Gregory Narek - Prayers - Prayer 62

Prayer 62

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A Now, why should I not add to the Psalms I have quoted
passages from the Prophets?
But what pleasure is there from nourishment
if my sense of taste is numbed by pain as I eat?
And what advantage can I derive from the Psalms
if I cannot take them to heart?
For I curse myself with them, but I do not know it.
I am cleansed, but I do not glisten.
The sun dawns, but I am not enlightened.
I eat honey but am not sweetened.
I am filled with balm but am not cured.
I rise early for prayers each day and return
empty handed.
I am mocked endlessly but never learn.
I am warned but do not come to my senses.

B Truly, my sin and lawlessness dwell in me
and I am worn away by them,
as the Prophet said of the transgressors,1
and the Lord taught in the parable
of the new wine in old casks.2
For as Isaiah foretold,
“Rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together.”3
And the same is in store for me, wretch that I am,
for I recite the psalm, “The Lord abundantly requites
those who act haughtily,” 4
to which I link the prophecy,
“The Lord has a day against all who are proud
and haughty,” 5 when I recite,
“The wicked go astray from the womb . . .”6
and I add, “Let the wicked of the earth be destroyed”
and “the haughty be wiped from the earth”7
and “the unjust shall be uprooted from the earth.”8

C Weep for me when you read,
“As the tongue of fire devours the dry grass,
so shall sinners be consumed in the furious flames.”9
Weep for me also at the psalm, saying,
“Let burning coals fall upon them.”10
And pray I might be pardoned from divine judgment,
foretold by the Prophet, “If you refuse to heed me,
you shall be devoured by the sword.”11

Weep at this psalm:
“Death shall be their shepherd.”12
Prepare salty tears mixed with the sighs of my heart,
when the Lord on high says to me, along
with Israel, “My people did not listen to me.”13

Sigh “alas!” for me, when another Prophet says the same:
“Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!”14

Trumpet the words of the heart, heavy before crying,
when God who sees all puts me to shame,
reprimanding me with the insolent house of Jacob,
“Look, you, wicked nations, and see; wonder and
be astounded.”15

D O great God, reconsider and withhold the terrible
sword of your righteous anger,
menacingly raised over me.
I am fear-stricken before you
as you extend the bounteous care of
your right hand over me.
Bestow the anointing oil of life
upon your supplicant. And glory to you
in heaven on high, and from mortals
on earth below, throughout all the nations
and reaches of the earth,

1. Is 59,12.
2. Mt 9,17.
3. Is 1,28.
4. Ps 31,23 (Arm 30): 23.
5. Is 2,12.
6. Ps 58,3 (Arm 57):3.
7. Is 16,10, Ps 104,35 (Arm 103):35.
8. Pr 2,22.
9. Is 5,24.
10. Ps 140,10 (Arm 139): 10.
11. Is 1,20.
12. Ps 49,15 (Arm 48): 15.
13. Ps 81,11 (Arm 80): 11.
14. Os 7,13.
15. Ha 1,20.

Prayer 63

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A One and only king, compassionate, long-suffering,
doer of good who loves mankind,
honored with your Father and praised as the Lord of all,
Son of the living God,1 never the cause of
my destruction,2
who is not tempted by evil,3
who does not seek the death of a sinner,4
who offers salvation by your will,
who turns the storm of sin into the breeze of pardon,5
and transforms the fire of anger into rain,6

who turned the woman that looked back from
your goodness,7 into a single statue with two natures,8
placing her neither with the just nor unjust,

who transformed the liquidity of the sea,
into a wall of stone,9

who caused a stream to spring and flow
like a waterfall from the hard rocks of the desert,10

who stopped the rushing waters of the Jordan
into a pool for cleansing the pagans11
and fortified the walls of Jericho
symbolizing the destruction of Satan’s tyranny,
demolished by you as if it were straw,12

who sweetened the poisonous waters
with miraculous salts, as a metaphor
for the conversion of evil to good,
that is, the salvation of the Canaanites,13

who turned the bitter waters of Marah,
the symbol of disbelief,
into drinkable water with the staff of life
that you shouldered,14

who took colorless water from the river
and made it red as blood,

who transformed the rod into a serpent
to prefigure your taking of our nature
and to show how Gentiles might join the elect,

who with the blessed right hand of Moses
foretold both your incarnation,
O Lord on high, and through your grace,
the cleansing of my corrupt body
through an immutable transformation,15

by these great signs, you have foretold
the rescue of long lost sinners
by the caring art of your love,
blessed and compassionate Lord.

