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
As for the agents of death,
the roots of the bitter fruit of the tree of damnation,
hostile kin, intimate adversaries, traitorous sons, I now
shall describe them in detail by name.
my sinister heart,
my gossiping mouth,
my lustful eyes,
my wanton ears,
my murderous hands,1
my weak kidneys,
my wayward feet,
my swaggering gait,
fugitive on the precipice,
garden of briars,
rusted ear of corn,
herd mentality blowhard,
brutishly wicked, hellishly greedy,
frenzied atheist, assassin ready to strike,
sower of thorns, woeful contentment,
debased majesty, defiled splendor, wasted ability,
humbled greatness, trampled glory,
persistent disobedience, willful error,
negligent steward, treacherous adviser, alienated friend,
corrupt official, covetous associate,
stingy boss, crooked supervisor,
soul without compassion, wish without charity,
hateful habit, insatiable appetite,3
imprudent actions, invisible damage,
secret curses, antagonizing events,
careless merchant, gluttonous exploiter,
drunken official, duplicitous treasure warden,4
dissension sowing emissary, sleeping doorman,
proud beggar, rich ingrate,5
dishonest secretary, untrustworthy custodian,
tardy messenger, wayward courier,
vexing envoy, foolish mediator,7
banished ruler, feeble king, broken-spirited emperor,
rogue prince, plundering general,
biased judge, capricious rabble,
for enemies – cause for snickering,
for friends – cause for tears,
for writers – cause for reproach,
for adversaries – cause for accusation.
For though I was indeed called by the highest names,
by my works I earned the worst of these descriptions.8
Thus, these are the multitude of seductive devices,
which I allowed to deceive me in my naivet? or
I allowed to prevail over me in my weakness,
condemning myself willfully to death.
Now, which of the things listed above,
abhorrent to you and devastating for me,
shall I offer in service to you?
Which of these things wrapped in corruption
shall I present before your holy majesty?
For how long will your patience
bear this many sins?
How much will you forgive?
How will you remain silent?
How will you even bear to listen?
How can you spare the rod
when I am worthy of being beaten to death?
But you visit the mercy of your light
in the pitch blackness of the dark side of the soul,
to cure, pardon and give us life.
O force that cannot be deterred,
to you glory in all things,
1. Is. 1:15.
2. Dt. 28:39.
3. Pr. 12:10; Rom. 1:30.
4. Lk. 12:45.
5. Sir. 25:2.
6. Ps. 50 (Arm 49):20.
7. Acts 15:24.
8. From the General Confession, “I was called to the profession of Christianity, but was found unworthy of it by my deeds.”
Gregory of Narek
© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.