- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


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Prayer 95  Colophon

Prayer 40

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


Almighty God, doer of good, creator of all,
hear the sound of my sighs of distress
and my terror of imagined perils to come.
Save me with your strength, ridding me of my sins.
For you are capable of all things and are
the key to all things1 with your boundless greatness
and infinite wisdom.


And seeing with my mind’s eye in the distance
the terrible vision of the life to come,
I observe in advance the day of light,
the hope of the saints,2
and the day of darkness, the punishment of the sinful,3
from which none can escape nor find refuge,
neither in the deep abyss nor in the bottomless pits,4
neither on the heights of the mountains,
nor in the caves in the stone,
neither on the hardness of boulders,
nor in the cavity of a hole,
neither in the crevices of a pit, nor the waves of a flood,
neither in the labyrinth of the basement,
nor the loft of the attic,
neither behind the closed doors of my cell,
nor in the darkness of the valley,
neither in the declines of the valleys,
nor on the inclines of the hills,
neither in the blowing of the wind,
nor in the undulation of the seas,
neither in the swirling of a whirlpool,
nor in the distant ends of the earth,
neither in the sounds of lament,
nor in the sighs of weeping,
neither in the trembling of fingers,
nor in the lifting of hands,
neither in the prayers of the lips,
nor in the cries of the tongue.
Out of this terrible inescapable lot
you, Lord Christ, are the exit and respite,
the ease and calm of the salvation for
my ever sinning soul.


Now, look upon me besieged by overwhelming danger,
you who are alone sweet to all.
Cut me loose with your victorious sword of life, the
cross, and release me from the nets that have snared me,
nets that assail me on all sides as the captive of death.
Please steady my shaky feet on the crooked path and
heal the burning fever of my anguished heart.
Turn away the demonic whisper of temptation to
sin against you.
Drive away the despair of my dark soul that
dwells with evil.
Dispel the thick smoke of sin that has infused and obscured me.
Destroy the vile dark passions of my base needs.
Renew the image of light revered by
the glory of your mighty name, my soul.
Fix your glowing grace upon my face and
the perception of my mind, an earthbound creature.
And cleanse my squalid sinfulness with your purity
so that you might restore and reveal your image in me.
With your divine, living, uncorrupted and
heavenly light that envelopes your three persons.
For you alone are blessed with the Father and Holy Spirit
forever and ever.

1. Gen. 18:14, Lk. 1:37.
2. Wis. 18:1.
3. Wis. 17;20.
4. Rev. 6:15-17.



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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