Gregory Narek - Prayers - Prayer 94

Prayer 94

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A Eternal God, almighty, doer of good,
creator of light and inventor of night,1
life in death and light in the darkness,2
hope for the expectant and patient with the doubters,
who with your ingenious wisdom
turns the darkness of death into morning,3
dawn that does not dim, sun that does not set.4
The dark of the night is not able to cover the glory
of your Lordship, before which all creation
kneels constantly in worship,
those in heaven and on earth, and those confined in hell.5
You who hear the sighs of those who are bound,
and who attend to the prayers of the humble,
and receive their supplications,
my God and my king,
my life and my refuge,
my hope and my confidence,
Jesus Christ, O God of all,
holiness that dwells in the souls of the saints,
consolation for the afflicted and pardon for sinners,
you who know all things before they happen,
send the protective strength of your right hand
and save me from the terror of the night and
evil demons, so that always embracing your awesome
memory and your holy name
on the lips of my soul and with the desires of my breath,
I might be saved and protected along with those
who call to you with all their hearts.6

B And by the seal of the sign of your cross,
which you renewed by staining it with your divine blood,
and by the same grace of your fatherhood,
with which you baptized us,7
and in the glory of your image, in which you fashioned and created us,8
with these divine gifts,
may Satan be confounded and his machinations foiled,
may his snares be removed and his forces be defeated,
may his sharp edged weapons be ineffective,
may his fog be lifted, his darkness dispelled, his
shadow withdrawn.
May your arm shield me and your right hand seal me,
for you are compassionate and merciful,
and your servants are called by your name.9
To you with the Father and your Holy Spirit,
glory and power forever and ever.

1. Gn 1,3-5.
2. Mi 7,8.
3. Am 5,8.
4. Ap 22,5.
5. Ph 2,10.
6. Ac 2,21.
7. Ga 3,26-27.
8. Rm 8,29.
9. Ac 15,17.

Prayer 95

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A Sun of justice,
ray of blessings,
form of light,
cherished desire,1
exalted beyond understanding,
mighty beyond telling,
joy of goodness,
hope realized,2
praised by heaven,
king of glory,3
Christ creator,
life proclaimed,4
finish, I pray,
the meanderings
of my wretched, errant voice
with your own mighty words.5
Help me to polish
a pleasing prayer,
to bring before your Father on high.
You who took on my likeness
submitting for my sake to trial and condemnation,6
take pity on me.
You who bless all life,
God of Goodness,
who provide all things above and below,
who were willing to die for me,7
God and lord of all,
who have borne the pangs of mortal flesh,
take pity on me,
for I am wracked with pain.8
Take pity on me, stay with me, a wretched sinner,
and pray with me to your Father, your equal in glory.9

B By your noble and glorious blood,
offered unceasingly to please God who sent you,
may the dangers be lifted from me, the condemned,
may my transgressions be forgiven,
may my vices be pardoned,
may my shamelessness be forgotten,
may my sentence be commuted,
may the worms shrivel,10
may the wailing stop,
and the gnashing of teeth fall silent.11
Let the laments lessen and tears dry.
Let mourning end and darkness be banished.
May the vengeful fire be tamped out
and torments of every kind be exiled.

C May you who grant life to all be compassionate now.
Let your light dawn, your salvation be swift,
your help come in time, and the hour of your
arrival be at hand.
May the dew of your mercy quench the parched field
where my bones have fallen into the pit of death.
Prepare the earth for the day of light
and let the soil bloom and bring forth fruit,
heavenly cup of life-giving blood,
ever sacrificed, never running dry
all for the salvation and life of the souls in eternal rest.
And though my body die in sin,
with your grace and compassion,
may I be strengthened in you, cleansed of sin
through you, and renewed by you with life everlasting,
and at the resurrection of the righteous
be deemed worthy of your Father’s blessing.12
To him together with you, all glory,
and with the Holy Spirit, praise and resounding thanks,
now, always and forever,

1. Mt 13,17, Jn 8,56.
2. Lc 4,21.
3. 1Co 2,8.
4. Jn 6,68.
5. Rm 8,26.
6. He 2,18, Ga 3,13, Ph 2,7.
7. Ga 2,20.
8. He 4,15.
9. He 7,25.
10. Mc 9,48.
11. Mt 25,30.
12. Mt 25,34.

Postscript Dedication on

the Composition of this Book

The sun that brings joy to our eyes
the brilliant, glistening round disc,
always brimming, radiant light bearer, 1
measurer of days, dispelling darkness,
is the creative dawn that counts years and groups
them into centuries
along the eternal cycle of life and death of this
passing world.

At the end of the ninth jubilee 2
and the commencement of the tenth
according to the calendar of the people of the
House of Japhet, 3
three years after his arrival, in the
north-eastern regions, 4
the conquering Roman Emperor Basil, 5
traversed the expansive frontier in all directions
and raised huge stone monuments wherever he
laid his hand.
Without blinking an eye,
he took possessions to the left and right,
without breaks or gaps,
adding the parcels and territories
of many nations to his realm.

In a tranquil period,
when the enemies of the church were restrained,
I undertook the writing of this book.
I planned, arranged, compiled, took notes,
gathered, organized, composed, and set it forth,
bringing together in one comprehensive work,
in a single style, passages from many different sources,
to produce this sacred book.
I, Grigor, priest of the faith,
the lowest in rank among the poets and the
least of the teachers,
working with my blessed brother John,
a member of the noble brotherhood of Narek Monastery,
being relatives not only in body,
but also in unity of soul, faith, honor, and thought,
initiated in the same way of life,
we lived as two persons with one persona,
four eyes fixed on the same mystic vision.

And now, we ask you who partake at this banquet table
with its various offerings,
to remember us in earnest prayers
and worthy supplications,
with pure love and kind thoughts,
that your name be written in the
book of everlasting life in heaven on high.6

1. Unlike the moon which waxes and wanes.
2. 9 x 50 = 450 (each half-century was a jubilee)
3. According to Biblical tradition as set forth by the father of Armenian history, Movses Khorenatsi, the Armenians decedent from Noah’s son Japhet, through his grandson, Togarmah (Armenian Torgom), whose son was Hayk, eponymous forefather of the Armenian people. See, Gn 9,18-10,2 1Ch 1,4, Movses Khorenatsi, History of Armenia, Bk. 1,5. The Armenian Calendar starts at 551, the year after the Council of Dvin. Since this is the first year of the tenth jubilee year, St. Gregory finished writing this book in 451 of the Armenian era, which is 1002 (451 + 551) AD.
4 North-east of Vaspurakan and east of the Byzantine Empire.
5. Basil II (976-1025) who came to Armenia in 999, to claim possessions left to him by prince David.
6. Lc 10,20, Ap 20,12.

Gregory Narek - Prayers - Prayer 94