ate of them, the more they increased and grew. At another time there was brought as it were a shining garment, such as there is none on earth in the course of this world, nor is it possible for human hands to make the like; for as when the Lord went up into the mountain with Peter and John, He changed the fashion of His raiment and made it to flash with light, so was it with this garment, and the man who was clothed with it wondered and was amazed. Another while, the light shining in the heart disclosed the inner, deeper, hidden light, so that the man, swallowed up in the sweetness of the contemplation, was no longer master of himself, but was like a fool or a barbarian to this world by reason of the surpassing love and sweetness, by reason of the hidden mysteries ; so that the man for that season was set at liberty, and came to perfect measures, and was pure and free from sin ; yet afterwards grace retreated, and the veil of the adverse power came; notwithstanding, grace still shews itself in part, and he stands on the first and lowest step of perfection.

4. There are twelve steps, we might say, which a man has to pass before he reaches perfection. For a season that measure has been attained, and perfection entered upon; and then grace gives in, and he comes down by one step, and stands on the eleventh. Here and there one man rich in grace has stood always, night and day, in perfect measures, at liberty and in purity, always captive and aloft. Well now, if the man to whom those marvellous things were shewn, of which he has had actual experience, were to have them always present with him, he would be unable to undertake the dispensation of the word and the burden of it, nor could he endure to listen to, or take any interest in, any ordinary thing, concerning himself, or concerning the morrow, but only to sit in a corner, aloft and intoxicated. So the perfect measure has not been given, in order that he may be free to take an interest in his brethren, and in the ministry of the word. Nevertheless the middle wall of partition has been broken through (Eph. ii. 14) and death is overcome.

5. The case stands thus, as if some foggy power hangs over and forms a light screen, like a dense air, though the lamp is burning and shining all the while, even as a veil hangs over yonder light. So this man confesses that he is not perfect or altogether free from sin. He says that the middle wall of partition has been broken through and shattered, and yet, at some point not wholly broken, nor at all times. There are moments when grace kindles up and comforts and refreshes more fully; there are moments when it retreats and clouds over, according as grace itself manages for the man’s advantage. But who is there that has come to the perfect measure at particular seasons, and has tasted and had direct experience of that world? A perfect Christian man, one completely free, I have not yet seen. Although one and another is at rest in grace, and enters into mysteries and revelations and into much sweetness of grace, still sin is yet present within. By reason of the exceeding grace and of the light that is in them, men consider themselves free and perfect; but inexperience deceives them. They are under the influence of grace, but I have never yet seen a man that is free. I myself at times have in part come to that measure, and I have learned to know that it does not constitute a perfect man.

6. Question. Tell us, if thou wilt, what measures thou art in?

Answer. After the sign of the cross, grace now acts thus. It calms all the members and the heart, so that the soul, for much joy, appears like an innocent child, and the man no longer condemns Greek or Jew, sinner or worldling. The inner man regards all men with a pure eye, and the man rejoices over all the world, and desires that all should worship and love, Greeks and Jews. At another moment, like the king’s son, he is as bold in the Son of God as in a father, and doors are opened to him, and he enters within to many mansions? (John xiv. 2) and the further he goes in, doors are again opened in progression, a hundred mansions leading to a hundred beyond, and he is rich, and the richer he is, other new wonders are again disclosed to him, and he is entrusted, as a son and an heir, with things that cannot be told by mankind or put into syllables by mouth and tongue. Glory to God. Amen.

Source: Fifty Spiritual Homilies oF St. Macarius the Egyptian, By A. J. Mason, D.D., SPCK, New York, 1921 (pgs. 65-68)

Judging By Appearances and Experience

I can (and do more than not) fall into the trap of basing my convictions regarding the faith based on “what I experienced” positively and negatively. Another word for that trap is “relativism” and “subjectivism”. My reliance should be on the faithfulness of God in the person of the Holy Spirit to reveal and affirm the truth of my experience and the guidance it can provide regarding right faith and action.

But, even so, it is important for me to realize that it is not my experience that is really the criteria but the word of the Holy Spirit in and through my experience. Experience is an essential means (a sacramental one) for the revelation of truth. No question. But, it is not the governor of my convictions regarding the truth. The truth is “communicated” to me in and through my experience and I “communicate” with “the Truth” in and through my experience (think the Divine Liturgy). I find that I need to be extremely careful not to let my negative and positive feelings and convictions regarding my experiences of the past, and therefore my judgments about their relative validity to guide me, influence how I view the truth-bearing witness of my present experience. This includes appearances. Things are not necessarily what they appear to be to me. I must not judge by appearances. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the truth regarding my past and my present and my future experiences.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name. 24 Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (Jn 16.23b-24)

Every time I speak about prayer, it seems to me that I hear in your heart certain human reflections that I have often heard, even in my own heart. Since we never stop praying, how come we so rarely seem to experience the fruit of prayer? We have the impression that we come out of prayer like we entered into it; no one answers us with even one word, gives us anything at all; we have the impression that we have labored in vain. But what does the Lord say in the gospel? “Stop judging by appearances and make a just judgment.” (Jn 7:24) What is a just judgment other than a judgment of faith? For “the just man shall live by faith.” (Gal 3:11) So follow the judgment of faith rather than your experience, for faith does not deceive, whereas experience can lead into error.