B Almighty Lord, you who make the lifeless seed sprout green from the earth,16
who make the roots of the immobile tree move,
who call those born of the unexalted womb,
in your image,
who give children teeth to chew,
who make the beard grow,
who turn the black foliage of hair into snow,17
showing that you reign over all.

You who transform the natural movements of the lips,
in the words of Job, into meaningful expressions,18
who shake the earth and its pillars from
their foundations,19 showing that through all creation,
only you are indestructible.

You who vary the elements in their passing states
and combine them in stable compounds,
showing that for the multitude of sins
you are likewise able to remember and forgive.

You train the inanimate dawning sun as if in a bridle,
showing you can, if you wish, tame
the evil impulses of nature.

And you regulate the speechless globe of the moon
so that it is empty or full,
providing illuminating hope to on-lookers
that you are able to restore a sinful body
depleted of goodness
to its original state of innocent fullness.

You who gather and scatter the speechless constellations,
like a flock of sheep, symbolic of the hope
of life that you, Lord, with your sweet providence
dispense in your abundant mercy
even to the slow of tongue who do not petition you.

C You who chart the safe path on the sea20
between death and life, testifying that even
in that perilous place we are protected through you.

You who, when the water is boiling in the cauldron
like a furious storm of sin, calm it with the word
of your will.

You, whose mere glance toward the earth
causes tremors,21 rouse the animals to alert
the thinking beings.

You who shake the limitless density of the land
like a small sailboat tossing on the waves,
by which you put all creatures on notice
that you are decisively in control,
holding the whole world in your hand.

You who sow dead bodies in the earth,
keep them whole and bring them to life again,
receiving the perishable create the eternal,
who join the spark of life with mortal matter,
who with but an utterance created the entire universe
in an instant and adorned its barrenness in every way.22
Yours is the strength and the power,
that varies the seasons of the year,
each with its fitting splendor.

You who command the unspeaking things as if
they were alive,23
you who by merely giving the signal set them
into motion,24
you alone weave the daylight and darkness with your creative art that is beyond telling.25
You who after the first order of creation
still performed miracles to the amazement
of blessed Job.
You fashioned yet more permanent creations,
and during your incarnation performed other
celebrated acts without number.

D You who took our transgressions upon yourself,26
you who graced us with your righteousness,27
you who offered yourself as the ransom of
our reconciliation,28
you who never abandoned mercy,29
turn the impious toward good, God-fearing works,
the stupefied toward the sobriety of a vigilant heart,
the impure toward the holiness of shining character,
the sinners toward the purity of the tranquil
saintly nature,
the broken toward wholeness impervious to accidents,
the weeping toward the joy of unclouded bliss,30
the hopeless toward the love of union,
the embarrassed toward firmness,
the people who live in darkness toward the light of
endless joy,31
the captives of death toward life incorruptible.
For your name is glorified, Lord Jesus,
professed in all ways with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
in heaven on high and on earth below
among all the inhabitants therein,
forever and ever.

1. Mt 16,16.
2. Lc 9,56.
3. Jc 1,13.
4. Ez 18,32 Ez 33,11.
5. 1R 19,11-12.
6. Da 3,17-26 (Arm version 3,50).
7. Gn 19,17 Gn 19,26.
8. Rocksalt is neither salt, like the just (Lot and his daughters), nor rock, like the unjust (Sodom and Gomorrah)
9. Ex 14,21-22.
10. Ex 17,6.
11. Jos 3,15-16.
12. Jos 6,20.
13. 2R 2,21.
14. Ex 15,23-25.
15. Ex 4,2-9.
16. Ps 104,14 (Arm 103):14, Jn 12,24.
17. Mt 5,36.
18. Jb 12,20.
19. Jb 9,6.
20. Sg 14,3.
21. Ps 104,32 (Arm 103):32.
22. Gn 1,2, Ps 148,5.
23. Ps 147,5 (Arm 146-147):5.
24. Ba 4,33-35.
25. Am 4,13.
26. Is 53,4-5, Jn 1,29.
27. Rm 5,17-21.
28. Jn 19,17.
29. Ps 103,8 (Arm 102):8.
30. Mt 5,5.
31. Lc 1,79.

