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
So that I will not give up hope of salvation,
and, laying down my arms, surrender to so many
which are nothing other than the tribe of foes,
springing up, of their own, in the categories
in numbers and forms that are terrifying,
I shall show here as against these warriors,
the mightiest of godly champions,
most victorious and undefeated,
which at the same time are summoned by a
most painful grief,
like a difficult-to-swallow fruit of an unreachable tree,
or the toil and hardship of an untrodden path.
For a small teardrop from the eye
can cause an entire evil platoon of the Tempter’s
army to shrink away,
like the squirming of centipedes or earthworms,
drowning in a puddle of oil or a drop of
some lethal potion.
And the faint groan of a sighing heart,
rising from the soul,
is like a warm southerly breeze, mixed with sun,
that melts the fiercest blizzard,
for like storms, they are easily born and when
opposed, quickly die.
But I shall never stop judging my condemned self with anguished words,
or reproaching myself for my sins,
like a wicked, irredeemable and incorrigible being.
For although I have slain some of my tormentors,
I helped others to live and lost my soul.
Like a plant with bitter branches,
I have blossomed with the odor of wrongful ways,
with corrupting and fatal fruit,
which I have made into the wine of destruction.
The offspring of Canaan and not Judah,
in the words of the great prophet Daniel.1
the child of hell and not paradise,2
the heir of Hades, not of coveted glory,
the stuff of torment, not of rest,
ungrateful rather than grateful,
disgraceful rather than graced,
ever sinful rather than forbearing,
one who embitters the sweetness of your beneficence,
an evil and bad servant like the one who
was reprimanded by our Lord,3
one who, as the Prophet Isaiah said,
uses my learning for evil.4
diligent in the baseness of corruption,
conscientious in angering the Lord,
ever active in satanic ventures,
a daily cause of grief to my Maker,
weak in my flight toward goodness,
lazy in the blessing of fidelity,
slow in observing my promises,
fainthearted in the necessary and useful,
an unfaithful and ungrateful servant.
Woe to my sinful soul, for I have angered my creator.
Woe to this son of perdition,5
for I have forgotten the gift of life.
Woe to this debtor of untold thousands of talents,
for I haven't the means to repay.6
Woe to this porter heavy laden with vile sins,
for I cannot lay down my burden to rest.
Woe to this debtor of the Lord,
for I cannot face the Almighty.
Woe to this heap of dried up reeds,
for I am consumed in Gehenna.7
Woe to me as I remember that the arrows of the
wrath of God are fitted with flames.8
Woe for my stupidity, for I did not
recall that the hidden shall be revealed.9
Woe for my impiety, for I always and
ceaselessly wove the web of evil.
Woe to my well-fed body
which shall be food for the immortal worms,10
for how shall I endure their fierce venom?
Woe to me for having drunk of the cup of death,
for how shall I suffer eternity?
Woe to me for raising this unworthy soul from
this corrupt body,
for how shall I face my judge?
Woe to me for the lack of oil in my lamp,
for its darkness shall not be relit.
Woe to me for the sudden alarm of the fear of dismay
when the door of the marriage feast is closed.
And woe to me for the terror of the voice of these words,
trembling and quaking, before the pronouncement
of our heavenly king's judgment:
"I do not know you." 11
1. Dan. 13:56.
2. Mt. 23:15.
3. Mt. 25:26.
4. Is. 5:18-21.
5. Jn. 17:12.
6. Mt. 18:23-34.
7. Is. 5:24.
8. Ps. 7:14.
9. Mt. 10:26.
10. Is. 66:24, Mk. 9:48.
11. Mt. 25:1-12.
Gregory of Narek
© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.