And what is the truth of faith other than that the Son of God himself promised: “If you are ready to believe that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, it shall be done for you.” (Mk 11:24) Thus, may no one among you, Brothers, consider prayer to be a small thing. For I assure you, the one to whom it is addressed does not consider it a small thing; even before it has left our mouth, he has had it written down in his book. Without the slightest doubt, we can be sure that God will either give us what we are asking him or he will give us something that he knows to be better. For “we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Rom 8:26), but God has compassion on our ignorance and he receives our prayer with kindness… So “take delight in the Lord, and he will grant you your heart’s requests.” (Ps 37:4) Saint Bernard (1091-1153), Sermons for Lent, no. 5.5

Temples of Holiness

St. Cyprian of Carthage reflects on the source of our holiness in this way:

“We should live as temples of God that it may be plain to all that God dwells in us. It is important that our conduct should not degenerate and we become unworthy of the Spirit. Rather let us who have set out to be heavenly and spiritual, entertain only heavenly and spiritual thoughts and behaviour. For as the Lord God himself has declared: ‘I will glorify those who glorify me; but those that despise me, I shall despise.’ The blessed apostle Paul has also stated in one of his letters: ‘You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.’

In the Lord’s Prayer we go on to say: ‘Hallowed be your name.’ We are not envisaging that God will be made holy by our prayers: we are asking rather that his holiness should shine in us. Anyway, by whom could God be sanctified since it is God himself who sanctifies? But observe that in Scripture it is also written: ‘Be holy because I am holy.’ Thus it should be our earnest desire that we, who have been made holy in baptism, should continue to grow in what we have begun to be; and for this we pray every day. We certainly need to be made holy daily because every day we sin, and every day we need to have those sins washed away. In this way we are engaged in a process that makes us ever more deeply sanctified.” Celebrating the Seasons, by Robert Atwell

The Daily Prayer of Hieroschemamonk Parthenios

hieroschemamonk PartheniosLord Jesus Christ, Son of God, do not permit vanity, self-love, sensuality, carelessness, anger to rule over me and steal me from Thy love, O my Lord and Creator, all my hope! Do not leave me without a portion of the blessed eternity. Grant also that I may follow Thy Holy example.. that I may submit to the authorities placed over me. Grant me the clean soul, the simplicity of heart; which makes us worthy of Thy love.

To Thee, my God, I lift up my soul and heart; do not allow Thy creation to perish, but free me from the single and greatest enemy … sin. Grant, Lord, that I may endure anxiety and sorrows of the soul with the same patience as the joy with which I receive satisfaction of heart. If Thou desirest, Lord, Thou canst cleanse me and sanctify me. Here I commit myself to Thy mercy… begging Thee to destroy within me all that is offensive to Thee, and to unite me to the assembly of Thy chosen.

Lord, take from me: idleness of spirit, which destroys time; vanity of thoughts, which hinders Thy presence and distracts my attention to prayer. If, while in prayer, I turn away from Thee in my thoughts, help me; so that this distraction may not be willful, and that – averting my mind – I may not avert my heart from Thee. I confess to Thee, my Lord God, all the sins of my wickedness committed before Thee, now and in the past. Forgive me for them, for the sake of Thy Holy Name, and save my soul, which thou has redeemed with Thy precious Blood. I entrust myself to Thy mercy. I submit to Thy will. Do with me according to Thy mercy and not according to my evil and wickedness. Teach me Lord, to dispose my deeds so that they will serve in glorifying Thy Holy Name.

Take pity, O Lord, on all Christians. Hear the desires of all who cry out to Thee, and deliver them from evil. Save Thy servants [ insert names ]. Send them comfort, consolation in sorrows, and Thy holy mercy. Lord, I especially pray for those who have in anyway insulted, abused and grieved me. Do not punish them for the sake of me, a sinner; but pour Thy mercy upon them. Lord, I pray to thee especially for all those whom I, a sinner, insulted or tempted in word, deed, thought, knowingly and unknowingly. Lord God, forgive us our sins and mutual offenses. Dispel from our hearts, O Lord, all indignation, suspicion, anger, remembrance of evil, quarrels, and all that might hinder and lessen brotherly love.