Prayer 64

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A In everything and toward everything you are upright,
O God.
You judge justly and weigh fairly.
You measure truly and dispense blessings.
You act with goodness and uphold steadfastness.
You seek clarity and embrace enlightenment.
You admonish with experience and examine
with forbearance.
You are without guile and arrogance,
but in all things show gentleness, tranquility
and compassion.

B You showed your justice, heavenly wisdom of
the Father’s unchanging genius,
which those adopted by grace confirm through
the witness of their unstinting praise.
As told in the holy sayings of the Gospel,
“They wailed, but I did not mourn,
they played their flutes, but I did not dance.”1

You advised me in my lawlessness, “Do not
break the law,” but I persisted in errant ways.

To me a sinner, you said, “Do not lift your horn,”2
but I opposed you. Oblivious and wayward,
I never noticed that you lift and lower the
royal trumpets, as told by Habakkuk,3
David4 and Zechariah.5
You wanted blessings for me, merciful Lord,
but I lean toward the damnation I deserved.
I preferred anger to calm,
groping in darkness without light,
as the Scripture says,6
I answered your compassionate voice with impudence.

Through Isaiah you said, “Even the worm is immortal,
the fire unquenchable,”7 the condemnation unending,
the place eternal, the image terrifying.
As in the words of the Psalmist, I neither heeded
nor understood, but walked in the darkness of
intellectual blindness.8

C Through prophecy you revealed, “he who upholds
the law shall be blessed,”9
while I was quick to cut corners.
Lord Jesus, you raised David with his writing,
as a spiritual monument, a rock inscribed by you,
while he, one of the elect, said,
“I shall keep your law at all times,”10
and repeated, “forever and ever” for good measure.
But I, despite these words of warning and
encouragement, was unmoved.
I rushed to worship Baal instead of God,
as Elijah said in his satirical admonition,11
I stumbled along the path of doubt,
being of two inclinations, then
I abandoned the right.
I have the example of Moses with his laws
returning from the dead and I have the
letters of the prophets, written on the tablet of my heart
and the books of the apostles as bindings on
my fingers.12

And you, Lord of all, through your good news,
you raised countless dead from the grave,13
still I remained on the blacksmith’s anvil,
inert, with a heart of stone,14
more disbelieving than the five brothers of15
that rich man, who in that apt parable,
were as numb with gluttony as Belial,
yet I was unrepentant.16

D But grant your mercy nevertheless upon
my forsaken self, good king, who inspires awe,
loves humanity and cares for his people,
living and holy Lord who always
enlightens us by the power of the mystery of
your exalted cross.
In my barren fields, hardened by sin,
filled with folly, with fruitless heart,
I am still sustained by your compassion, Almighty.
My soul shall be refreshed with springs of water
and my sore eyes quenched with streams of tears,
offered for purification and salvation and released
by your acceptance, all-giving Lord, who is
glorified forever.

1. Mt 11,16-19.
2. Ps 75,4-5 (Arm 74):4-5 (pursuant to the Armenian version of the Psalms).
3. Ha 3,4 (pursuant to the Armenian version).
4. Ps 75,11 (Arm 74):11.
5. Za 1,21.
6. Jb 12,25.
7. Is 66,24.
8. Ps 82,5 (Arm 81):5.
9. Ps 84,8 (Arm 83):8 (pursuant to the Armenian).
10. Ps 119,44 (Arm 118):44 (the Armenian version, says “kept the law”).
11. 1R 18,21.
12. Pr 7,3.
13. Mt 27,52.
14. Mc 8,17 Mc 10,5 Mc 16,14.
15. Lc 16,28-30.
16. Satan, the rebellious angel; 2Co 6,15.

