Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Spiritual Psalter from the works of our Holy Father Ephraim the Syrian


O good Lover of man, Who accepted the two farthings and praised the good will of the widow, accept the prayers of Thy servant; multiply my prayer and grant my requests, that I might become a temple for Thy grace. May it abide in me and itself teach me how to please it. May it strum my heartstrings and play songs of contrition filled with gladness. May it fasten my mind as with a bridle, that I might not sin before Thee by going astray, and might not be cast out of the light.

Hearken, O Lord, hearken unto my prayer, and grant that I who am unclean might become pure, that I who am senseless might become wise, that I who am useless might become profitable in the flock of Thy chosen laborers and of all the saints who have been pleasing to Thee--and that I might be admitted to Thy kingdom.

The glad in paradise intercede for me and cry out to Thee, O only Lover of mankind. Attend Thou to their prayers. Through them will I give Thee glory in return, for Thou hast hearkened unto their prayers and hast been generous to me and not disregarded my prayers.

Thou, O Lord, hast said by Thy Prophet: open thy lips, and I will fill them. Behold, both the heart and the lips of Thy servant are opened; fill them with Thy grace, that I may bless Thee unceasingly, O Christ my God and Savior.

My prayer is powerless, but my iniquities are great and might. Sins overwhelm me and my weaknesses dismay me; Thou art wealthy and good, kindhearted and merciful.

Thou Who didst open the eyes of the blind man, open the eyes of my mind that I may unceasingly contemplate Thy beauty.

thou Who didst establish bounds for the sea by Thy command, establish bounds for my heart by Thy grace, that it might not turn aside to the right hand or to the left from Thy beauty.

Thou Who gavest water in the desert to the people who did not humble themselves and contradicted Thee, give me contrition and grant tears to my eyes, that I might weep day and night throughout the length of my life with meekness, with love and with a pure heart.

Hearken, O Lord, unto the prayer of Thy servant, according to the intercessions of all Thy saints, Thou Who art blessed above all unto the ages.


O God righteous and praised, O God pre-eternal: Hearken unto this man, this sinner, in this hour!

Hear me, O God, hear me in Thy fortress, remember not the continual disobedience of my worthlessness.

Answer my prayer with fire, as Thou didst once for Thy Prophet.

O God of Holy powers! O, Creator of the fleshless ones! O, Thou Who didst pronounce: ask, and ye shall receive! Be Thou not repelled by me who am unclean, who have defiled my lips and am covered with sins.

Hear me, Thou Who hast promised to hear those who call to Thee in truth, and direct the steps of Thy servant to the path of peace.

I cry to Thee with all my heart: God, O God, hearken unto me, O hope of all the ends of the earth and of those who travel afar. Banish all unclean spirits that they may flee from the face of Thy servant.

Take up Thy weapons and shield and rise up to help me. Draw Thy sword and imprison them who persecute me. O Lord, tell my soul: I am thy salvation.

May the spirit of fear, the spirit of despondency, and the spirit of pride and of all manner of malice withdraw from my soul. In it may all manner of excitement produced by the workings of the devil be extinguished. May my spirit, soul, and body be enlightened by the light of Thy knowledge. May I come to be a perfect man made unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ with the angles and all who have been pleasing to Thee through the ages, and I shall glorify Thine all-honorable and venerable name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


O Lord and Master! O God of heaven and earth! Show Thy favor and open to me the door of repentance, I pray Thee with mine afflicted soul.

Regard me according to Thy great mercy; incline Thine ear to my prayer and forgive me, who am guilty of falling into many sins; forgive me all of the wretched things I have done, for I have been conquered by my own evil will.

I seek peace and do not find it, for my conscience is stained; there is no tranquility in me due to the multitude of my sins.

Hearken, O Lord, to a heart which cries out to Thee with affliction. Attend not to my deeds, but to the affliction of my soul, and hasten to heal me who am cruelly wounded. Grant that I may soon come to my senses according to the grace of Thy love for mankind.

Take from me the burden of my sins and grant me not that which my deeds merit, that I may not perish in the end, and that I may not be altogether deprived of thought and concern for my restoration.

I fall down before Thy compassion; have mercy on me who am cast into the dust by the judgement of my deeds.

O master, summon me, a captive who is held and bound by his deeds as with chains, for Thou alone knowest how to free those who are bound and how to heal the invisible sores that are known only to Thee Who knowest all mysteries.

show Thy favor and stretch out Thine hand to me. Draw me out of the mire of mine iniquities, O Thou Who dost not rejoice at the destruction of man, and Who dost not turn Thy face from those who cry to Thee with tears.

Hearken, O Lord, unto the voice of Thy servant, who cries to Thee; show Thy face to me, for I am beclouded; enlighten me with the coming of Thy Holy Spirit.

Grant me, O Lord, diligence, for I have become defiled, and turn my labor into joy.

Tear up my sackclothes and gird me with gladness; may the door of Thy kingdom open to me that having entered therein, I may glorify Thine all-holy name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


Mightily do I magnify Thee, O Lord, Who hast regarded my humility and not delivered me into the hands of mine enemies, and saved my soul from want.

And now, O Master, may Thy hand shield me, and may Thy mercy be upon me, for my soul is troubled and grieves greatly that when it leaves this poor body the cunning hand of the adversary might not find it and keep it back in darkness for the sins which I have committed in this life, both in knowledge and in ignorance.

Be merciful to me, O Master of all, that my soul might not behold the lurid glance of the cunning demons; but may it be received by Thy pure and radiant angels.

Give glory to Thy holy name, and by Thy strength raise me up to Thy divine throne.

When I am judged, may the hand of the prince of this world not seize me and drag me, a sinner, away to the depths of hell. But protect Thou me and be my defender.

Have mercy, O Lord, on my soul, which has been defiled by the passions of this life; and if I have, as a man, due to the weakness of my nature, sinned in anything, whether in word or deed or thought, O Thou Who hast power to release men from their sins, forgive and release me that I might obtain Thy cooling solace and be found without any impurity or stain, without reproach and unsullied before Thee; and my Thy hand receive me, O Master, for Thou art blessed throughout the ages.

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