Be merciful Lord, to those who have entrusted me, an unworthy sinner, to pray for them. Be merciful Lord, to all who ask Thy help. Lord, make this day a day of Thy mercy; give to each according to their petition. Be the Shepherd of the lost, the Guide of Light of unbelievers, the Teacher of the unwise, the Father of orphans, the Helper of the oppressed, the Healer of the sick, the Comforter of the dying, and lead us all to the desired end… to Thee, our refuge and blessed repose.

Amen.

A Prayer After Receiving Communion

I thank Thee, O Lord my God, for Thou hast not rejected me, a sinner, but hast made me worthy to be a partaker of Thy Holy Things. I thank Thee, for Thou hast permitted me, the unworthy, to commune of Thy most pure and Heavenly, Gifts. But, O Master Who lovest mankind, Who for our sakes didst die and rise again, and gavest us these awesome and life-creating Mysteries for the good and sanctification of our souls and bodies; let them be for the healing of our soul and body, the repelling of every adversary, the illumining of the eyes of my heart, the peace of my spiritual power, a faith unashamed, a love unfeigned, the fulfilling of wisdom, the observing of Thy commandments, the receiving of Thy divine grace, and the attaining of Thy Kingdom. Preserved by them in Thy holiness, may I always remember Thy grace and live not for myself alone, but for Thee, our Master and Benefactor. May I pass from this life in the hope of eternal life, and so attain to the everlasting rest, where the voice of those who feast is unceasing, and the gladness of those who behold the goodness of Thy countenance is unending. For Thou art the true desire and the ineffable joy of those who love Thee, O Christ our God, and all creation sings Thy praise forever. Amen.

Morning Prayer of Elder Sophrony

O Lord Eternal and Creator of all things,
Who imbued me with the desire to seek Thee, the one true God:
Hear my prayer.
I have no life, no light, no joy or wisdom, no strength except in Thee, O God.
Because of my unrighteousness, I dare not raise my eyes to Thee.
But Thou said to Thy disciples,
‘Whatsoever you shall ask in prayer believing, you shall receive.’
and ‘Whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do.’
Wherefore I dare to invoke Thee.
Purify me from all taint of flesh and spirit.
Teach me to pray aright.
Bless this day which Thou givest unto me, Thine unworthy servant.
By the power of Thy blessing enable me at all times to speak and act to Thy glory
with a pure spirit, with humility, patience, love, gentleness, peace, courage and wisdom,
aware always of Thy presence.

Of Thine immense goodness, O Lord God, show me the path of Thy will,
and grant me to walk in Thy sight without sin.
O Lord, unto Whom all hearts be open,
Thou knowest what things I have need of.
Thou art acquainted with my blindness and my ignorance,
Thou knowest mine infirmity and my soul’s corruption;
But neither are my pain and anguish hid from Thee.
Wherefore I beseech Thee, hear my prayer
and by Thy Holy Spirit, teach me the way wherein I should walk;
and when my perverted will would lead me down other paths,
spare me not, O Lord, but force me back to Thee.
By the power of Thy love, grant me to hold fast to that which is good.
Preserve me from every word or deed that corrupts the soul;
from every impulse unpleasing in Thy sight and hurtful to my brother-man.
Teach me what I should say and how I should speak.
If it be Thy will that I make no answer,
inspire me to keep silent in a spirit of peace
that causes neither sorrow nor hurt to my fellow man.
Establish me in the path of Thy commandments
and to my last breath let me not stray from the light of Thine ordinances,
that Thy commandments may become the sole law
of my being on this earth and all eternity.

Yea, Lord, I pray to Thee, have pity on me.
Spare me in my affliction and my misery
and hide not the way of salvation from me.

In my foolishness, O God, I plead with Thee for many and great things.
Yet am I ever mindful of my wickedness, my baseness, my vileness.
Have mercy upon me.
Cast me not away from your presence because of my presumption.
Do Thou, rather, increase in me this presumption,
and grant unto me, the worst of men,
to love Thee as Thou hast commanded, with all my heart, and with all my soul,
and with all my mind, and with all my strength: With my whole being.

Yea, O Lord, by Thy Holy Spirit, teach me good judgment and knowledge.
Grant me to know Thy truth before I go down into the grave.
Maintain my life in this world until I may offer unto Thee worthy repentance.
Take me not away in the midst of my days, nor while my mind is still blind.
When Thou shalt be pleased to bring my life to an end,
forewarn me that I may prepare my soul to come before Thee.
Be with me, O Lord, at that dread hour and grant me the joy of salvation.
Cleanse me from secret faults, from all iniquity that is hidden in me;
and give me a right answer before Thy judgment-seat—

Yea, Lord, of Thy great mercy and immeasurable love for mankind.