Prayer 65

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A Now, I foremost among the impious and
chief among sinners, the leader among the unjust,
the first among debtors, the epitome of a criminal,
the Attica of vice, not of virtue,
have dared to say what is unspeakable:
I have boasted of my humiliation,
I have exposed my secrets,
disclosed what I have covered up,
shown what I have hidden,
spread what I have stored up,
splattered the gall of my bitterness,
divulged my collaboration with the evil one,
squeezed my pus-filled wound,
acknowledged the abyss of my sins,
put on the mask of hypocrisy,
lifted the veil from ugliness,
stripped away the clothes from shamefulness,
laid open my baseness,
thrown up the dregs of death,
revealed the abscessed wounds of my soul to you, Christ high priest.

Not sparing my soul from peril,
not conceding to the love of my body,
I examined down to the oldest roots.
Showing no leniency for the human condition,
cutting my tie with the brotherhood,
destroying the castle of my heart,
I struggled with the stalking of my desires, as if
ambushed by death, laying open the storehouse
of secrets,
setting forth before great God this hoarded treasure,
appearing before the judge as a prosecutor,
foreseeing the ominous things to come,
breaking my pact with the Devil,
I recanted my vows to the Deceiver.
I took refuge in you, Lord Jesus, for a victorious end to
this battle, marshalling the troops for war,
placing my hope in the word of God to fend off attacks,
I delivered the forces of darkness to those
armed with light.

B And now, Christ, maker of all creation,
Son of God on high,
I have been blamed with these words,
and struck with these blows,
please do not reproach me again at the Last Judgment,
you, who are our immortal, almighty king, who does good in ways we cannot understand or express.
Do not reproach me with my self-abasement and
self-accusatory humiliation,
by which I of my own volition condemned
myself relentlessly,
and through this book of psalms confront the face of Satan with his shame,
and strengthen the stamp of your cross upon my face, wretch that I am.

Let the glow of your seal add luster to my countenance,
the sign of your steadfastness be stamped upon my face,
the shape of your cross be fixed upon my cheeks,
the glory of your miraculous work be marked
upon my forehead,
the luster of your seal not be taken from me,
the radiance of your blessing not fade from the
sight of my eyes,
the token of your assurance not be removed
from my head,
the glory of your scripture not waver upon the firm threshold of my mouth,
your praiseworthy armor shield the sentiments
of my heart,
your four-winged radiance spread through the four
elements of my being,
the power of your cross of salvation come to the aid of my outstretched hand, and
may the sanctity of your valor realize the goodness
of the offering for which my hands were made.

C When I depart this life, may holiness not abandon me.
When I am wrapped in shrouds may your honor
not leave me.
May my soul not reject your unwavering salvation.
May your image engraved upon my soul, Giver of life, not be effaced.
May the mark of your blood not be erased from my soul’s altar bearing your seal.
May it dwell with me in my grave.
When my miserable body is worn out may your
anointing grace stay with me,
that I might on the day of renewal meet you,
groom of glory,
that I may be known as one of yours,
that I may be clothed with your accomplishments,
that I may be honored by the assurances of
your greatness,
that I may be adorned with the robe of your baptism and pardoned with mercy.

Give me, O compassionate Lord, your cloak
of incorruptibility,
you who suffer with the sins of my body.
Do not let the Blasphemer gain control over your people.
May the one who wears out my soul waste away.
May the tricks of those who live on the dark side not haunt me.
May the abyss of my final rest be blessed in your name, O merciful Lord.
May the cell of my captivity be filled with your mercy.
May the place of my torture be broken open
through you.
May tranquility reign, my keeper, in my prison of terror.
May that dark womb nourish me toward resurrection.
May your hope preserve me that chamber of anxiety.
May your hand protect me upon the cot of my torment.
May your wings shield me in the house of anguish.
Stay with me, Lord most praised, in my room of peril.
A thousand woes upon me,
for once I was angelic, but now I am in the abyss,
once I was celebrated, but now I am pitiful.

D Now again, you who are blessed by all creation,
by the heavenly and the earthly,
and by the denizens of Hades,
you who were banished for me for no reason,
for it was I who strayed and was estranged,
I who was stupid, lost, and found worthless.
I was abandoned, extinguished and destroyed.
I erred, I was caught, I was rejected.
I was alienated, enslaved, and degraded.
I was cursed, I became wretched, drunken and wasted.
I was swallowed up, I was deceived, I rebelled.
I was corrupted, died and destroyed completely.
You had no hand in this evil,
for you are only unchanging good.

