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
What can I be, but speechless
before your awesome might?
What can I be but embarrassed and silent
my words only quiet dust in my mouth,1
when I hope for virtue
as the prophets advised?
Even if I open my clamped lips,
what would flow but more mournful elegies?
Nothing but the voice of my many wounds
And now, weeping with the great sinner,
who willingly committed mortal sin,
I join in his cry,
“I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned,
and to my lawlessness I myself am witness.”2
Weaving this cry with the words of the 50th Psalm,3
I conclude that the wages of my innumerable
sins are greater
than the grains of sand that make up the earth
and are scattered by the wind.
I have sinned against heaven and you.
Like the Prodigal Son, who though shamed,
received his father’s forgiveness,
I make my entreaty, prostrate before you,
my face twisted in grief, pleading:
Father of compassion, God of all,
I am not worthy to be called even a worthless,
let alone “son,” or even to have this word
uttered about me.
Still accept me, a wandering exile, defeated by wounds,
faint with gnawing hunger.
Heal me with your bread of life,
confront me with mercy, for you are my first refuge.
Clothe me, a lawless sinner, merciful and
with the clothes of my former innocence.
Place, with your boundless generosity,
the ring with your seal of courage
on my sinful hand that lost everything by straying in sin.
Protect the soles of my bare feet
with the sandals of the Gospels.5
Guard me from poisonous snakes.
And even though I am wanting in virtue
you sacrifice the fatted calf of heaven,
your only begotten Son, out of
love for mankind.
Your blessed Son who is always offered and
yet remains whole,
who is sacrificed continuously upon innumerable altars without being consumed,
who is all in everyone and complete in all things,
who is in essence of heaven and in reality of earth,
who is lacking nothing in humanness and without
defect in divinity,
who is broken and distributed in individual parts,
that all may be collected in the same body with
him as head.6
Glory to you with him, Father most merciful.
1. Lam. 3:29.
2. 2 Chr. 33:1-20.
3. Ps. 50:3-5.
4. Lk. 15:3-32.
5. Eph. 6:15.
6. Jn. 11:52, Eph. 1:22-23.
Gregory of Narek
© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.