E Now, when your will is upon me, darkness becomes
light for me.
When your lamp of hope is there, night is like the dawn.
When your body is taken during communion, I live down my shame.
But I do not consider my soul living,
for death is inevitable.
Nor do I consider it dead,
for renewal is not doubted.
And though I see the path to life closed before me
because of my unpardonable sins
still paradise is open before me
because of the good news of salvation.
For the discouragement of bad news makes me
less anxious than the encouragement of your hand
extending salvation.
Therefore, grant mercy, O Lord,
for all those who raise voices in thanks,
Lord blessed forever.

Prayer 66

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A Now, whoever believes in the healing prayers
in this humble book, praying sincerely
even if he be one of the sinful,
I too join him with my words.
For if he is among the just,
may we find mercy together through these prayers.
And if he finds happiness,
leaving misery to me alone,
I shall nevertheless bear witness for him.
But may he remember Solomon and his inspired words:
“Who can say, I have a pure heart,
or boast of being clean of sin?”1
For no man born on earth is free of sin.2
And not one of us is special because of our swiftness,3
not even if wings carry us to the heights.
Therefore, we should be careful, think twice,
for if we are on a pedestal, as Paul taught,
we may fall to the ground,4
like the just judge who formulated this rule.5

But let the righteous take this warning as a crown,
so as not to fall from the unreachable heights.
And may the condemned see this as hope of salvation.
by which to rise from the perdition of spiritual death,
and live in hope.
As for me may this message be like words
engraved on a monument never to be effaced
a token of my wretched mortal soul
crying out forever, unsilenced,
with the echoes of uninterrupted sighing.

May my bones, undone
in the earthen cloak of the tomb,
confess this with a soundless voice,
and my body turned to dust
deliver these prayers to you
with an indiscernible cry, seer of secrets.

B Lord of compassion, fount of mercies,
bounty of goodness,
Son of the one on high, Lord Jesus Christ,
have mercy, save us, and love us humans.
Look upon my peril. Gaze upon my broken heart.
Attend to my misery.
See the confusion of my unending anxiety.
Come to my aid in my time of mortal torment.
Touch me, curing my most wretched infirmities.
Lend a kind ear to my pitiful sighs.
Listen to the silent cries from the depths of
the abysmal grave.
May the voice of my failing body in prayer reach your all-hearing ears
and since the pledge for my life’s redemption
is imperishable,
so too let your love be also constant.
Gently help me, enfeebled with infirmity as I am.

C Do not hold a grudge against me, the image of death.
Do not berate my breathless figure.
Do not strike me while I am suffering the
pangs of death.6
Do not deal harshly with the cracked clay vessel
of my existence.7
Do not double your wrath: I am crushed by
your sentence.
Do not condemn to destruction my already
dilapidated structure.
Do not throw stones at me: I am already like a dead dog.
Do not fulminate at me sternly: I am like a
crushed flea.8
Do not roar at me mightily, as if upon some braggart:
I am lower than dirt.9
Do not summon me for trial by ordeal:
I am but cast away ash.
Do not view me, who am but vanishing dust,
as your opponent.
Do not deem me, who am loathsome sediment,
to be your foe.
Do not ward me off, a contemptible abomination,
as if I am a warrior.
Do not set me aside as material for hell:
I am worthless refuse.
Do not scold me again, who by this multitude of
words already
has been admonished many times over.

D So these are the fruits of my broken and contrite heart
offered in prayer from my wretched tomb shrouded
in darkness.
Establish your blessed word in me indelibly10
according to the yearnings of my heart.
For although I speak among the living,
I am dead to you, who are beyond reach,
yet on the day I succumb to death’s destruction,
may I be saved through my faith in your
all-powerful orders.

Now, I pray you, Lord Jesus Christ,
look upon me with compassion
and do not let me be the cohort of Satan.
At the time of my pitiful burial, in the lifeless sepulchre,
echoing with death, attend to the voice of my sighing
heart lifted in reconciliation,
Lord, our sole benefactor, who cherishes our spirits,
almighty God, who loves mankind.
May your kind Spirit dwell with me,
shedding light upon me in the darkness.11
May the venerated, life-giving relics of your passion
stay with me,
like a treasure deposited with you,
so they may bestow the gift of renewed life.
With these inexhaustible weapons I am equipped
as stones of a slingshot made of the spirit,
to ward off the legions of evil.
With you on my side Lord,
the battle waged against me shall be checked,
when enemies rise up and attack me,
thinking that the citadel has no troops,
and the alarms make no sounds.
But I have you, Lord, as my eternal keeper
who slumbers not, nor sleeps.12

E For even now, if the evil one in anticipation of the
Day of Judgment
rushes to prepare a prison without escape for me,13
I will deliver the Lord’s prayer like a deathblow.
If he tries to deter me as I kneel before my creator,14
if he tries to bow my face to the dust,
may my bowing down to God turn him back.15
If he tries to torment me with pain,
may the abundant sweat mixed with the blood of our Savior of the world frustrate him.16
And if he takes my breath hostage
so I cannot travel the path to goodness,
may the bindings of the creator of the universe free me.17
If he forces me to renounce the gifts of the light,
may your patience in the face of mockery by
the enemies of God,
silence them, just as you did.18
If he should barrage me with secret arrows,
may the arrowheads from the Father’s glorious
quiver befall him.19
If the veil of darkness should make my eye shameless,
may the blow to his blindfolded head20
by the creator knock him down.
If he ventures to bind up my firm hands,21
may the reed offered by the right hand of the
creator silence him.
If with jeering mockery he toys with me,
may the Almighty’s fortitude in the face of ridicule
mock him back.22
If he conjures a spell upon me,
may he be foiled by the Almighty’s slap to his face.23
If at twilight he attacks shamelessly under
cover of darkness,
may he be confounded by the radiance of the light of your revelation, Lord.
If in the heat of noonday he thinks he can dry my roots
with scorching blasts of the sun’s furnace,
may he be uprooted and dried by the power of
your sign of light.
If he plots to deprive me of the grace of your breath,
may he be humiliated by the spit, which the Lord of the cherubim endured for me, a sinner.

F If he dares show his biting teeth,
may the silence of the mouth of our heavenly
Lord shut it.24
If he causes desires to gnaw at my soul,
may the nails that pierced the creator hurt him.
If he tries to lead me astray along the path of
unjust thoughts,
may the nails in the feet of our Lord, beyond
understanding, hold him fast.25
If he tries to make me drink a vile potion,
may the vinegar mixed with bile that was given
our Savior to drink, embitter him.
If he lures me into eating from the first wood, the tree of the forbidden fruit,26
may the terrible spectacle of the second wood seize and completely vanquish him.
If he tries to teach me to rebel against
God’s commandments,
may the nod of the infinite Godhead destroy him.
If he tries to kill me by wounding and persecuting me,
may the lance that pierced the side of the creator of Adam cut him down.27
If he envelops me in the pangs of hellish pain,
may the burial shrouds of the Lord who holds all
creation, wrap him up.
If he tricks me into gazing into the abyss of death,
may the living God who survived the stone
tomb kill him.
If he takes joy in my mortal errors,
may he, with his crooked will, die again,
when the immortal God, resurrected in glory,
renews all mortals.
If he is cheered by the prospect of release
from these small bindings after a thousand years,
may he tremble again for the later chains that will
bind him forever
in the place of unremitting torment without end.28
If the first blow is bad news for him,
wait till he finds out about the inextinguishable
fires of hell that await him and
his angels at the Last Judgment.

G And for me, who has sought refuge in you, Lord Jesus,
our only king, absolute and mighty,
creator of heaven and earth
and every beauty in it,
I await your coming with anticipation
and hope in the mercy of your cross.
I fall at your feet and kiss the traces of your footsteps.
I confess my sin and publish my wrongdoing.
I beat myself up and entomb my heart in sighs.
I am wounded by pangs of conscience and smolder with fiery breath.
I burn with the salty dew of tears and my insides are on fire with grief.
I am parched by winds of despair and suffocated by the foul fumes.
I am weak with words of grief and shaking with wretched cries.
I suffer with sorrowful afflictions and my soul
shakes in alarm.
I am tossed on the waves of the storm and jolted by the crashing of the waves.
I shudder at the news and am devastated by the memory of terror.
I melt at the sight of the tribunal and am mortified by your threats, great Lord.
Hear me, compassionate Lord, who pardons us,
who loves mankind,
who is patient with us, sweet beyond words,
good day, dawn of our longing,
for you are capable of all things
and when I give up the spirit, you will be my
great salvation.
To you with the Father and the Holy Spirit, glory forever.

1. Pr 20,9, Jb 4,14.
2. 1R 8,46.
3. Qo 9,11.
4. Ps 40,2 (Arm 39):2, 1Co 10,12.
5. The reference is to Solomon, who though just, sinned greatly.
6. 1S 31,8-9.
7. Is 30,14.
8. 1S 24,14.
9. Si 10,9.
10. Jn 11,25.
11. Ps 18,28.
12. Ps 121,4 (Arm 120):4.
13. Ap 2,10.
14. Lc 22,41.
15. Mt 26,39.
16. Lc 22,44.
17. Jn 18,22.
18. Mc 15,29-32.
19. Is 49,2.
20. Lc 22,64.
21. Mc 15,16-20.
22. Mt 27,29.
23. Jn 18,22.
24. Mt 26,63 Mt 27,12 Lc 23,9.
25. Jn 20,27
26. Gn 3,6.
27. Jn 19,34.
28. Ap 20,3-10.

Prayer 67

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A But since your judgment, Christ God,
is much more lenient toward me
than toward Satan the forefather of evil,1
and because of him, “the Son of God was
revealed among us that he might destroy the works
of the devil,”2
whereas for me, he came to restore my
worn-out image,3
taking our image in its essence,
he united in himself the image of great God
in indisputable unity.
He graced Satan with none of this bounty,
and upon me he poured forth everything
in abundance.4
He did not suffer on the cross for Satan,
but for me he is continuously sacrificed.
Satan does not partake in life,
but I am eternally favored with salvation.
Satan is not protected by the cross,
but I am fortified by this sign.
He is banished from the light,
but I am joined with glory.
God did not promise him peace even on earth,5
but he made me an owner of heaven.6
God cut off his guarantee of hope,
but continued mine forever.7
God confined him to a herd of pigs,8
but in me God dwells more firmly.9
God compared him to a scorpion,10
and he called me the light of the world.11
God made him resemble a snake,12
but he placed the seal of his name upon me.13

B But I abandoned the favors of God,
who created so many good things, and I
gave in to my inclination toward evil,
gazing downward with him at the bottom of the abyss:

Look at me,
I am
unworthy of good, undeserving of favor,
incapable of love, drawn in by the strands of sin,
wounded in the depth of my inner organs,
a broken palm tree,
spilled wine,
damp wheat,
breached mortgage,
ripped up verdict,
counterfeit seal,
deformed image,
singed garment,
lost goblet,
sunken ship,
crushed pearl,
buried gem,
dried up plant,
broken beam,
rotten wood,
mutilated mandrake,
collapsed roof,
dilapidated altar,
uprooted plant,
oily filth on the street,
milk flowing through ash,
a dead man in the battalion of the brave.

C My pitiful soul, though you heard the warnings
from Jerusalem
and were told parables about Babylon by the prophet,
you did not listen, leaving me
ridiculous on the one hand,
and scandalized on the other;
here accused, there reprimanded;
here mocked, there insulted;
here scorned, there opposed;
here confused, there abandoned;
here weeping, there sobbing;
here doubt, there finality;
here grief, there chastisement;
here calamity, there the court of judgment.

Here I am,
with no right to speak, nor opportunity to plea,
where days are without number and time has no end,
where there is no bridge of hope, nor door of mercy,
no protecting right hand, nor helping hand extended.

D But you are refuge and you yourself are salvation,
you are rescue and you are pardon,
you are bliss and through you is blessing and mercy,
O Lord, who alone is mighty, living, and beyond words.
Lord Jesus Christ, God who does good, be
blessed, blessed and blessed again,
with your Holy Spirit exalted forever,
in the glory of your great Father’s essence,
forever and ever.

1. Lc 12,48.
2. 1Jn 3,8.
3. Ph 3,21.
4. Jl 2,28.
5. Mt 8,29
6. 1Co 2,9.
7. 2Co 1,21-22.
8. Mt 8,31-32.
9. Jn 17,23.
10. Lc 10,19.
11. Mt 5,14.
12. Lc 10,19.
13. Mt 28,19.

Gregory Narek - Prayers - Prayer 62